The year 2014 brought mankind two of its greatest medical breakthroughs, the cures for cancer and the common cold. Unfortunately, when the cures met there was an unexpected interaction, zombification. Kellis-Amberlee changed the nature of life and death, and in the process it change the world.
More than twenty years later civilization has adapted to the darker side of Kellis-Amberlee. One of the changes brought about is a shift away from mainstream media. Bloggers are the trusted source of news in this dangerous new era.
While covering a presidential campaign, bloggers Georgia and Shaun Mason expose a terrifying conspiracy. Following this story could uncover dangerous secrets about the infected, secrets that powerful people would rather keep hidden.
The truth could easily get them killed… or worse.
Mira Grant’s Feed deals more with long-term adaptation to a world filled with the walking dead than the initial outbreak. The main characters have grown up in this world, they know nothing else. A world without a healthy dose of paranoia is as alien to them as a world without computers.
That brings me to the technology of 2040…
While most of the gadgets used in Feed will be very familiar to FanaticSpace readers, things like smartphones and laptops, some of it is BS, but it’s cool BS. Hidden cameras, recorders and transmitters that would make James Bond drool with envy stand side by side with grim reminders of the savage horror roaming the Earth, advanced blood testing units. Even Apple makes a high-end K-A blood test. (Just be careful how you hold it!)
The bleach showers are an interesting bit of tech as well, and a very nice touch. Even if you come away from an encounter with a pack of zombies, you’ll probably be covered with all kinds of nastiness. Zombies are not tidy creatures, especially when you’re busy cracking open their skulls to prevent them from cracking open yours. In that situation, I’d want to shower in bleach.
…We fought as hard as we could. That’s when the Wall began. Every blogger who died during the summer of ’14 is preserved there, from the politicos to the soccer moms. We’ve taken their last entries and collected them in one place, to honor them, and to remember what they paid for the truth. We still add people to the Wall. Someday, I’ll probably post Shaun’s name there, along with some lighthearted last entry that ends with “See you later.”…
– From Images May Disturb You, the blog of Georgia Mason, August 6, 2039
Blogs of the Dead
Bloggers in the world of Feed have adapted in some interesting ways. Some of that adaptation is for their own survival. Weapon certification is a must, as is decontamination training. If you’re going into infection hot zones to poke zombies with a stick, then you’ll need these skills sooner or later. Yep, some bloggers do that in the book, enough to earn a name for it… Irwin. Crikey!
Irwins aren’t alone, bloggers of other styles have come up with names to identify with and describe themselves. Newsies are only interested in facts. They’re six favorite words are Who, What, Where, When, Why and How. They’re the closest to the old stereotype of a reporter, probably a lot closer than most journalists working today. Stewarts (Well deserved props to The Daily Show‘s Jon Stewart?) give you the facts, but they give you their opinion along with it. You’ll get the news, but it’ll have some spin on it. Several more types of bloggers show up in the book, and there will probably be more in the next book. I hope so anyway. I enjoyed the speculation on blogging culture. Hell, I think there is a lot bloggers can learn from Feed.
It would be easy to dismiss the blogging culture portion of the book as only appealing to bloggers. I think that it’s done well enough that anyone can enjoy it. I’ve never worked for a news agency, but I loved that aspect of Kolchak: The Night Stalker.
The only part of the book that I didn’t outright love comes toward the end of the book. I hate spoilers, so I won’t go into details and spoil it for you. I just can’t decide if it’s a brilliant dramatic twist, or a ploy to simulate drama. I’m withholding judgement on that until I can see how it will play out in the next book.
I highly recommend this book.
Feed combines some wildly different subject matter in a way that is both natural and riveting. Not only does Mira Grant come up with a novel approach to zombification, giving her zombies a very interesting background, but she also makes the people living in that world just as much fun to read about.
I loved the time spent reading this book and spent a lot of time after I’d finished thinking about it. Bloggers, zombie fans and readers of all types will love this book. I did. I’m eagerly awaiting the next book in the Newsflesh series.