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 owna novel of geeks, zombies, politics and social media.
For more from Mira Grant, check out:
Newsflesh Short Fiction
Apocalypse Scenario #683: The Box
San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats
How Green This Land, How Blue This Sea
The Day the Dead Came to Show and Tell
Please Do Not Taunt the Octopus
About the Author
Mira Grant lives in California, sleeps with a machete under her bed, and highly suggests you do the same. Mira Grant is the pseudonym of Seanan McGuire winner of the 2010 John W. Campbell Award for best new writer. Find out more about the author at www.miragrant.com or follow her on twitter @seananmcguire.
Read an Excerpt
By Grant, Mira
OrbitCopyright © 2010 Grant, Mira
All right reserved.
You can’t kill the truth.
Nothing is impossible to kill. It’s just that sometimes after you kill something, you have to keep shooting it until it stops moving. And that’s really sort of neat when you stop to think about it.
Everyone has someone on the Wall.
No matter how remote you may think you are from the events that changed the world during the brutal summer of 2014, you have someone on the Wall. Maybe they’re a cousin, maybe they’re an old family friend, or maybe they’re just somebody you saw on TV once, but they’re yours. They belong to you. They died to make sure that you could sit in your safe little house behind your safe little walls, watching the words of one jaded twenty-two-year-old journalist go scrolling across your computer screen. Think about that for a moment. They died for you.
Now take a good look at the life you’re living and tell me: Did they do the right thing?
—From Images May Disturb You, the blog of Georgia Mason, May 16, 2039
Our story opens where countless stories have ended in the last twenty-six years: with an idiot—in this case, my brother Shaun—deciding it would be a good idea to go out and poke a zombie with a stick to see what happens. As if we didn’t already know what happens when you mess with a zombie: The zombie turns around and bites you, and you become the thing you poked. This isn’t a surprise. It hasn’t been a surprise for more than twenty years, and if you want to get technical, it wasn’t a surprise then.
When the infected first appeared—heralded by screams that the dead were rising and judgment day was at hand—they behaved just like the horror movies had been telling us for decades that they would behave. The only surprise was that this time, it was really happening.
There was no warning before the outbreaks began. One day, things were normal; the next, people who were supposedly dead were getting up and attacking anything that came into range. This was upsetting for everyone involved, except for the infected, who were past being upset about that sort of thing. The initial shock was followed by running and screaming, which eventually devolved into more infection and attacking, that being the way of things. So what do we have now, in this enlightened age twenty-six years after the Rising? We have idiots prodding zombies with sticks, which brings us full circle to my brother and why he probably won’t live a long and fulfilling life.
“Hey, George, check this out!” he shouted, giving the zombie another poke in the chest with his hockey stick. The zombie gave a low moan, swiping at him ineffectually. It had obviously been in a state of full viral amplification for some time and didn’t have the strength or physical dexterity left to knock the stick out of Shaun’s hands. I’ll give Shaun this much: He knows not to bother the fresh ones at close range. “We’re playing patty-cake!”
“Stop antagonizing the locals and get back on the bike,” I said, glaring from behind my sunglasses. His current buddy might be sick enough to be nearing its second, final death, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t a healthier pack roaming the area. Santa Cruz is zombie territory. You don’t go there unless you’re suicidal, stupid, or both. There are times when even I can’t guess which of those options applies to Shaun.
“Can’t talk right now! I’m busy making friends with the locals!”
“Shaun Phillip Mason, you get back on this bike right now, or I swear to God, I am going to drive away and leave you here.”
Shaun looked around, eyes bright with sudden interest as he planted the end of his hockey stick at the center of the zombie’s chest to keep it at a safe distance. “Really? You’d do that for me? Because ‘My Sister Abandoned Me in Zombie Country Without a Vehicle’ would make a great article.”
“A posthumous one, maybe,” I snapped. “Get back on the goddamn bike!”
“In a minute!” he said, laughing, and turned back toward his moaning friend.
In retrospect, that’s when everything started going wrong.
The pack had probably been stalking us since before we hit the city limits, gathering reinforcements from all over the county as they approached. Packs of infected get smarter and more dangerous the larger they become. Groups of four or less are barely a threat unless they can corner you, but a pack of twenty or more stands a good chance of breaching any barrier the uninfected try to put up. You get enough of the infected together and they’ll start displaying pack hunting techniques; they’ll start using actual tactics. It’s like the virus that’s taken them over starts to reason when it gets enough hosts in the same place. It’s scary as hell, and it’s just about the worst nightmare of anyone who regularly goes into zombie territory—getting cornered by a large group that knows the land better than you do.
