Feed is the first entry in the Newsflesh trilogy, a series set in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse but from the point of view of journalists. It hardly sounds thrilling especially as zombies have become seriously overdone in horror fiction.
Thankfully Feed is a fantastic read with compelling characters, a fascinating take on political corruption & a zombie virus that might be one of the most terrifying yet.
The Rising (what the zombie apocalypse is referred too) came about when scientists found cures for the common cold & cancer. The two combined to create Kellis-Amberlee, a virus that infected the entire planets mammalian life. The virus lies dormant until death where it then coverts the host into a zombie but in some cases it can ‘go live’ expectantly. It’s one of the most dangerous zombie viruses I’ve ever read about & also one of the most exciting.
Blood testing is part of daily life for those who live in the zombie age & huge parts of America have been ceded to the walking dead.
Traditional news media has fallen because of the lies & lack of action they took pre-Rising. In their place blogs have risen making those that write them the new professionals in journalism. One group called ‘After the End Times’ are chosen to cover the upcoming presidential campaign of Senator Peter Ryman, a man who can bring real change to zombie America.
Feed is written from the perspective of Georgia Mason who runs After the End Times along with her brother, Shaun & their friend, Buffy.
Georgia deals with hard facts which fit her demeanour perfectly. Shaun is what they call an ‘Irwin’ (named after Steve Irwin) & entertains by ‘poking things with sticks’ while Buffy puts out fictional content.
The group are very successful & Ryman is looking to tap into that market by supporting their style of news reporting. Everything is going well for a while until a zombie attack on the Senator’s convoy turns out to be a planned attack. It seems as though some people don’t want Ryman to become president & are willing to do anything to stop him.
It’s up to Georgia, Shaun & Buffy to get the truth out there.
The combination of horror & virology makes Feed a compelling read, the detail in how the virus came about & what it does is fantastic all with the backdrop of an exciting presidential campaign.
Georgia is a frosty woman but for good reasons, reading from her point of view makes her easier to understand. Her relationship with Shaun & Buffy as well as other characters is convincing & makes for some really dark & deep moments. These are really well written characters that you want to see succeed.
There isn’t a lot of humour, it’s dry mostly but it has fun references to zombie fiction from the past such as Romero’s Dawn of the Dead (they all probably should have read The Zombie Survival Guide).
As part of a trilogy it’s easy to wonder if Feed is the peak of the series already. It’s a fantastic book that doesn’t let up for the entire length of its 571 pages!
The Newsflesh Trilogy - Feed (Mira Grant)