I love a good story
This book can be enjoyed by those who like suspense. This isn't too SciFi/ Fantasy since Grant creates a society that thrives amongst a disease (I listened to this in the wake of the Ebola outbreaks - August 2014- ironically, the outbreak in the book occurs in the "Summer of 2014") . I like that she took a journalistic (bloggers) approach (lots of facts, fictional of course!) and gives details to make the events feel more real.
The details. Grant creates this society in the near future that restructures around the outbreak. The thrill is that it is somewhat believable (corpse reanimation aside).
Both readers brought the characters to life. Paula's sardonic tone made Georgia feel real, like someone I knew. Paula's reading of Buffy also made Buffy feel like a different character from Georgia, so it was easy to follow the dialogues when Paula was reading. Jesse changed his accent between readings of Shaun and Mahir which was fun, too.
Yes, but it took me 3 days. Can't wait to listen to the sequels or other books by Mira Grant and her other pen names.
Timing was key.. again, I read this during the Ebola scares of August 2014 so zombies or not, disease scares are real. Most of this book revolves around the "infection" rather that the blood and gore of zombies. The containment, testing, conspiracy of the outbreaks all became a more heightened fear given the current World events while I was enjoying this book.
I love reading and listening to books, especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, historical, and classics.
The first book in Mira Grant's Newsflesh Trilogy, Feed (2010), begins in Northern California in 2039, twenty-five years after the Rising, when a super virus infected all mammals weighing at least 40 pounds, wiping out 35% of the human population in the summer of 2014 and leaving behind pockets of hungry undead. The first chapter seems to be standard zombie fare: a mob of infected surround a pair of astonishingly reckless heroes, the 22-year-old first person narrator Georgia Mason and her thrill-seeking brother Shaun. (Like many other post-2014 kids, Georgia was named for George Romero, who became a national hero after the Rising because people realized that his films were useful survival guides rather than bad horror movies.) I couldn't believe that someone as savvy as Georgia would let her brother and herself get into such a fix, or that they'd be able to escape it the way they do.
But the second chapter explains the siblings' behavior: they are bloggers who leave the relative safety of their community to enter infected danger zones to make, become, and report the news about all matters zombie so as to spread the "truth" and increase the market share of their blogs. Indeed, in 2039 bloggers are the most entertaining, popular, and accurate news source: "Newsies" like Georgia who report the truth without spin or opinion, "Irwins" like Shaun who record sensational close zombie encounters, and "Fictionals" like their partner Buffy who write gothic stories and poems. Georgia and Shaun are each other's best friends, colleagues, and confidants, because they were born a few weeks apart to different families, orphaned during the Rising, and adopted by parents who love their own blog ratings more than their kids.
The novel takes an unexpected turn when Georgia, Shaun, and Buffy become the "pet-bloggers" embedded in the presidential campaign of the Republican Senator from Wisconsin, Peter Ryman. Georgia believes that he represents the best hope for improving the difficult economic, political, and social world of the virus, because he would rather improve the lives of the living than wage war on the undead, while his opponents want to exterminate all zombies and to reassert faith and family in America to convince God to stop plaguing us with plagues.
Feed is neither like Walking Dead, in which pockets of humans try to survive in a post-zombie-apocalypse world, nor like Raising Stony Mayhall, in which the protagonist is a sympathetic zombie. Nor is it a non-stop zombie action story, having few set piece attack scenes. Instead, Feed is a science fiction zombie novel. It features a scientific explanation and behavior for the virus, which derives from a mixture of cold and cancer cures, lies dormant inside everyone in the world, and is at any moment ready to undergo "amplification," destroying its host's consciousness and turning the host into a ravenous meat eater (the virus needs protein) and dangerous virus spreader (the virus needs new hosts). The novel then carefully extrapolates the resulting future world. Feed is also a political zombie novel, condemning hate- and fear-mongers who wield national security and religion to deny others the freedom to learn and tell the truth with which to draw accurate conclusions and make informed decisions. I like the message, but I don't believe that journalists can objectively tell the truth once embedded in an organization, whether a political campaign or a US military unit.
I'm also unsure about other things in the novel. First, although I enjoy the banter between Shaun and Georgia ("Behold the bitchiness of George when she hasn't had her beauty sleep") and am moved by their close relationship, I also find Shaun irritating when he talks like a 22-year-old surfer Bart Simpson.
Second, despite interesting virus-driven changes in the world of 2039, some things too closely resemble our world now, as in the important politicians, bodyguards, scientists, and campaign staff all being men. At the same time, some of Grant's 2039 USA feels outdated, as in same-sex marriage still being a controversial issue, whereas in our 2014 USA it's already legal in 26 states.
Third, despite the scientific approach to zombies, and despite the neat touch that everyone already has the virus, the amplified infected could after all be extras from a George Romero movie.
Fourth, there are some inconsistent points in the story and characters: in the first chapter, for example, Georgia had to bribe daredevil Shaun into wearing a Kevlar vest in the Santa Cruz danger zone, whereas later she twice notes him in safer situations carefully tightening or checking the links in his chain mail armor.
Fifth, the novel wants pruning. Georgia twice tells us that Shaun only calls her Georgia when he's upset or concerned and twice that the Apple blood testing kit is the top of the line model, and repeatedly depicts getting blood-tested and using high-tech elevators. And her pursuit of the truth would be more powerful were she to mention it less often.
