The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beaten the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED. Now, twenty years after the Rising, bloggers Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives - the dark conspiracy behind the infected. The truth will get out, even if it kills them.
Paperback, 571 pagesPublished May 1st 2010 by Orbit(summary grabbed from GoodReads)
Oh dear lord, the feels.
Feed was spectacular. It was way more than I was expecting and everything that I've ever wanted in a zombie book. I'm not really a zombie-book aficionado, with the only zombie book I think I've read was Alice in Zombieland, which didn't even have zombies, it had ghost zombies. Which if you think about it, kind of just makes them ghosts and not zombies at all. I think a more appropriate title would have been Alice in Ghost-Land -- DON'T PROMISE ME ZOMBIES AND NOT GIVE ME ZOMBIES!
...moving on. However, I have probably watched nearly every zombie movie in existence. Even the B movies. I may spend over half the movie hiding my head from the inevitable and astronomical amount of gore, but I still stay in the room and listen (which should count for something). Anyway, Feed went with a more traditional take on zombies and the problem I usually have with traditional zombie movies is that there's not a lot of back-story or explanation about the zombies (and no one seems too curious, but I don't know if I would care how zombies ticked if the threat of being eaten was imminent). A reason or explanation is something I'm always craving in zombie stories, and every little craving was satisfied with Feed.
The first thing that made Feed stand out to me as more than “just another book” was the thoroughness of its zombie-science. Without ever throwing an info dump on the reader, Mira Grant explains her zombie lore, which although based a lot on George Romero’s movies, had a lot of originality. For example, the zombies in Feed grew smarter in groups and could form a pack mentality. That aspect of the zombies wasn’t very explored, but it is just an example of how well thought out the zombies of Feed were. Also, the author makes note of how her zombies are like George Romero's zombies, and thus in the book, George Romero is seen as a national hero for educating the world on zombies through his movies. Hence, our main character’s name is Georgia. I thought that was genius.
The book begins over twenty years after the zombie apocalypse with our main characters having lived their entire lives under the threat of zombie attacks. It was clear from the beginning that the author had put some serious though into what kind of people would grow out of this kind of world. She explores how more people have turned to religion, others live in fear, and then there are others. Georgia and Shaun are in the others category. Both are bloggers/reporters, but they go about blogging in different ways. Georgia wants to shower the world with truth while being the world’s greatest action hero at the same time. The opening of the book involves her gunning her motorcycle up a ramp and flying over a hungry hoard of zombies to safety. Shaun on the other hand likes to bait zombie in Jackass related stunts for entertainment. Their differences combined with their co-dependence as siblings made Feed extra special.
Feed honestly felt like a realistic possibility of the future. You could get lost in the book, which is the thing I love about reading the most. I would call it more of a mature read, but not because it has mature content (it doesn’t). It was a bit dry, dealt with politics and reporting a lot, and lacked a romance. Feed focused on the characters and how they did their reporting in this zombie filled world, not the zombies themselves. Like I said before, there wasn’t a romance, and though some people will enjoy that, that could be a turn off for some. I absolutely adored it and recommend it to anyone who likes science fiction or thrillers. Which I guess is odd since Feed isn’t particularly science-fiction-y or ultra thrilling, but I think that is who it would appeal to the most.
Final Thought: 10 out of 10 undead toadstools
This review is also posted on GoodReads
Me thinks I should read more zombie books and watch less zombie movies.