… the zombie outbreak of 2014? Mira Grant’s* Feed** shows us what the world is like twenty-five years after the initial outbreak. Humans have survived, but so have zombies. People live with the knowledge that when they die, they will become zombies. Any person who is bitten by a zombie or come into contact with its blood will become a zombie. Any mammal over a certain size has the potential to become a zombie – your pets, the cow that became your steak – everything. However, life goes on, and people learn to live with the fears and the restrictions. 2040 is an election year, and a trio of bloggers has been chosen to be part of the press corps for a presidential contender. Blogging is gaining ground as a legitimate, respected source of news and information, but this will take it to a whole new level. For three bloggers in their 20s, part of the generation that has always had zombies as part of their world, this is the chance of a lifetime. However, politics is a dirty game, and some people will stop at nothing to get what they want.
Feed is an incredible story, filled with action, politics, and horror. Ms Grant does an amazing job of building a realistic world. She puts in careful details about how zombies would affect life, from eating out to the news to public gatherings. For a zombie novel, there is very little gore. The horror in Feed is far more psychological, and ultimately more terrifying. Although this is intended as the first in a series, it stands alone very well. You really get to know and empathize with the characters as they travel through the campaign trail, sharing their world with us through blog posts as well as the narration.
This is not a feel-good novel. It may make you think. It may make you look at our current world and wonder whether something similar to this could happen here, now, to us. Feed has one of the most realistic future worlds and some of the most believable characters I have read in years. I cried for most of the last five chapters of this book, and I can’t wait for the sequel.
* Mira Grant also writes very good urban fantasies as Seanan McGuire.
** The second book in the Newsflesh trilogy is Deadline.
Reviewed by Fran (staff)