These zombies knew the land better than we did, and even the most malnourished and virus-ridden pack knows how to lay an ambush. A low moan echoed from all sides, and then they were shambling into the open, some moving with the slow lurch of the long infected, others moving at something close to a run. The runners led the pack, cutting off three of the remaining methods of escape before there was time to do more than stare. I looked at them and shuddered.
Fresh infected—really fresh ones—still look almost like the people that they used to be. Their faces show emotion, and they move with a jerkiness that could just mean they slept wrong the night before. It’s harder to kill something that still looks like a person, and worst of all, the bastards are fast. The only thing more dangerous than a fresh zombie is a pack of them, and I counted at least eighteen before I realized that it didn’t matter, and stopped bothering.
I grabbed my helmet and shoved it on without fastening the strap. If the bike went down, dying because my helmet didn’t stay on would be one of the better options. I’d reanimate, but at least I wouldn’t be aware of it. “Shaun!”
Shaun whipped around, staring at the emerging zombies. “Whoa.”
Unfortunately for Shaun, the addition of that many zombies had turned his buddy from a stupid solo into part of a thinking mob. The zombie grabbed the hockey stick as soon as Shaun’s attention was focused elsewhere, yanking it out of his hands. Shaun staggered forward and the zombie latched onto his cardigan, withered fingers locking down with deceptive strength. It hissed. I screamed, images of my inevitable future as an only child filling my mind.
“Shaun!” One bite and things would get a lot worse. There’s not much worse than being cornered by a pack of zombies in downtown Santa Cruz. Losing Shaun would qualify.
The fact that my brother convinced me to take a dirt bike into zombie territory doesn’t make me an idiot. I was wearing full off-road body armor, including a leather jacket with steel armor joints attached at the elbows and shoulders, a Kevlar vest, motorcycling pants with hip and knee protectors, and calf-high riding boots. It’s bulky as hell, and I don’t care, because once you factor in my gloves, my throat’s the only target I present in the field.
Shaun, on the other hand, is a moron and had gone zombie baiting in nothing more defensive than a cardigan, a Kevlar vest, and cargo pants. He won’t even wear goggles—he says they “spoil the effect.” Unprotected mucous membranes can spoil a hell of a lot more than that, but I practically have to blackmail him to get him into the Kevlar. Goggles are a nonstarter.
There’s one advantage to wearing a sweater in the field, no matter how idiotic I think it is: wool tears. Shaun ripped himself free and turned, running for the motorcycle with great speed, which is really the only effective weapon we have against the infected. Not even the fresh ones can keep up with an uninfected human over a short sprint. We have speed, and we have bullets. Everything else about this fight is in their favor.
“Shit, George, we’ve got company!” There was a perverse mixture of horror and delight in his tone. “Look at ’em all!”
“I’m looking! Now get on!”
I kicked us free as soon as he had his leg over the back of the bike and his arm around my waist. The bike leapt forward, tires bouncing and shuddering across the broken ground as I steered us into a wide curve. We needed to get out of there, or all the protective gear in the world wouldn’t do us a damn bit of good. I might live if the zombies caught up with us, but my brother would be dragged into the mob. I gunned the throttle, praying that God had time to preserve the life of the clinically suicidal.
We hit the last open route out of the square at twenty miles an hour, still gathering speed. Whooping, Shaun locked one arm around my waist and twisted to face the zombies, waving and blowing kisses in their direction. If it were possible to enrage a mob of the infected, he’d have managed it. As it was, they just moaned and kept following, arms extended toward the promise of fresh meat.
The road was pitted from years of weather damage without maintenance. I fought to keep control as we bounced from pothole to pothole. “Hold on, you idiot!”
“I’m holding on!” Shaun called back, seeming happy as a clam and oblivious to the fact that people who don’t follow proper safety procedures around zombies—like not winding up around zombies in the first place—tend to wind up in the obituaries.
“Hold on with both arms!” The moaning was only coming from three sides now, but it didn’t mean anything; a pack this size was almost certainly smart enough to establish an ambush. I could be driving straight to the site of greatest concentration. They’d moan in the end, once we were right on top of them. No zombie can resist a good moan when dinner’s at hand. The fact that I could hear them over the engine meant that there were too many, too close. If we were lucky, it wasn’t already too late to get away.
