Feed (Newsflesh, Book 1)

It took me a while to get into zombies. As far as monsters went, I just couldn’t find them as interesting as vampires, werewolves, witches and the like. Then came The Walking Dead and somehow I got hooked onto that show, and have been a little more open to the concept ever since.

To be honest, though, I wasn’t sure how well I’d get along with the idea in literary format. There’s just something about them that makes me think you need to be able to see the blood flying, the rotting flesh, and those hungry eyes.

I picked up Feed, though, by Mira Grant in a stage of wanting to read something that was post-apocalyptic, rather than specifically zombies. The concept intrigued me, though, as I read the back.

See, Feed did something that was new to me – I’m assuming Grant isn’t the first author to come up with the idea of civilization managing to survive through a zombie apocalypse, but it was the first time I’d seen the idea. So when the blurb told me that the main characters were bloggers, I was kind of curious, even the fact that civilization had survived the zombie uprising went slightly against my original aim of post-apocalypse.

The truth is, Feed isn’t a zombie novel. There are zombies in it, sure, but first and foremost it’s a political thriller, where our two protagonists are bloggers, who’ve grown up in a world where zombies are just another part of life. On the plus side, they don’t have cancer any more. So here’s my first question: Was it worth it?

I’d probably say yes, but since I started watching The Walking Dead I’ve become somewhat of a zombie apocalypse fan. I’d be one of those people who can’t quite bring themselves to be scared about the rising of the undead, mainly because I would be too excited. Others? Well, let me know – would you rather be worried about dying from cancer, or zombies?

Georgia and Shaun, our intrepid bloggers, live in a world where blogs tell as much of the news as news sites. The world’s become one where you always have to have your blood tested for zombie infection. I mean, always. Grant goes into great depth and detail of reminding us over and over that these guys have to get their blood tested pretty much every time they walk through any door. I can understand some readers being annoyed by this, but it’s a reality of the characters’ lives, and Grant manages to drag the reader in on the monotony of this safety obsession in this world.

Like I said, this is a political thriller that just happens to have zombies in it. Kind of like The Walking Dead is a soap opera that just happens to have zombies in it as well. Georgia and Shaun find themselves on the trail of a presidential campaign, and things get… Complicated.

Ultimately, the book might be a shade longer than it really needs to be. Grant’s continual return to the blood tests didn’t bother me too much, because it helps to pain the scenario of the world they live in, but there are other things that we don’t need to be reminded about every few chapters.

The biggest thing it has going for it, is that it keeps you turning the pages. I found the characters interesting, if lacking a little bit of depth, and the story itself is paced well – if just a shade slow at times. These things said, the story still dragged me in. I fell for the characters, and their story, and I wanted to yell at the author on at least two occasions, which I always take as a great sign because it’s gotten me emotionally involved in the story.

This isn’t a zombie novel to pick up if you’re just after a fairly shallow story filled with gore, guts and action. It is a zombie novel to pick up, though, if you like twists, turns, and a bit of politics thrown into your thriller.

All up: 3.5/5 Quills.

Buy Feed on Kindle at Amazon.com