Series: Newsflesh #1
Published by Orbit on May 1, 2010
The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beaten 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, bloggers Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives - the dark conspiracy behind the infected.
The truth will get out, even if it kills them
Although I am a huge fan of supernatural lore and paranormal creatures, I have never been inclined towards zombies. However, after reading The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey, that suddenly changed. Moved by its concept, I let go of my zombie hesitation, and was open to suggestion.Because of this, Fry put this book in my sights without hesitation, praising the Mira Grant series in a way we reserve for the absolute best of the best. Trusting her judgement, I dove in, and swiftly found myself devouring Feed with the zealous gusto of the freshly-undead. Not only did this book cement my interest in a whole new genre, it became one of my all time favourites before I hit the last page!
Feed takes place a generation after the Rising of 2014 (the apocalyptic outbreak of the walking dead). The ‘zombie virus’ known as Kellis-Amberlee, is the unfortunate mutated amalgam of a dormancy virus designed to cure cancer, and an untested cure for the common cold released into the air by very stupid activists. This lethal combination was airborne, undetectable, and ultimately completely unstoppable. By 2039, Kellis-Amberlee is an undeniable, inevitable fact of life. Humanity has lost, suffered, and every mammalian species alive still carries the dormant KA within them. It cannot be undone. Kellis-Amberlee -will- amplify when you die, you will become the walking dead, no matter what the cause of death. And if you’re truly unlucky, you will be one of the rare few who experience spontaneous amplification, and one day just become a zombie for no reason other than the virus is ready to activate. The science and virology research that had to go into creating this premise is astounding.
And yet, humanity still exists, and therefore humanity has to move on. Society has been completely revolutionized by the KA Rising: certain cities, even nations, have practically ceased to exist, blood tests and avid security are required even to enter private residences, meat is rarely eaten, and decontamination showers are as commonplace as washing your hands before dinner. Blogging is now widely considered the most credible source for information; after being betrayed by traditional media during the uprising through inaction or deceit, society now turns to the bloggers for the truth of the world that still goes on. As such, bloggers are the new celebrities, from ‘Newsies’ who bring the information, ‘Irwins’ who bring live footage of themselves pulling zombie-Jackass endeavours, and Fictionals who write stories or poetry on their feelings.
Feed follows two such bloggers, Georgia Mason, Newsie, and her adoptive brother Shaun Mason, Irwin. Together with their crew, the Masons have been invited to follow the campaign of Presidential hopeful Senator Ryman. Yes, this is a zombie outbreak book about politics, and truth, and that gives it a depth that is unmatched.
The characters of this book are absolutely stellar. I connected very strongly with Georgia as I saw a lot of myself in her, right down to the sarcastic snark, and unrelenting commitment to her purpose. She is the anchor of this story. I didn’t initially love Shaun and his seemingly brainless antics, but the development not only of plot but of character makes him hard not to like in short time. Buffy, the technical wizard and security genius, was somewhat comic relief, while still having a complex personality, and the ability to ground the team in a very human reality.
Without giving anything away about the progression of the plot, I can only say that Feed doesn’t have a single dull moment, and continuously delivers the unexpected. This is not a book you can be prepared for, it is one to simply dive into, and allow it to chew you up. Mira Grant will pique your interest, draw you in, cut out your heart, and grip you tightly even as you finish the book. You will crave more, and you will praise all luck that it is a series.
Its that good.