Of course, if we were lucky, we wouldn’t be getting chased by an army of zombies through the quarantine area that used to be downtown Santa Cruz. We’d be somewhere safer, like Bikini Atoll just before the bomb testing kicked off. Once you decide to ignore the hazard rating and the signs saying Danger: Infection, you’re on your own.
Shaun grudgingly slid his other arm around my waist and linked his hands at the pit of my stomach, shouting, “Spoilsport,” as he settled.
I snorted and hit the gas again, aiming for a nearby hill. When you’re being chased by zombies, hills are either your best friends or your burial ground. The slope slows them down, which is great, unless you hit the peak and find out that you’re surrounded, with nowhere left to run to.
Idiot or not, Shaun knows the rules about zombies and hills. He’s not as dumb as he pretends to be, and he knows more about surviving zombie encounters than I do. His grip on my waist tightened, and for the first time, there was actual concern in his voice as he shouted, “George? What do you think you’re doing?”
“Hold, on,” I said. Then we were rolling up the hill, bringing more zombies stumbling out of their hiding places behind trash cans and in the spaces between the once-elegant beachfront houses that were now settling into a state of neglected decay.
Most of California was reclaimed after the Rising, but no one has ever managed to take back Santa Cruz. The geographical isolation that once made the town so desirable as a vacation spot pretty much damned it when the virus hit. Kellis-Amberlee may be unique in the way it interacts with the human body, but it behaves just like every other communicable disease known to man in at least one way: Put it on a school campus and it spreads like wildfire. U.C. Santa Cruz was a perfect breeding ground, and once all those perky co-eds became the shuffling infected, it was all over but the evacuation notices.
“Georgia, this is a hill!” he said with increasing urgency as the locals lunged toward the speeding bike. He was using my proper name; that was how I could tell he was worried. I’m only “Georgia” when he’s unhappy.
“I got that.” I hunched over to decrease wind resistance a few more precious degrees. Shaun mimicked the motion automatically, hunching down behind me.
“Why are we going up a hill?” he demanded. There was no way he’d be able to hear my answer over the combined roaring of the engine and the wind, but that’s my brother, always willing to question that which won’t talk back.
“Ever wonder how the Wright brothers felt?” I asked. The crest of the hill was in view. From the way the street vanished on the other side, it was probably a pretty steep drop. The moaning was coming from all sides now, so distorted by the wind that I had no real idea what we were driving into. Maybe it was a trap; maybe it wasn’t. Either way, it was too late to find another path. We were committed, and for once, Shaun was the one sweating.
“Hold on!” Ten yards. The zombies kept closing, single-minded in their pursuit of what might be the first fresh meat some had seen in years. From the looks of most of them, the zombie problem in Santa Cruz was decaying faster than it was rebuilding itself. Sure, there were plenty of fresh ones—there are always fresh ones because there are always idiots who wander into quarantined zones, either willingly or by mistake, and the average hitchhiker doesn’t get lucky where zombies are concerned—but we’ll take the city back in another three generations. Just not today.
Zombies hunt by moving toward the sound of other zombies hunting. It’s recursive, and that meant our friends at the base of the hill started for the peak when they heard the commotion. I was hoping so many of the locals had been cutting us off at ground level that they wouldn’t have many bodies left to mount an offensive on the hill’s far side. We weren’t supposed to make it that far, after all; the only thing keeping us alive was the fact that we had a motorcycle and the zombies didn’t.
I glimpsed the mob waiting for us as we reached the top. They were standing no more than three deep. Fifteen feet would see us clear.
It’s amazing what you can use for a ramp, given the right motivation. Someone’s collapsed fence was blocking half the road, jutting up at an angle, and I hit it at about fifty miles an hour. The handlebars shuddered in my hands like the horns of a mechanical bull, and the shocks weren’t doing much better. I didn’t even have to check the road in front of us because the moaning started as soon as we came into view. They’d blocked our exit fairly well while Shaun played with his little friend, and mindless plague carriers or not, they had a better grasp of the local geography than we did. We still had one advantage: Zombies aren’t good at predicting suicide charges. And if there’s a better term for driving up the side of a hill at fifty miles an hour with the goal of actually achieving flight when you run out of “up,” I don’t think I want to hear it.
The front wheel rose smoothly and the back followed, sending us into the air with a jerk that looked effortless and was actually scarier than hell. I was screaming. Shaun was whooping with gleeful understanding. And then everything was in the hands of gravity, which has never had much love for the terminally stupid. We hung in the air for a heart-stopping moment, still shooting forward. At least I was fairly sure the impact would kill us.
