Author: Mira Grant
Adult Content: mid-gore, sustained swearing
Keywords: zombies, apocalypse, blogging, news, truth, action, dystopia
Series: Newsflesh #1
In 2014, two experimental viruses—a genetically engineered flu strain designed by Dr. Alexander Kellis, intended to act as a cure for the common cold, and a cancer-killing strain of Marburg, known as "Marburg Amberlee"—escaped the lab and combined to form a single airborne pathogen that swept around the world in a matter of days. It cured cancer. It stopped a thousand cold and flu viruses in their tracks.
It raised the dead.
Millions died in the chaos that followed. The summer of 2014 was dubbed "The Rising," and only the lessons learned from a thousand zombie movies allowed mankind to survive. Even then, the world was changed forever. The mainstream media fell, Internet news acquired an undeniable new legitimacy, and the CDC rose to a new level of power.
Set twenty years after the Rising, the Newsflesh trilogy follows a team of bloggers, led by Georgia and Shaun Mason, as they search for the brutal truths behind the infection. Danger, deceit, and betrayal lurk around every corner, as does the hardest question of them all:
When will you rise?
Subject: Well, I don't normally do zombies. Er, at all. Ever, really. I'm not particularly squeamish, but still... So anyway, just looking at this cover would usually have been enough to polish me off, and you can forget about going so far as to actually read the thing. But I was very pleasantly surprised. This is more of a novel about news, blogging and the truth than zombies. It's about how society continues, even when the dead don't stay dead. Which is something I'd never considered before. So, while this isn't the kind of book I'd usually go for, I was certainly excited to read it, and it definitely fulfilled my expectations!
Storyline: Feed is halfway between an action novel, a mystery, and goodness only knows what else. You can always tell a good storyline, I think, when you don't notice it. I felt I was completely safe in Mira Grant's hands, and I never stopped to think 'I wonder where she's going with this', or even 'what'll happen next', because I was too busy being in the moment, legging it from zombies or trying to work out just who was the bad guy. It's not a complicated storyline, but this book isn't about the storyline. It's about people, and how they cope with zombies. So it's all good =]
Characters: Here's where it all gets much more interesting (although it's been pretty good so far already). The characterisation in this novel should be a role-model for all aspiring authors. I honestly couldn't have asked for better. You can just tell that Grant has thought about her characters really carefully, but, like the storyline, I never stopped to think about them as characters. They were real people. And they were my friends. And I feel pretty bereft now I've finished the book and they've left me behind... Newflesh #2, here I come!
Writing Style: Georgia Mason narrates Feed, and I couldn't have asked for a better narrator. She's fun and witty and full of dry sarcasm. There are some serious laugh-out-loud moments (as well as some sob-out-loud ones - have a hanky ready!). Grant really got inside the head of Georgia. Definitely role-model for the witty, sarcastic type of narration and writing style! I love it =]
Writing Style: *****
Enjoyability: If you haven't worked it out for yourself already, then here's what I thought: I loved it. I fell in love with absolutely everything about it - Grant's meticulously planned and detailed world, her wonderfully human characters, the sarcastic way she writes - just everything. If it tells you anything, this book has gone to the top of my 'favourites' list. And that's a pretty long list.
Enjoyability: ***** (I would give it another, but that would be cheating)
Summary: A well-written, well-thought-out book by a great author about great characters. What more could you ask for? One of the best books I've read this year.
Word Rating: a good-good book