Book Review – Feed by Mira Grant
This novel is awesome. First of all, let me say that I’m not really a fan of Zombies. I mean, they’re fun. But I don’t go out of my way to see them or read about them like I do, say…Alternate Timelines (which is odd because I find that I actually LIKE a lot of zombies stories but rarely enjoy Alternate World fiction…sometimes the fill is not the same as the genre. Just like my taste towards Steampunk. Love the genre….less than impressed with almost anything this side of the original material.) Which is doubly particularly odd since my third book is “Grenademan vs the Zombies” (though admittedly that was written on a dare).
Now that we’ve gotten my tastes out of the way, let me say that one of the things I like about this book is the title. That’s because zombies are largely peripheral to the plot, even though they are not. See, this book is about a group of young bloggers that follow the presidential campaign in a post zombie world. Getting one scene element brilliantly right is an accomplishment, getting two is a work of genius, but Grant manages to do it quite well. She shows us a viable world after a zombie apocalypse that incorporates changes in as many areas as there actually would be, while still maintaining the level of normality that actually happens despite titanic changes in our own (such as 9/11). She also does an excellent job of showing one possible thread in the future of journalism.
In the world of Feed, Bloggers gain respect and prominence because the traditional media are lying to them about the Zombies. People, especially the younger generations simply do not trust the traditional media after their betrayal. (And who could blame them?) Such a trend is already kind of happening in the real world, though it is more of a jaded apathy rather than a religious following of stalwart independent journalists. Still, if we had a transformative event of a magnitude of what is happening Egypt or Syria in the United States, I could easily see this happening. Even if it does not, it is still a remarkably realistic future.
The characters are excellent as is the plot. Some elements are fairly predictable, but others are not. And even the ‘predictable’ elements leave just enough of an X factor that you’re never entirely sure, just mostly sure. And all of the characters are also interesting. I also really like her mirror image of the United States post apocalypse, since it is clever and I think realistic in the way people are reacting. She is quite clever in addressing elements that most people might not think of, such as Animal Rights when some of them might be zombies, the desire for some people to hunt said animals in massive numbers, and the fact that there is actually a slightly positive element that resulted from the zombie apocalypse in that people no longer get common colds or cancer.
I highly recommend reading this book.