Newsflesh Trilogy #1
Published 2010 by Orbit
I really, really loved this book. It's emotional, clever, fast-paced, actually meaningful, and all-around excellent, and I can't believe I waited so long to read it. Why haven't you started yet?
Feed is the exciting, brilliant story of a team of blogger-journalists who are selected to follow the campaign of presidential hopeful Senator Ryman. As they get to know the senator and his ideas, they find themselves in full support of his candidacy, but it seems there's someone else out there whose opposition to the senator's policies threatens them all. And in a world where the Kellis-Amberlee virus has created the potential for anyone to become a zombie, threats become a lot more real.
There are a few things you should know before reading this book:
1. Feed is not a zombie book. It has the potential to become a zombie series, but for now it's not about averting the zombie apocalypse, and it's certainly not about how zombies have feelings too. The zombie apocalypse has already happened, and Feed just happens to take place afterwards, when the world has changed. What this book is is a political thriller. No, don't go away. I know, if you're reading this blog you're probably not the type of person who regularly picks up those kinds of books. Neither am I. Just trust me. You want to read this one.
2. The world is entirely believable. Everything from the way zombies were created to life after the Rising is spectacularly conceptualized and explained. From the paranoid testing before you can go anywhere to the laws that arose from the presence of the infected, there were no glaring inconsistencies, no transparent plot devices. If an outbreak of something like the Kellis-Amberlee virus occurred, it seems completely reasonable that people would react in just the way they have in the world of Feed. Fortunately for your sanity, it's less gruesome and terrible than the reactions in World War Z, but then, as I said, Feed isn't a zombie book, while World War Z is. Their both quite believable, and they both work perfectly for the kind of stories they want to tell.
3. Feed has brilliant characters. Shaun and Georgia, in particular, are characterized perfectly and complement each other better than you can imagine. Shaun cracks jokes and pokes zombies with sticks, Georgia stoically reports the facts, just the facts. The combination is ideal for a lot of reasons, mainly that it makes for a balanced narrative, because while Georgia is the narrator, Shaun is never far from her or her thoughts.
4. Feed is suspenseful, funny, and brutally emotional. The suspense arises from a conspiracy that our faithful bloggers uncover while following the presidential campaign of Senator Peter Ryman, and it's well done. It's not perfect – the revelations don't come as a huge surprise at any point – but it works, and it's where the zombies come in. If zombies aren't scary, you're doing it wrong. So there's that, but it's the emotion that really gets you. If you're not in tears at the end of this book, it's possible that you don't have emotions. Or that you have retinal KA. But you might want to get that checked out.
Feed is similar to:
World War Z by Max Brooks