Feed by Mira Grant
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
How would the world really be like if there was a zombie breakout? While most Hollywood blockbusters opt for the scenario that has girls clad in short skirts without any training in the art of war pulling off thousands of head shots aimed towards throngs of the undead, or how the grittiest YA dystopia novels embrace the ‘don’t trust anyone and run’ motto, Feed by Mira Grant takes a different path than the others. Managing to combine elements from both sides and adding a whole new view on zombie stories, the first book in the Newsflesh series will set readers on a ride of suspense.
The story revolves around Georgia Mason, a blogger for The End of the Days as a Newsie, which is a branch of modern journalism focused on delivering the truth and the news. Along with her brother Shaun, an Irwin—a daredevil-ish sort of group reporting zombie attacks, and sometimes creating the attacks—and resident tech-head Fictional Buffy, they are asked to join a presidential campaign. Working in the news can be tough, especially when zombies are everywhere and trying to eat you thanks to the infamous Kellis-Amberlee virus that spread on the summer of 2014 that causes anyone to die come back alive—with a tendency to bite people’s heads off. However, playing in the field of politics may prove deadlier to the trio with than zombie invasions with unexplained events cropping up in the most unlikely places. Can they uncover a possible conspiracy, or they just end up as one of the undead?
I do have to admit that the story sets off a bit slow, and instead of bringing out the fun stuff, I was treated with slightly tedious descriptions of certain situations that were repeatedly incorporated throughout the story, such as the scans, at the beginning. I ended up skimming through the pages, and spent longer than I should’ve had reading Feed. Patience is required for those who want to dive straight into the plot, but I guarantee that even if you’re not a fan of zombie novels, you’ll end up at least giving it three stars.
One lesson I learned while reading though was this: some stories just want sneak up with you in the middle, and starts to submerge you into the story when you least expect it. The closer I got to the ending, the more I didn’t want to stop reading. Suddenly, the info-dumps seem slightly interesting, and the mystery appears. Despite the fact that the antagonist of the plot is pretty obvious, the thing is that you’ll want to know more about how was it carried out. It’s a bit annoying though that when the antagonist was in front of their very eyes that they didn’t put the pieces together . . . T_T
The way the history was carried out though seemed credible. The technology was advanced enough, and some of the things such as animals over forty pounds not getting infected was something you’d never see in any book, and how some people, such as Georgia herself, had diseases from the virus. It was obvious that the author spent a lot of time crafting her world, and I really appreciated that. Every single detail was considered, and at least it was believable.
For the main characters, they were well-developed for your run-of-the-mill zombie story, and had their own quirks that defined themselves. Georgia’s personality was dry and firm yet able to muster up some sympathy at the end of the story for her, and Shaun was just . . . Shaun: fun and sarcastic, but my perspective of him changed drastically at the end—in good and bad ways. While I thought that the side characters could use just a little more depth, the traitor at the end was surprising.
The twist was quite unexpected, and admittedly, emotional. By the end of Feed, my face was something like, “Where the heck is the next book?!” The ending is worth reading through sloughs of techno info-dumps, and the cliff-hanger doesn’t help either.
In Feed, there aren’t many run-ins with zombies. It actually benefits the story in some way, with it being six hundred pages, since if there was more, I’d probably would’ve quit earlier on due to it being too long. Yes, there are some stories I end up skipping because of length!
Even if the narrator is somewhere in her twenties, I think it would be okay to give this to teenagers twelve and above. There is nothing especially graphic, and it’s more of a world-building story to be honest. Either way, Feed is a decent read, but some of the pros mentioned give it a higher boost.
In a Nutshell
Blogging and zombies are definitely not one word you’d expect to hear in one sentence. However, Mira Grant has created a superb world in Feed that is both filled suspense and epicness if you’re willing to have some faith and read on. 4.5 stars.
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