The laws of physics and the hours of work I’ve put into constructing and maintaining my bike combined to let the universe, for once, show mercy. We soared over the zombies, coming down on one of the few remaining stretches of smooth road with a bone-bruising jerk that nearly ripped the handlebars out of my grip. The front wheel went light on impact, trying to rise up, and I screamed, half terrified, half furious with Shaun for getting us into this situation in the first place. The handlebars shuddered harder, almost wrenching my arms out of their sockets before I hit the gas and forced the wheel back down. I’d pay for this in the morning, and not just with the repair bills.
Not that it mattered. We were on level ground, we were upright, and there was no moaning ahead. I hit the gas harder as we sped toward the outskirts of town, with Shaun whooping and cheering behind me like a big suicidal freak.
“Asshole,” I muttered, and drove on.
News is news and spin is spin, and when you introduce the second to the first, what you have isn’t news anymore. Hey, presto, you’ve created opinion.
Don’t get me wrong, opinion is powerful. Being able to be presented with differing opinions on the same issue is one of the glories of a free media, and it should make people stop and think. But a lot of people don’t want to. They don’t want to admit that whatever line being touted by their idol of the moment might not be unbiased and without ulterior motive. We’ve got people who claim Kellis-Amberlee was a plot by the Jews, the gays, the Middle East, even a branch of the Aryan Nation trying to achieve racial purity by killing the rest of us. Whoever orchestrated the creation and release of the virus masked their involvement with a conspiracy of Machiavellian proportions, and now they and their followers are sitting it out, peacefully immunized, waiting for the end of the world.
Pardon the expression, but I can smell the bullshit from here. Conspiracy? Cover up? I’m sure there are groups out there crazy enough to think killing thirty-two percent of the world’s population in a single summer is a good idea—and remember, that’s a conservative estimate, since we’ve never gotten accurate death tolls out of Africa, Asia, or parts of South America—but are any of them nuts enough to do it by turning what used to be Grandma loose to chew on people at random? Zombies don’t respect conspiracy. Conspiracy is for the living.
This piece is opinion. Take it as you will. But get your opinions the hell away from my news.
—From Images May Disturb You, the blog of Georgia Mason, September 3, 2039
Zombies are pretty harmless as long as you treat them with respect. Some people say you should pity the zombie, empathize with the zombie, but I think they? Are likely to become the zombie, if you get my meaning. Don’t feel sorry for the zombie. The zombie’s not going to feel sorry for you when he starts gnawing on your head. Sorry, dude, but not even my sister gets to know me that well.
If you want to deal with zombies, stay away from the teeth, don’t let them scratch you, keep your hair short, and don’t wear loose clothes. It’s that simple. Making it more complicated would be boring, and who wants that? We have what basically amounts to walking corpses, dude.
Don’t suck all the fun out of it.
—From Hail to the King, the blog of Shaun Mason, January 2, 2039
Excerpted from Feed by Grant, Mira Copyright © 2010 by Grant, Mira. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Short version: Overall a pretty good read (characters & plot pretty good); I enjoyed it, and it kept my interest. I would recommend it to people interested in zombies (as those depicted in popular zombie movies). If you don't like the classic zombies or are looking for a smarter or more intriguing depiction of zombies, you might find this book lacking a bit in that area though. Long Version: I bought this book as a random selection after browsing the B&N shelves for about 15 minutes. I like zombies, so I figured this book was worth a shot. I was surprised it is such a new release for being a random pick on my part. Overall I liked this book and was pleasantly surprised that it kept my attention and had interesting characters. I enjoyed the dynamic between the two main characters, Georgia and Shaun, although I couldn't quite identify with their closeness to one another. The other characters through out the book are interesting and well-created. The book starts off great, but then became a little slow-going right after that for a short bit; it picked up nicely after that lull period though to produce an interesting story with some drama and thrill. Overall though a pretty good pace throughout the book to keep interest, especially in the second half. The only negatives I can comment on are that the writing style was a little repetitive at times, but only barely. A couple of the action scenes were introduced the same way, with something like "I only barely had time to do whatever before the gun shots started". Not a big deal though. I did kind of roll my eyes at the George Romero parts in the book, but I guess that's just the author's nod to zombie pop culture. If you like zombies, you know who he is, but I was hoping this book was at least going to provide a new spin on zombies. It didn't so much though, so I guess that's why I felt this book was slightly juvenile and less smart and savvy than I wanted it to be. Lastly, I read the tidbits of the second book "Blackout", and I was a little put off by the amount of f-bombs dropped within the first few pages of that book. I recognize it's based around a different character than the first book, but still I thought "Feed" was tasteful with the profanity, where as I don't know if "Blackout" will show the same tact. The language issue though is just a personal preference kind of thing.
