FEED by Mira Grant
Published: Orbit Books, 2010 (Paperback)
Length: 571 pages
Summary: It is 2024 – twenty years after the Rising which occurred after we managed to cure cancer and the common cold, and, in doing so, created something terrible and new. This infection takes over bodies and destroys minds, replacing everything with the singular command of ‘FEED’.
Georgia and Shaun Mason, twin bloggers from California, have built their careers reporting the news, pure and untainted, to the online world and this year they embark on the biggest story of their lives.
And as the story keeps getting bigger, the danger gets more imminent and Georgia and Shaun start seeing their world through new eyes – zombies are the very least of their worries.
What I Liked: Almost everything. Which is impressive considering I’m a total coward when it comes to anything vaguely zombie related – I can cope with vampires, werewolves and things that go bump in the night but for some reason zombies have me cowering under the duvet refusing to go to sleep for fear of nightmares.
This does not mean that FEED is not a frightening book – far from it – however it is this that makes it such a fantastic read.
FEED is not your typical ‘horror-movie’ style zombie marathon, it is much much deeper than that. Mira Grant has built such a convincing post-zombie-apocalypse world that not once did I have a moment of ‘that’s so stupid’ – something I often find myself thinking during zombie films. Indeed, the zombies almost take a back seat at the same time as being a central feature of the world – they have been a part of everyone’s lives for so long now that they are just an everyday element of life. One that just happens to want to bite you and make you very effectively dead, even if you are still wandering around and groaning.
Mira Grant somehow manages to combine zombies, politics and everything ‘dark’ about human nature and creates a story so fascinating and fast-paced that I was loathed to put it down. Even if I did have to play a game of something nice and fluffy on the DS before I went to bed, just to scare away the zombies!
If I’m completely honest though, the zombies weren’t the scariest element of the book by far. That fell to the sheer brutality of some of the characters in the book. The characters were all brilliant, well rounded, convincing and utterly human – not always in a nice way. To me there is often nothing more frightening than human nature and Mira Grant has captured this so effectively in FEED that the horror of zombies trying to eat you at every turn pales in comparison. Zombies can’t help how they are, it’s an infection they couldn’t prevent – people however – people choose. They make conscious decisions. And not always for the right reasons or with the slightest concern for anyone else involved.
What I Didn’t Like: Nothing really. I could understand some people being a little put off by how long the novel is, though. There is so much packed in, from the scientific background of how the zombies came to be through to how the world has adapted to cope with it’s new inhabitants, and yet I never felt like I was drowning in information or that the story was slowed just so I could learn ‘how it all began’.
Also, if you were to pick up the book expecting an all out zombie-apocalypse gore-fest then you would probably be disappointed. Go watch a movie instead.
Rating: I wasn’t expecting to like this book half as much as I did – like I said, I’m not a zombie person. However, I was surprised to discover that FEED was actually a brilliantly thought out political thriller which just happened to occur in a world where zombies are a part of life. So, despite the nightmares the DS couldn’t quite prevent, I find myself giving FEED 5/5 and am now going to hunt down a release date for book number two…
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