Published May 1st, 2010 by Orbit
It’s 2014 and someone has found a cure for cancer. Someone else has discovered a cure for the common cold. Great news, right? Let’s all get cured! Unfortunately, when these two experimental viruses meet each other, they create a single air born germ that reanimates dead people. So now we have zombies everywhere. Millions of people die, but thanks to the vital information gained from classic zombie flicks, mankind continues on – with the zombies for company.
Fast forward a couple of decades and the internet is the boss of media – it’s a bit hard to send paper boys out to the deliver the news when there are zombies roaming the streets, after all. The general population stay inside their houses and rely on bloggers for news and entertainment.
Georgia and Shaun Mason are two such bloggers, they seek out news and go into the thick of it to show everyone the way things are. They are also on the verge of a big break – they have been chosen to cover the presidential campaign of senator Peter Ryman.
But something bigger than just the campaign is going on. Conspiracy! Corruption! Zombie attacks! The more truth they uncover, the more dangerous things get for them – hitting the big time comes with a massive price!
I was introduced to this series through a goodreads group last year. Back then I was pedantic about reading every monthly book, so I felt obligated to read this during it’s month. I was reluctant at first (‘it’s so long’, ‘it’s about zombies and I’m housesitting alone and might get scared’, etc), but once I started I found that I couldn’t stop!
Feed is unlike any other zombie novel that I have read. Instead of the post-zombie world breaking off into chaos and secluded communities, technology has advanced. There are some very nifty virus detector thingys that test your blood and let you know the good or bad news with green and red lights. Also, Feed isn’t all about the zombie attacks – it’s a political thriller sci-fi too. In fact, the balance may shift slightly the other way – it’s a political thriller sci fi with zombies. Another difference is that everyone is infected already – the original germ being air born – but the virus doesn’t take over your body until you die. All mammals over forty pounds have the capacity to zombify after death.
We get a really good look at the blogger situation through the eyes of the main character, Georgia Mason (a ‘newsie’ – your classic journalist), and her adopted brother Shaun (an ‘Irwin’ – he spends a lot of time making videos of himself getting up close and personal with zombies). There is also another type of blogger called a ‘fictional’ – no guesses what their specialty is – their friend Buffy heads up this department.
It’s a long book, but it didn’t feel long as I was reading it. The world building is great – you can tell that Mira Grant has put a lot of thought into the little things. For example, because of the all-mammals-over-forty-pounds-turning-into-zombies-upon-death thing, hardly anyone keeps horses or big dogs anymore. Also, say you eat beef that isn’t completely cooked – even that could tip the scales of the virus within you and send it live. I really appreciate cool little bits and pieces like this in a story.
Others have said that they found this hard to get into, but personally I disagree. I was very into it right from the beginning. However, I would suggest that the second half is more conventionally exciting than the first half (more action, more answers, etc).
Go on, give Feed a go.