If you are looking for a typical zombie novel this isn't it. If you are looking for post-apacolyptic this isn't it either. For these reasons I was somewhat disappointed in the book. As others have pointed out it is a slow read, particularly in the beginning. In Feed, there is a different take on the post-zombie world that really didn't do enough for my zombie tastes. There is very little actual zombie in the book and very little struggle against zombies. In this post-zombie world there is electricity, running water, airplanes, and basically all other advanced technology you can think of and many you can't as it is a much more advanced time technologically speaking. People basically just "live" with zombies being out there somewhere on the other side of the electric fences. People still go to work everyday, go out to dinner, etc living very much as they did before with some expected differences. Virtually the only true threat is from people using the virus as a weapon or other living people dying around or near you because in this book anyone who dies can/will become a zombie. Basically the virus is dormant in all living mammals of a certain size and can be triggered by certain biological events. Most of the book is centered around making sure you aren't actively infected by requiring a blood test to do anything or go anywhere. So basically zombies and the post-zombie world are just a back drop for what could be called a thriller novel about the media and the evil right-wing politicos. But a horror novel about zombies it is not which is why I was disappointed with it. Overall it is an interesting premise about censorship of the media and politics and zombies but did not have enough violence, mayhem, horror, or zombie for me. However, it did interest me enough that I will likely finish out the series but with a more realistic and different expectation of what I will read.
Contrary to what one may think, Feed is not about zombies. To borrow a phrase from the novel itself, the zombies are there, but they’re not the story. Instead, the story crafted is a gripping thriller, a chilling tale of bioterrorism, corruption, humanity, and most importantly, the fight for truth and the sacrifices necessary to achieve it. Mira Grant (Seanan McGuire) has created a masterpiece that aspires to many facets of greatness and successfully hits the mark in each case. Witty, heartfelt and relevant, Feed is one novel you won’t regret picking up.
This book is a great murder mystery book in a world filled with zombies. Well written with great characters and engaging dialogue. That said, this book isn't for everyone -- if you're expecting a book strictly about zombie survival, this may not be for you.
A weird hybrid of campaign history, memoir, and zombie thriller, Feed didn't take off for me until the second half. But when it did take off, I was fully engaged. Worth reading, with some unexpected turns along the way.
This is one incredible book. It's one of the best I have read in years, and it completely took me over. I ended up reading until way too late -- it was almost impossible to stop. And who would have believed that someone could make zombies real? Both a realistic reason for their existence, and the terrible realities tha they would have brought to daily life -- these sit as background to the story itself as we follow a new kind of presidential campaign. Good stuff, folks. As soon as I finished it I was online for volume 2.
Slow until midway. Not about zombies but media culture.
After i first finished Feed, I thought it was a good book, certainly not great. Now that I have completed the trilogy, it is the perfect first book and sets the storyline nicely for Deadline and Blackout.
The zombie apocalypse has come and gone... and the world survived. Years later large tracts of the United States are still infested with zombies and vigilance is always necessary to watch out for outbreaks, but for the most part society has adjusted to the zombie threat. In this setting we follow a brother and sister blogging team who get the opportunity of a lifetime when they are selected to cover a Presidential campaign by one of the leading candidates. But all is not well in the campaign and an outbreak following a political rally seems more than just a case of bad luck. What follows is a tale of political intrigue, espionage and murder - with zombies as the murder weapons!Feed is an entertaining book, with a well-realized world and interesting protagonists. The actual story itself feels a little more long-winded than necessary and if the resolution of the story isn't entirely satisfying, its worth noting that this is the first in a trilogy. I'll be keeping an eye out for the next in the series.
This book.This book was in a word: amazing. I was sort of resistant to reading it because I didn't think that a book that combined blogging with politics was going to catch my interest. Boy was I wrong.I'll admit, I have a soft spot in my heart for zombies. I have a professional interest in viruses and diseases, and I sometimes get distracted when books get details about viruses and outbreaks wrong. This was not the case with this book; the world was crafted so thoughtfully that I couldn't help but be hooked. It started off a little slow, but it needed to so that there was a starting point to build tension and suspense throughout the whole of the book. I highly recommend this book if any part of it seems at all interesting to you.
