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, twenty 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.
FEED is the electrifying and critically acclaimed novel of a world a half-step from our own—a novel of geeks, zombies, politics and social media.
“I don’t think you’re a paranoid freak anymore.”
This is a damn good book. If I liked zombie stories, I would be over the moon for it. It is really very good. Thing is, I just don’t really care about zombie stories! Why am I reading this, you may ask? I have read pretty much everything else Seanan McGuire has written, it was time to read this! Despite not really caring for zombies, I could still see how well this was written and how good a tale this was.
Feed had the best start to a book I’ve read in quite so time. I was highly amused by the start. The entire book had moments where it amused the hell out of me, even. The way George and Shaun are written manages to intersperse moments of joyful exuberance along with all the horrors that are happening throughout the book. It is really well done. The start though was a perfect way to start this book and this series, though.
Zombies really only have two ways of being told. No one knows what happened, but there are zombies, or something we know happened and there are zombies. Newsflesh falls in the second camp. I really prefer this method of zombies more than the first, and this isn’t an exception. I like the backstory for how they come about. I like the explanations on how they function. They actually know a lot about the zombies, just not how to cure them. It has been 20 years since the outbreak first occurred, so this isn’t an outbreak story, also in Newsflesh’s favour. They know how to detect, they have formed their societies around the fact that zombies exist and they can detect them. It is interesting.
Another interesting part to Feed is that we follow what are essentially journalists. Only they’re bloggers because people now trust bloggers more than they trust journalists. I felt this was a bit heavy-handed and weirdly exalted to be perfectly honest. However, I enjoyed the fact that they are journalists dedicated to telling a story. And that story is following a presidential candidate through their election campaign. Writing this in 2018 I’m a bit tired of this all, and I probably should have looked what this was about before I started reading this. However, it is incredibly interesting and this combination isn’t actually something I’ve seen done before like this.
About midway through the book, I wrote a note saying that I hope one of the characters was the villain. I was wrong. I still wish he was the villain though. Unfortunately, in the worst aspect of this book, the villain is painfully obvious. There isn’t any big surprise. By the time he is revealed, you know it has to be him. Other reasons saved the ending of this book from being meh, but it wasn’t the villain.
Up to this point, I’ve read almost everything else by Seanan McGuire except her Mira Grant stuff. I can see how early this is in her writing career. There are a lot of similarities in the way this is written compared to the way October Daye is written, a level of similarity I don’t see in anything else she has written. This is the first time I’ve felt that the main character wasn’t exactly unique by Seanan.
That said, I really enjoyed the main characters, George and Shaun. George is a bit high strung, and her devotion to her job is a bit weird. Shaun is much less grounded in the fact that he could die at any moment if he keeps poking dead things with sticks. Together, the two create a dream pair. The way they work together, being able to cover for the other’s faults, being able to find comfort in the mere existence of the other? Perfect.
The level of codependency between these two are unreal, though. It adds a lot to the story. I love it. They aren’t lovers, they’re brother and sister. They don’t want anyone else in their life to mess that up. They would happily live their lives without anyone else in it. They have friends, though, and they can make new friends. As long as that doesn’t try to come between them. The world supports this idea of codependency, though. People no longer go out and do things and meet people. When you find someone you can rely on, that is it, you’re set.
The secondary characters are quite good, too. They all add something different to the story and they’re all necessary. I really like a lot of them, even the one I hoped was going to be the villain. They all feel like people. It would be easy to forget about most of the other characters when you have a duo like George and Shaun. Yet, they secondary characters are not forgotten about.
I…did not expect this ending. Perhaps I should. Yet, I didn’t. I won’t spoil it. I refuse to spoil it. Just..damn.
An alternate ending to Feed that can be found on Orbit’s website.
I can’t say anything without spoilers. I just can’t. Just… You have to read this if you read Feed. You just have to. There isn’t a lot that is new. Just everything is new.
To read more reviews for this series, check out the Newsflesh series page!