by Mira Grant
May 1, 2010
Purchased my Copy
Synopsis (from publisher): In 2014, two experimental viruses—a genetically engineered flu strain designed by Dr. Alexander Kellis, intended to act as a cure for the common cold, and a cancer-killing strain of Marburg, known as "Marburg Amberlee"—escaped the lab and combined to form a single airborne pathogen that swept around the world in a matter of days. It cured cancer. It stopped a thousand cold and flu viruses in their tracks.
It raised the dead.
Millions died in the chaos that followed. The summer of 2014 was dubbed "The Rising," and only the lessons learned from a thousand zombie movies allowed mankind to survive. Even then, the world was changed forever. The mainstream media fell, Internet news acquired an undeniable new legitimacy, and the CDC rose to a new level of power.
Set twenty years after the Rising, the Newsflesh trilogy follows a team of bloggers, led by Georgia and Shaun Mason, as they search for the brutal truths behind the infection. Danger, deceit, and betrayal lurk around every corner, as does the hardest question of them all:
When will you rise?
This is simply the best book I've read in ages. I'd recommend it to anyone interested in a zombie story, political thriller, murder mystery, virology story or all of the above.
It is very definitely a zombie book, and I don't advise reading it at night. Or in rooms with large picture windows that will give you nightmares later...or maybe that's just me. One of the quirks of this particular type of zombie is that since it's caused by a virus, everyone will become a zombie once they die. And by everyone, I mean every mammal over 40 lbs. So we have zombie deer, zombie giraffes, and zombie raccoons as well as Grandpa keeling over from a heart attack and suddenly wanting to eat your brains. Creepy, yes.
Our trio of main characters are bloggers chosen to follow the presidential campaign of Peter Ryman, the good Senator from Wisconsin. The politics aren't always the most sophisticated, but the possible political landscape of a post-zombie United States is incredibly interesting.
The politics are fun, but the characters give Feed its heart. Georgia Mason - head blogger of After the End Times - narrates most of the book with input from her brother Shaun. I've a soft spot for siblings in literature, but the Masons are an amazing pair while Georgia herself is one of my favourite characters ever. The third main character Georgette Meissonier calls herself 'Buffy' because she's "cute, blonde, and it's the end of the world." It's excellent, and Buffy's another beautifully drawn character.
No overt romance for romance fans, but the friendships and interpersonal relations more than make up that. The plot starts out with a bang, does a good deal of necessary world-building and then has a long, suspenseful build to a worthy climax. I cried more than once.