The apocalypse has happened. Two viruses merge to raise hell...and the dead. As the average American retreats into their homes only the brave and stupid venture out into the world. Three bloggers have been selected to cover the election campaign of a rarity. An honest politician. What they discovery is a conspiracy to not only eliminate the Senator but to continue the fear that is keeping Americans cowering behind secure doors. This book is not really about the zombies though but with today's social ills and the idea that once the government has it's boot to your neck they are unlikely to let go. A very entertaining and thought provoking read.
Twenty-six years after the zombie apocalypse, a trio of bloggers hits the road to cover a presidential campaign. From that description, I had some expectations in my mind of what this novel would be like. I expected a certain level of zaniness, some sharp political satire, and a lot of fun zombie-fighting action. What it delivers, though, is something else entirely. To begin with, there's not a lot of zaniness. The whole zombie apocalypse idea is played completely straight. Or almost completely -- there are some elements of humor, and a definite sense that the author is perfectly well aware of zombies as a pop culture cliche and is willing to poke just a little bit of fun at it. (In a detail I find utterly delightful, George Romero is regarded as the savior of the human race because thanks to his movies people knew what to do when the dead actually started walking.) And I'd say there's more political commentary than actual satire. It's not incredibly sophisticated political commentary, perhaps, but it's not annoyingly preachy, either. As for zombie-fighting action, there is rather less than you might think, and it's mostly not fun at all. As would be the case, if zombies were in fact real.What it does have, though, is an also not terribly sophisticated but nevertheless surprisingly engaging political thriller plot, involving attacks centering on the presidential candidate. It also has some amazingly well thought out world-building. The details of the zombie-making plague are fairly original, even if the end results are perfectly familiar, and Grant displays some refreshing knowledge of how real diseases work. And the extrapolations of how society would evolve under the ever-present threat of a zombie outbreak are plausible, consistent, and interesting.Overall, I quite enjoyed it. I still wasn't entirely sure how interested I might be in reading the next book -- it's meant to be the first of a series -- but there are just enough unanswered questions at the end of this one that I think I'm going to have to.
I thought Seanan McGuire¿s urban fantasy books were fine, but I really like this new series. First is of course the title, twisted groanworthy genius that can be explained thusly: blogging the zombie apocalypse. It¿s a little more complicated than that, because our protagonists George and Shaun were born a while after the outbreak of the disease that reanimated corpses over forty pounds and killed a significant percentage of the world¿s population. Society has adapted with lots of security measures to keep zombies away from people, but everyone alive carries the virus in a dormant state and can convert if exposed to live converted virus; this makes for a lot of blood tests and self-imposed isolation. Adopted siblings George and Shaun and their sidekick Buffy are reporters/bloggers who go into danger zones; their team gets chosen to cover an exciting presidential campaign, but they quickly discover that someone doesn¿t want the candidate to win and is willing to weaponize zombies to do it. There¿s plenty of tension and horror, but I really enjoyed the worldbuilding (wondering about resource constraints aside): George is an engaging narrator and her black-and-white worldview isn¿t as grating as it would be in an older character; plus she¿s got this erotic codependency thing going on with Shaun. There is a bold twist 2/3 of the way through that I enjoyed a lot and didn¿t see coming. I look forward to the rest of the trilogy.
I was pleasantly surprised that this book lived up to all the reviews that it got. I'm looking forward to reading the next one.
Grant's fanfic writing origins are apparent. I can't believe that this had editors. It's fraught with structural flaws and bad storytelling that could have and should have been fixed before publishing, like the narrator change in the last 5% of the book. Storywise, Feed is Scooby Doo with the boring kind of zombies that have been done to death, without the cartoon fun or serious dark thrill of the Romero films referred to. Could have been a great read.
A fresh take on a post-apocalyptic world with zombies. I hate when I read something and go 'oh man why didn't I think of that?' The book is well-written and I actually cried at the end, though the end isn't really the end, as this is the first of a supposed trilogy.