To be sure, there are plenty of neat lines like these:
"He was a journalist after all, and we're all incurably insane."
"Most girls learn to accessorize for dinner parties and dates; I learned to do it for hazard zones."
"I am a god among men and a poker into unpokable places."
“Social norms can bite me.”
The readers enhance the book. Paula Christensen's Georgia is spot on (intelligent, passionate, ironic), and she's good with southern accents and even a British one. Jesse Bernstein is fine with Shaun and other male characters.
But although I enjoyed Feed, and admire its unsparing climax, I won't be in a hurry to finish the trilogy.
Feed has been on my list to read for a while now. It was recommended to me after I read 'World War Z' and found I like zombie fiction. I have to say I have no idea why I waited so long. This is a delicious book! -That might be the wrong word for a book about zombies feeding on human flesh. For anyone who might be thinking it, no, I have not been bitten by any human like creatures or mammals over forty pounds. Paula Christensen and Jesse Bernstein do a good job of the narration. At first I found Shaun's narration a bit difficult to listen to. It grew on me because it fit his character so well.
'Feed' is about a brother and sister, Georgia and Shawn Mason, who are just barely adults. They are bloggers in 2040. They learned this skill set from an opportunistic couple who adopted them as orphans from the zombie war of 2014. They did this partially to replace their own son they lost, and partially for publicity and ratings. The most affection they received was in public and from the extremely tight bond they developed with one another. The Mason siblings grew up in a world that lives with zombies. Zombies were not completely decimated after the break out because everyone carries the Kellis-Amberlee virus. Everyone who does die, short of a bullet to the brain, will turn into a zombie. At any moment an outbreak can occur and people live with that fear everyday. So, people live very sterile lives inside. Only the brave go out to grocery shop, go on a date, or drive anywhere. Bloggers fall in three categories: Newsies, Irwin's, and Fictional's. Irwin's go outside and partake in pre-rising behavior antagonizing the occasional zombie in the process, allowing society to live vicariously while sitting on their couch. Bloggers and news reporters are a brave breed in a society tightly controlled by fear of the zombie virus.
A nice twist is that our blogging team, Shawn, Georgia, and Buffy, get chosen to follow a senator's campaign for the presidency. All sorts of sabotage, hidden agenda's, and zombie outbreaks make for an exciting read. I was hard pressed to set 'Feed' down and force myself to take care of terribly annoying, necessary things in my life such as work and eating. Ugh...
This is an enjoyable read, but it is also well written with developed characters you attach to. This is not the goriest of zombie novels. It is more plot and character driven, but as I have said before, what is a zombie novel without some human flesh being eaten? The exciting news, if you haven't read this already, is that its a trilogy. There is a pretty big twist at the end and I refuse to give you the spoilers. Instead I am going to order you to pick this up and read it if you have any interest in zombies, good dystopian fiction, and political intrigue. I know I am assuming a lot by believing I can order you to do anything, but I'm doing it anyway. Happy reading to you.
The reader for George was FANTASTIC. She had depth of emotion and range for voices. IT almost felt like the other reader wasn't even needed
I like that the story was set in a society that had lived with Zombies for decades. The reader got to see what a society like that would look like. So it probably wasn't as actiony as most would expect from a zombie book but it was definitely worth the read.
My favorite scene is one that I cannot describe here (SPOILERS!) but suffice it to say that there was action where there needed to be and lots of heart too.
Yes! I found myself driving around a bit more than I needed to so I could find out what happens next!
The narrator's attempt at voices for the characters was lacking. There were repetitive parts of the book, so much so I thought maybe my iPod was hitching or repeating previous chapters. The storyline was confusing at times and the language was odd.
Tell us about yourself!
I guess it is time to come clean. Although I never expected it, I am a fan of the genre, and no longer afraid to admit it. This offering clinched it. This book , as some have pointed out, isnt really a zombie story. Yes, they are part of the story, but it is about a group of bloggers selected to follow a presidential candidate during a zombie infested US Presidential election campaign. Someone doesnt seem to want him to get elected.
I had no problems with the narration. I thought both did a good job becoming the characters. The only thing that threw me a little was a voice that reminded me of a King of the Hill character but that was minor.
All in all, I enjoyed this book and may go on to the next one soon
I love a good zombie story as much as the next guy, but a virtuous politician is a mythical creature I just can't suspend my disbelief enough to enjoy.
I liked the adherence to some traditional zombie lore and approaching it from the angle of the characters being journalists. Also, the back-story about the cause of the outbreak, I though,t was not only interesting but plausible within the frame of the story and unique.
Is it my favorite or my least favorite? I'm not really sure. I'm not going to give details, but there's a particular scene that takes place in the van toward the end...
Laughter, sadness, anger. There were a number of powerful moments.
Actually, it took me a while to get through this book as I kept putting it down in disappointment.
I have not read a "zombie story" from this perspective. That part was interesting. And if the story had revolved around that, I believe I would have liked it. But the whole superblogger, fighting for truth and justice, bit was tiresome very early in.
The political and religious attitude of the main character, is in my opinion, just what liberals would like to believe about themselves - sophisticated, enlightened, and non-judgmental. But it comes off as naïve and predictably negative towards Christians and conservatives (of which I am neither). It read at times like the author needed a soapbox to spew her righteous anger which got real old very fast.
Genuine, refreshing, anxious
Getting into the details of how life is decades after the dead rise
This is the best book of the trilogy, and stands on it's own without the other books.