May 1, 2010
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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.Feed is one of the books that I've been meaning to read for about forever but only recently actually did. Even with all of that 'meaning to,' I still, somehow, missed a large chunk of what the book - the trilogy - was about: As the author's own website says, "Feed is a distopian political zombie thriller set in against the backdrop of a national political campaign."
If you took a great political book, a great post-apocalyptic, dystopian zombie book and smooshed them together, you'd have Feed. Oh, and in said post-apocalyptic world, bloggers are now kind of everything (news, entertainment, zombie chasers, or chase-ees).
The zombies give Feed its world, its background; the politics, the campaign gives the big, central plot; and Georgia and Shaun are what bring it together. The strength of Feed is how well the world is built, from the larger 'how it got this way,' to the smaller details of how the day to day works, as well as in the characters and their relationships.
The political side of Feed isn't just there for show. They go along on a campaign, are part of it and that is definitely evident in the story. While it's not the kind of detail someone not interested in politics is likely to find tedious or boring, it's enough to feel real and legitimate.
Georgia, "George," and Shaun haven't grown up in a normal, stable family thanks partially to the times and partially to the situation that led their parents to adopt them both. We see how its affected them. The little things that come up throughout the book, how George reacts to people, how they both are with their parents. As well as the closeness the two of them have with each other. (Though there is that incest-y vibe.)
Their friend Georgette "Buffy" (whose name is chosen for the only acceptable reason it could be), is a brilliant addition to their team and the novel.
It's great that while the zombies are the plot, they also are not, at the same time. The campaign and, as the story progresses, their quest to find - and proclaim - the truth is the story. A world filled with zombies is Shaun, George and Buffy's day to day, without a larger, arching plot line, it wouldn't have worked.
What they're working to uncover - all while staying alive - adds tot he danger, the suspense and the mystery and helps the pacing. It never seems entirely clear who's part of what or what the final outcome witll be.
The ending, oh the ending, leaves you needing to read Book 2, Deadline ASAP.