Monday, January 10, 2011

Book Review - Feed by Mira Grant



Mira Grant

Orbit (2010)

Mass Market Paperback

608 pages

I’d like to make one thing perfectly clear… I love zombie books. Always have, always will. Zombie movies? Not so much. Walking Dead? Twelve thumbs up. (‘Cause, you know, zombies need lots of finger food.) Seriously though… I have, in the past few months, read and reviewed two other zombie books: The Passage by Patrick Cronin and The Reapers Are the Angels by Alden Bell. All are well written and received high marks from me. Feed may well be the best of them.

As a long-time blogger I found my interest piqued by a number of the concepts covered in Feed. First, and perhaps last, make no mistake, this is a damn good zombie book. Maybe one of the best I’ve ever encountered. Especially those scenes when the zombies are on the attack. Grant understands on a base level what it must feel like to live in the middle of a zombie invasion and all the harsh realities that might go with it. But Feed is so much more than a simple horror genre novel. Here is what really got me thinking about the intricacies below the surface of the narrative. When the zombapocalypse occurs blogging, for obvious reasons, has become the standard form of journalism across the world. People are afraid to leave their homes but have news to impart. What do you do? Post it to your blog-site, that’s what. This, to me, is an intriguing concept. Will the world be forced to go viral when it all, well, goes viral? In other words, what changes would a near-future, world-wide natural or unnatural disaster cause us to make? Would the way we deliver and receive our news change? Probably so, and that makes this not only a zombie novel but social commentary, as well. Whether it was designed as such makes no difference. It was enough to get me thinking about what other changes might occur after a world-wide disaster. Farming and food distribution? Gun training and safety? Medical evaluation in the field? These ideas, and many more are explored by Grant and with a unique and creative eye. So, if you are interested in a zombie story with benefits, then this is it.

Feed could, in many respects, be a book that you don’t discuss in polite company. You know, politics, religion, and zombies. But here’s the thing, the book really isn’t about zombies at all (notice the flip-flop waffling from my first paragraph.) It’s about political intrigue and religious zealots. It’s about good and evil. It’s about mankind’s folly and unimaginable plague. It’s about science and our ignorance of same. It’s about the evolution of gun control and journalism. And it’s about struggle and survival. Yes, there are zombies in this book but there is oh, so much more. If you’ve read and liked my other 4 star rated and reviewed books then do yourself a favor and read Feed. You won’t be disappointed.

My one and only complaint? [Spoiler Alert – Avert your eyes now!] Ms. Grant, why did you feel the need to kill off Georgia? It’s a waste of a great character, in my estimation, and a dreadful loss to the series. [Spoiler Alert off!] When an intriguing and well-written central character is lost in the first book of a trilogy one can only hope that the plans for better, larger-than-life characters to replace them are in the pipeline. If that’s the case then we’re all in for one hell of a ride and my objection becomes moot.

Feed is the first book in the Newsflesh trilogy which includes Feed, Deadline, and Blackout with book two, Deadline, scheduled for release in May of this year and book three, Blackout, scheduled for release in May of 2012.

4 ½ stars out of 5

The Alternative

Southeast Wisconsin


Q. What did the zombie say to his friend while they were slurping down clown brains?

A. Does this taste funny to you?

Additional reading:

Mira Grant Author site

Seanan McGuire Author site

The FeedBook review

Author Wikipedia site

Author’s Livejournal blog site

Author profile

Google Books excerpt of Feed


Coming soon!

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