Twenty years after the Rising, zombies have become a matter of fact. The danger exists in every facet of life, but is carefully managed by constant, government controlled quarantine and sterilization procedures. Georgia and Shaun Mason are two bloggers who go out into restricted areas to poke at zombies and get the news, which they bring back to their blogs. They seek the truth, as well as to increase the ranking of their blogging network. They soon have ample opportunity for both when they are assigned to follow the presidential campaign of an idealistic Senator. They also find a dangerous conspiracy, and figuring out the truth may just get them killed. While I thoroughly enjoy just a good old classic zombie story, I love it when an author presents a unique perspective on the genre. Mirra Grant (a pseudonym for [[Seanan McGuire]]) presents richly detailed world building with an emphasis on accurate virology that most writers ignore. The political atmosphere is thick with intrigue and secrecy and denials, and Georgia and Shaun have to wade their way through it to the truth.The main focus of FEED is the dangerous political mystery and espionage that the Masons uncover, but there is enough violence and gore and zombie survival to keep most zombie lovers happy. Between the tension of the conspiracy and the horror of zombies (of many species) tearing apart the living, FEED kept my heart pumping and my interest high. A really great, great book.
This book was stunningly, surprisingly fantastic.I know I'm going to have a hard time summing up what I loved about it, because the answer is a pretty thorough 'everything'. I'm a sucker for zombies, and I'm especially a sucker for post-apocalyptic lit, and I'm /especially/ a sucker for a really interesting post-apocalyptic world, so this book seems pretty much made for me. Because there are zombies (wonderfully, thoroughly thought out zombies), there was an apocalypse, and there is an amazing world post that apocalypse.But there is so much more.The general gist of this book is that we are set down in a world 25 years after the zombie rising. Humanity has survived. So did the zombies. In a world where a mass gathering can turn into a blood bath with a single infected present, people live in more and more isolation. And in a world where the mainstream media dismissed the apocalypse as a teenage hoax until thousands were dead, more and more trust has shifted to online bloggers. Our main character is a Newsie, dedicated to the truth, and she, along with her partners (brother Shaun and friend Buffy) win a gig trailing a potential Presidential nominee on the campaign trail. This in itself is a great story, but it gets even better when violence, environmental hazards, and high corruption enter the story. George, who believes in the truth above all else, who is intensely dedicated to the freedom of information, is faced with some hard choices.This book contains some of the most richly-drawn, interesting, flat-out-addictive characters I've encountered in awhile. Grant has an amazing way of drawing out personality in a matter of sentences, which means that even her secondary characters feel full and real. She also has a really fantastic touch with drawing out relationships. We see the story through George's eyes, but through her observant gaze we learn to adore her brother Shaun, to appreciate her partners, to be critical of the politicians she's reporting on. Her voice is engaging and sharp, a delight to listen to.It also contains a fantastic world, with details that sneak in without you ever noticing. I actually stopped at least twice in this novel to appreciate Grant's knack for choosing a setting or a background that would elaborate the world seamlessly while still driving plot. Important conversations happen over blood tests, celebrations take place in an outdoor restaurant considered dangerous by most of the zombie-fearful public, and mental musings over her job provide background on the political state of the country. She's deft, and every detail of her world is interesting. It is clear that Grant not only thought a lot about this world, but also has the skill to make us live in it.These two things alone probably would have carried the book far. Fortunately, Grant feeds us some pretty great plot, too. Stuff that has George, and us, asking what price we're willing to pay for freedom, what sacrifices are worth our safety, what is worth it, in the end. Stuff that has you on the edge of your seat. Stuff that will make you cry. Stuff that will make you angry.I've just finished this book - all 571 pages in one day - and I've almost convinced myself to go read it again. I liked it that much.
Possibly one of my favorite books I've read this year. It's not the best book, but it's so much fun that I don't really care. It's a zombie novel, but it's not just a zombie novel. Feed is about news. It's about the truth, about cover ups and about family and friends. I loved it and I cannot wait for the next book to be published.
At first blush, Feed is a clever zombie novel set in a time some 20 years after the outbreak of a virus that not only cures the common cold and cancer, but also turns infected dead into zombies. But it's not so much a zombie novel as it is an sf political thriller with zombies as background. Don't worry, there's plenty of the usual George Romero horror,but what really matters here is the plot, the characters. Feed is the first in a trilogy, but is easily read as a stand-alone book. Highly recommended, unless zombies just aren't your thing!
