The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beat 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, 20 years after the Rising, Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives - the dark conspiracy behind the infected. The truth will out, even if it kills them.
©2010 Mira Grant (P)2010 Hachette
Don't you just love a great story well told?
This very clever title blends modern journalism with a rather new setting. The subject zombies (seemingly silly at first) is dealt with with a fair deal of sophistication. The author manages to make them seem a real scientific possibility. (Rabies, for example, turns lesser mammals into biting drooling aggressive creatures in order for the virus to spread itself. (Although the author herself would have done well to have mentioned that.)
While the story is entertaining it is not perfect. For example. A reader may tire of the seemingly endless security precautions on every single page including blood tests described in painfully excruciating and repetitive detail. They should have been edited out. (That's why it's a 15 hour book.)
While I'm glad the book was far more sophisticated than just the video game carnage fest it might have been... after a while a bit of of gratuitous violence might have been a refreshing change from focus on the technology of keeping up video "feeds" to the Internet.
The narration is spot on. The sophisticated tone of the sister contrasts well with her smart mouth brother. Both narrators are pitch perfect. They really add to the writing.
All-in-all a fairly entertaining 15 hours. But not quite a classic. (You know the writing can be improved when the writer allows one's mind time to consider better and different directions for the plot and its devices.)
former nuclear scientist
I'm not big on the zombie genre, but I do like sci fi/fantasy, so I gave this book a chance. There are weaknesses - virus levels are measured in microns (a unit of length, not of number or concentration), internal inconsistencies, the villain at the end acts out a cliche that makes no sense in context (despite the speech he gives to indicate murderous insanity) - but despite all these flaws, I just wanted to keep listening. The author paints vivid pictures in an America just a few decades from now where (suspend disbelief) technology has progressed stunningly in response to a virus that creates "night of the living dead"-like zombies through a (suspend disbelief) lab-engineered mutation of the common cold. The fact that zombie-ism is contagious, and that transformation isn't immediate, is central to the plot, but the contradictions between the virus origin story and the way it behaves made me think that an origin story actually subtracts from the plot. So just power through the parts where the book's version of virology is discussed, and power through ridiculous scenes like the narrator taking the time to explain her brother's dating history during a zombie mob attack, and immerse yourself in an interesting thriller where the journalists are targeted because they tell the truth, and the harshness of a zombie-filled world forces people to horrible, soul-dimming acts of mercy and love and self-protection. "Sophie's Choice" with a virus instead of Nazis.
Firstly, I must say that I do not consider this title, a zombie book. Or better yet I do not consider it a zombie action title, so if you are looking for over the top zombie action, this is not it.
This is a brilliant story: a world in which scientist just wanted to rid the world of some of our more common health problems, which eventually created a great up rising of zombies. After most zombies were killed and a system was developed to ensure persons were safe from another uprising. Though so much has changed a lot as stayed the same.
In a world were recognition and ratings are still important for any news publication or blog, the main characters finds themselves raising to the top on the heels of following who they hope to be the next president of the United States.
It is a book full of news, entertainment and politics set in a world were zombies walk the earth and the virus that created them in the first place can be used as a terrorist weapon.
This story is full of some twist and turns that leads to an unexpected conspiracy, it is beautifully written and the attention to detail allows you to full appreciate the story and understand that world that they currently live in.
The narrator did a great story justice and brings out the true entertainment value of the title.
If you are into, hidden conspiracies, politics and news with a hand full of zombies throw in, this book is it
A journey into a tomorrow with outbreak as a part of current events, Georgia & Shawn are adopted siblings who run a blog site reporting first hand accounts of zombie occurrences until they win the journalistic lottery to cover a presidential candidate.
The story moves through more political and current events, medical as well, that sets up a world worth remembering and experiencing. This undercurrent of tension about contact with the virus, and the great lengths the population, sat with me going through the experience of the story. I had to remind myself on occasion that I didn't have to wory about catching the
"Kelsen Amberly Virus" which turns you into a zombie. The violence isn't fetishistic or overstated, there's a fair bit of humor and care at the same time taken into the cost of this virus. There are few great scenes of intense moments that will give most thrill seekers what they're looking for, don't count on widespread zombie killings in this book. The political conspiracy element has some intriguing elements, unfortunately some are quite cliched. Hopefully the following books will be able to open that political conspiracy into something more believable and take a cue from the stronger "CDC" elements that have a real cost to the population, there's something really interesting there.
Two voices, mostly that of the character Georgia (Paula), run through the book. The character Shawn (Jesse), his voice is less integrated and feels more tacked on, and his accents leave a lot to be desired. Paula's run through the majority of the book is playful, emotional, & picks up the excitement very well. Her performance was worth taking the journey with.
There's a real sense of what's at risk here which would compel me to continue into at least the second book, as long as those very few cliched villains and dot by dot plot connections stay behind. Overall the story was interesting, timely and off the beaten path from what you'd expect from the genre. Like I said if you want to see a Zombie version of "All The President's Men" this is your book.
