Friday, May 20, 2011

Book Review: Feed



Only Mira Grant can mix politics and post-apocalyptic
 zombie utopia so effortlessly.
Plus, the cover is awesome!

Being a career writer and a career writer living and working near DC, one would probably come to the conclusion that I spend my time thumbing through pages of Politico, watching countless hours of CNN, and following tweets from local politicians on Twitter.

There’s just something about writing about policy or reading anything politically based that makes my eyes cross and my brain instantly shutdown. Maybe it’s in poor taste, but I find it horrifically boring. I’d rather stare at a wall for 16 hours than have to write about anything political.


Imagine my surprise when I actually enjoyed the book, FEED by Mira Grant. Grant, who also writes under the name Seanan McGuire, is a favorite author of mine. I love her October Daye Series and so I was completely open minded about reading anything by her… until a friend of mine whose interests when it comes to reading materials are similar to mine said that the political aspect of the novel killed any chance of her ever finishing the book.


Honestly, I didn’t have very high expectations when I cracked open the cover and started reading. When I finished the last page and closed the back cover of the book, only one word came to mind: 

Ingenious.

Grant takes a topic that can be painful to sit through, adds zombies, a team of go-getter reporter types, a seemingly likeable politician and stirs. What makes it interesting? It’s got zombies! Duh. 

Summary:

Mira Grant also writes under her other
pen name, Seanan McGuire.
The story takes place in post-apocalyptic America after science has managed to eliminate illness and disease using a combination of viruses. Unfortunately, the terrible price of "messing with nature" is that after people die they reanimate as zombies. To their credit, the U.S. citizens of 2039 have learned to live with their undead neighbors. Areas are zoned off by danger level and anyone traveling within zones are given constant blood tests, chemical showers, and undergo inspections that make security lines at U.S. airports look like a walk in the park. 


Georgia and Shaun Mason and their friend Buffy (yes, it is a direct reference to Buffy the Vampire Slayer) are three bloggers who rely on their wit and quirky nature to attract readers to their blog. In the year 2039 newspapers,  reporters, and the six o'clock news are obsolete. Not too hard to imagine, is it?


So it is the bloggers who report on current events for people too afraid to leave their homes and the safety of their computer screen. In short, blogging is serious business and Georgia and Shaun are at the top of their game. Early on, the brother and sister duo are handpicked by presidential candidate, R-Sen. Peter Ryman, to follow him and his team on the campaign trail. Security at a political rally where Ryman is the speaker is sabotaged, allowing an infected zombie to kill some of Ryman's security team and some of the participants at the rally, and it only continues to go downhill for the team from there.  

As Georgia, Shaun and Buffy learn more and more about the origins of the zombie spawning virus, Kellis-Amberlee, they have to decide whether reporting the truth is worth sacrificing their own lives.

Review:

This book had me guessing until the end, and there were a lot of plot twists and turns that I didn't expect. One thing I love about Grant's writing style in all of her books is her ability to incorporate witty banter and humor without it feeling like forced dialogue. Grant's writing reads like a movie or a video game and I love it! There's just something to be said when you can visualize what's happening between the pages of a book and assign images to places and characters. For me, that's the ultimate test a book has to pass before it lands on my Top 10. This book does that. 

I don't want to give away too much about the book since I want you to read it; and of course I still have a number of unanswered questions, but this book is part of a trilogy series and I think I'm expecting too much. What I can say though is if the world ended in a massive zombie outbreak, I'd definitely want Grant on my team.

Rating: 4.75/5

FEED is part of Grant's Newsflesh Trilogy series. The next two books: Deadline and Blackout are scheduled for release in May 2011 and May 2012 respectively.
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