Feed is a glimpse into a future world that, zombie apocalypse aside, is frighteningly real. Approximately twenty five years after a viral plague caused by the combination of the cures for cancer and the common cold turned a large chunk of the population into carriers focused only on infecting and eating their friends and loved ones, the survivors have created a world that is bound by the iron rules of blood tests, contamination zones, and neverending, bone-deep fear. Part of the post-Rising generation, Georgia and Shaun Mason have grown up in a world where eating outside, large group gatherings, owning pets, and driving on interstate freeways are foreign and frightening. Selected as the official press corps of Presidential candidate Peter Ryman, the Masons and their co-blogger Buffy take to the campaign trail. But as the campaign is plagued with tragedy, they begin to suspect that it's more than just coincidence- and it could end up costing them their lives.Mira Grant manages to take a worn, familiar horror landscape and make it feel fresh, interesting, and thought provoking. More than just a description of life after the end of the world, Feed asks hard questions that are startlingly relevant to our time. How much freedom is too much to lose, in exchange for security? How does life lived in endless terror mark you as a person, and change society as a whole? What makes you human, and what is it all worth?Yeah, Feed is zombie-lit. But it will make you laugh. It will make you cry. It will make you angry. And it will make you think.
I almost never give first-in-series books a five star rating, but Feed is an exception - it blew me away. I¿ve read Stephen King, but I¿ve never really felt like I¿ve read a horror novel until now. Feed is a true horror novel. Not just because it¿s about zombies - in fact, there are relatively few scenes containing actual zombies - but because the events it describes are deeply and utterly horrifying. The only thing I can say after finishing it is, ¿Oh, my God.¿ I¿m still trying to wrap my head around what happened. But, here are some things I can say: For one, I could barely put this book down. The world-building completely drew me in. This is my first zombie novel, and the science-fictional elements Grant uses to bring them to the page are detailed enough to lend the story realism without getting bogged down. The writing was outstanding; the author weaves in quotes and blog extracts from multiple characters, giving us different points of view without straying too far from our narrator, Georgia. Oh, Georgia... by the end of the book, I felt as if I¿d known her and her brother Shaun for years. They are two of the most memorable characters I¿ve ever encountered. Even the supporting cast was strong. The plot was predictable at times, yet the scenes I saw coming still managed to floor me with their intensity. And the story¿s climax was so unpredictable, unbearable, and disturbing that it brought me to tears. Feed was a roller coaster ride of near constant suspense that had me gripping my seat in excitement, fear, and anticipation - I loved it. I¿m not saying it was a perfect book, but the good things about it were so good that I can forgive anything else. This was so much more than a book about zombies. Yes, it has zombies in it, but it¿s really about the importance and the cost of exposing the truth, set against a backdrop of political conspiracy and a culture of fear. It¿s one of those books that makes you think about the world we live in differently and it¿s undoubtedly going to haunt me for a while. Though I¿m not sure where the story is going from here, I¿m interested to find out. I hope the sequel lives up to the standard set by Feed. It¿s going to be hard to top.
There aren't enough words in the English language to describe how good this book is. Thrilling, funny, frightening, and heartbreaking are the best 4 words I can come up with. Easily the best series debut of 2010 in my opinion. You may notice this book includes zombies, but despite their appearance throughout the book the human beings are what make this story great. George and her brother along with their cast of friends take us on a great ride in this sci fi political thriller. Mira Grant, aka Seanan McGuire of the amazing October daye series, shows extreme courage in the direction she takes this book. It will leave you wondering, "where can we possibly go from here?" I have no clue where we can go, but if the next book in the trilogy is even half as good, it will still be one of the best books of 2011.
So much less a "zombie novel" than a awesomely cool, geeky, techy, political action thriller. With zombies. `The zombies are here, and they¿re not going away, but they¿re not the story. They were, for one hot, horrible summer at the beginning of the century, but now they¿re just another piece of the way things work.¿ (Mira Grant, Feed, p.111)
Don't think of this as a zombie book. Think of this as a killer political thriller with frequent zombie attacks. Seriously, especially if you think you hate all zombie books, this is the one you need to try. I've lent my copy to everyone I can think of, and the last person who had it had to buy me a new one because it fell apart. I don't even know how many people have read it, and I'm still foisting the new copy on other people. It's that good. Mira Grant has taken our own culture and times and fast-forwarded a little more than 20 years into the future, the future that we get after the zombie apocalypse. People have learned to live with the zombies, and the with the virus that prevents both colds and cancer while also guaranteeing that the dead, all of them, will rise. Let that thought perk through your consciousness for a second. Imagine the consequences to society if everyone who dies immediately rises as a zombie. This book will grab you, and drag you through an amazing ride. The author has the guts to do brutal, terrifying, and wrenchingly sad things to tell the story that needs telling here. I cried at the end. And I'm not going to tell you why because you need to find out for yourself. And damn it all, it's going to be next May before the sequel comes out.