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I had no idea this would be a book about Zombies. Had I known, I would have dropped it like a hot potato!! Zombies, Werewolves and Vampires? PASS. Forget it. Not for me.
I like science fiction, and based on the synopsis I was expecting a futuristic medical thriller…. HA! Suuuurpriiiiise! Zombies?? Puh-leeeeeze.
I am SO glad I didn’t know in advance! I am thrilled I was tricked because I really liked the story! Ultimately, it IS a futuristic medical thriller mixed in with journalism and political intrigue; a great read! Instead of being ridiculous, the zombie-element (the idea that Zombieism is due to an infection from a cancer cure gone bad) was a really interesting one… it got me thinking and it did not devolve into stupid gratuitous brain-eating gore.
Having said that, the zombie-action scenes where NOT my thing and bored me completely; I hate stuff like that, I just find it dumb, but they were so few and far between, they were easy to ignore.
I’m in for the sequels!
I'm a voracious audiobibliophile, mainly interested in speculative fiction, with the occasional mimetic fiction or non-fiction title sneaking in.
Too much of the world just doesn't stand up if you zoom out and try to get all the pieces to fit together, but there was plenty to enjoy here. I don't think I'll be picking up Book 2, which is partly negative because I didn't absolutely love the book, but partly positive in that this book has a definitive and solid ending -- it's not "part 1 of 3" to the point where you're left with a pile of unanswered questions and unclosed plotlines. Some excellent things here: loved the idea of the "Irwins" (named for Steve Irwin) who go do stupid things to zombies on film; liked the website and blog ratings tracking, and the way the website and its blogs were maintained and approached; loved, loved the brother-sister dynamic here. However, while there were some surprises both small and large, there was much to be found both predictable and at times awkward from the midway point forward.
Writing varies from monotonous to pretty good. Seems like the author spent a lot more time on some scenes than others. The "...and then a few weeks passed" plot device is used with astonishing frequency. Able to keep your interest til the end even if it doesn't blow you away.
Saw another review that described it as "porn for bloggers" which I think is a fairly apt statement. Defiantly a little over the top in the blogger power fantasy department, especially near the beginning.
The suspense is quite real in some areas, but not all the time. So much of the foreshadowing of the book is so blatant that you're rarely (if ever) ever completely surprised.
The narration is absolutely awful. While the main narrators speech impediment didn't bother me as much as it did some reviewers, the accents she attempts for some of the characters sound so much like someone doing a satire that it breaks any atmosphere or suspense. Also, if you have two narrators, you can have them both doing all the characters, it's confusing, especially when both attempt accents and fail terribly, but fail terribly in very different ways so one character has about seven different voices.
If you can get past the narration issues, you could do a lot worse in a novel. I don't think it's going to make any critical acclaim, but it's not bad. If bad narration bothers you, maybe pick up a text version.
This book did not work for me. I feel that the characters acted very juvenile for their age. They were supposed in their 20s. The plot does not hold any surprises; there’s not much character growth. I’m not impressed with the first book of this trilogy.
the first book of the Newsflesh trilogy is certainly not your average zombie novel. the apocalypse has already happened and not only has society mostly survived the way it was before but Starbucks and presidential campaign have proven that their immortality by surviving the end of the world. The book has a mystery subplot but often seems to detail how the world has changed from the eyes of a blogger. The characters are interesting and coherent and the plot is definitely for anyone that wants something more than headshots with their living dead but the entire book is hampered by the bad voice acting and repeated repetitveness. our intrepid female protagonist will spend a good portion of the plot reminding you over and over that she needs sunglasses to see or that her brother likes "poking dead things with a stick" or that most of society is so scared of being attacked by zombies that they consider eating outside akin base jumping without a bungie cord attached to your leg. This happens so much you would think the author was filling up the story with fluff just to make it longer. The narrator doesn't help the story either. The main female protagonist is supposed to be 25 but the narrator gives her the voice of a teenager still in highschool while her also 25 year old brother sounds like a cross between a frat boy and a teenager whose voice is cracking. Both faults often forced me to break up the story just so I didn't slam my head into my desk
"Zombies in the news"
I'm a fan of zombie books, and very much enjoyed this one. Being written from the point of view of the press, rather than some hapless survivor being constantly chased by the undead was a nice change of pace.
The characters were well read and interesting.
Great for Zombie fans, but don't expect to much chasing and shooting.
"Journalism after the zombie rising"
This is one of those titles I added to the wishlist and then forgot why. I almost removed it but I am very pleased I did not. I did find the accents slightly irritating (perhaps a personal foible) but the story and characters make up for them.
The story is primarily that of political intrigue/conspiracy in a US Presidential election and more particularly a group of young journalists covering, or uncovering, it. That it is set in world where zombies now exist gives it an extra dimension.
I will certainly be looking out for the next book in the series.
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