So, I’ve started reading the sequel to the book that originally got me thinking about blogging (see: “Prologue: The Start of Blogging“) Deadline by Mira Grant, part of the Newsflesh Trilogy. I have not finished reading book two yet, but it only seemed appropriate to review the first book before I talked about the second. Also, there’s a hope that people will read the books before reading the reviews, since this book can be a bit difficult to talk about without getting into some spoilers (especially where the sequels are concerned).
Bear with me though, I’ve read a few things since I read Feed and so this might go a bit differently than normal.
Title: Newsflesh Trilogy #1: Feed
Author: Mira Grant
Genre: Post-Apocalypse w/ Zombies
Warnings: Zombies (so violence) and Language (becaues, let’s face it, no one is going to be saying “GOSH DARN ZOMBIES”)
Time it Took to Read: A couple of days
Times I’ve Read it Before: 0
Why I Picked This Book?
So the other kind of book I’ve been reading a lot of lately has been dystopian, post-apocalypse zombie fiction. Let’s face it, zombies are really in right now and I have been finding more and more literature dealing with the “what if” scenario of the dead rising and coming to claim our brains for dinner. Anyway, if I remember right, I picked this book up from a bookstore because the synopsis sounded interesting and, as I said, I’ve been getting into reading zombie fiction lately. This is odd for me since I am a self-proclaimed “wuss” when it comes to pretty much any horror movie, but I guess reading scary books is something entirely different.
Anyway, the first book looked interesting so I bought it. I think it might also have been on discount which is always grounds for buying a book in my opinion (clearance section you say? sold!).
What’s the Book About?
Feed is about zombies, duh. Well, actually, it’s about living in a world several years after the initial zombie outbreak. The world has come to terms (more or less) with the fact that the dead don’t stay dead. Specifically it follows Georgia “George” Mason and her brother Shaun, two young adults who blog for a living about said zombies. Shaun is what they call an “Irwin” a blogger who goes out to poke zombies for fun (I’m sure you get the naming reference) and George is a “facts only” kind of blogger called a “Newsie.” Zombies aren’t the only thing that have taken off in the future and blogging is actually one of the things that helped people when the initial out break started to inform people how to deal with their new problem. So, yeah, blogging is an important aspect of this series and the book shows that by including articles from Shaun, George and various other writers associated with them.
You might ask then, if zombies are a normal part of society what is the book actually about if not a freak out over the end of the world. Well, that’s the thing, the world hasn’t exactly ended it’s just been changed drastically. In fact, the majority of the book is spent with George and Shaun after they are selected to be the bloggers following a Republican senator on his trail to the White House. That’s right, this book is not only about zombies and blogging but POLITICS! Go figure. It’s actually a lot more interesting than it sounds, trust me on that, because with any political trail there is going to be scandals and conspiracies galore and this book takes you on that ride, not at all caring if they give you whiplash from some of those twists. Without spoiling things, I can honestly say the book’s ending climax left me reeling in my seat. Let’s just say that in a book about zombies, no character is going to be safe. No one.
What did I think?
One of the big reasons I love this book is that instead of starting with the zombies rising, we start several years later and are simply given the history as we go along. Zombies are just a part of life now and this book does a great job of showing how society would change and evolve to deal with that problem. Granted, as you can imagine, most of society spends its time indoors now and really the only people who spend any time outside any more are journalist/bloggers and truck drivers. Life goes on, as they say, and so society has changed to reflect that. There are a lot of little things too, that show that culture and society has changed and it’s not just about survival. It was different from a lot of zombie books I have read recently and it really stood out to me. Even if it is set in “our world” the world building for the future and the culture is just fantastic!
Another aspect I loved was the way technology and blogging has shaped the world. It was blogging that first helped in the initial outbreak since most people (ie scientists) were trying to keep the infection quiet, but it got out on the internet (of course) and this eventually led to the internet being more reliable in some cases than actual news channels. It was interesting to see and not only that but a believable step given how popular the internet is nowadays. I also enjoyed the division of blog types (Fictionals, Newsies, Irwins, Stewarts, etc).
So, yeah, the world it sets up is entirely believable I think and while it does take place several years after the initial out break it does a good job of filling in that history without seeming like it’s just giving a lot of exposition at once and, honestly, the exposition is interesting anyway. Our main characters, George and Shaun are also believable and easy to love. So much so that when characters start dying around them and especially when said characters are close to them you really FILL it. Sure, you expect “canon fodder” in a zombie setting but it doesn’t always impact you as this book will. Trust me, by the time the most important character gets taken down you will probably be crying, I know I was, especially since I did NOT see it coming (and it is doubtful you will either, even if you ARE good at guessing these things).
Overall, I hope more people check this book out because it is simply phenomenal. I couldn’t put it down, especially once the real plot started going. It is very good about hooking you and making you want to read it in one setting. And, despite being about zombies, it’s not as bad as other books in this genre about leaving you wanting to sleep with the lights on or anything like that (trust me, I’ve been there). I could probably go on about this book for several pages, but I think that’s enough to tease your taste buds. Seriously, go check out this series.
Rating: 5 out of 5 zombies being beaten with sticks.