Feed by Mira Grant

(Newsflesh, #1)

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.

“The difference between the truth and a lie is that both of them can hurt, but only one will take the time to heal you afterward.”

I've heard about Feed for a few years, but as usual I'm slow to join the party. After reading it, I agree it deserves its reputation. Look at the synopsis, and you may think: zombie. In reality its a book where the zombies hover in the background of a character-rich mystery. I forgot about the zombies half the time, because it's not a horror book about zombies; it's a drama/thriller with zombies in the world.

Not violent, you don't get many descriptions of the walking dead or graphic death scenes. A lot of it is heard about after the fact when relayed to the reader, and most of the deaths aren't actually zombie based, but zombie-virus tainted. If you're a gore reader picking this up expecting plenty of the red stuff and unrelenting terror, you won't be satisfied with those elements. If you're looking for a steadily paced and intriguing story, you'll be content.

The story is about a brother and sister following a political candidate who is set to become the new President, but they have to fight assassins and political trickery along the way. The culprit wasn't a surprise unfortunately, but there was a betrayal I didn't see coming, and a totally surprising death. Grant didn't hold the punches with the tragedy, and her writing style made the story flow smoothly.

It's not a perfect book - there are some slightly lagging parts and minor bugs, but just the enjoyment level alone was good enough for the five star rating. The book would have worked even better a little trimmed and sped up, but I still sunk into the character's mind as she pondered the fate of the world and chased truth across country. Adding in the weird background of her parents and their media frenzy gave a genuine feel to the backstory of the media influencing this world. The book is broken into editorials and pieces from the news cast; I skimmed a couple of them, but a few made me think.

Zombie-lite but intriguing story.

   Book Quotes:

“Alive or dead, the truth won't rest. Rise up while you can.” 

“I’m also fascinated by the difference between terror and fear. Fear says, 'Do not actually put your hand in the alligator,' while terror says, 'Avoid Florida entirely because alligators exist.'"

   Similar Reviews:

http://www.paperbackstash.com/2013/02/allison-hewitt-is-trapped.html http://www.paperbackstash.com/2007/11/dead-sea-by-brian-keene.html http://www.paperbackstash.com/2012/11/deathbringer-by-bryan-smith.html http://www.paperbackstash.com/2007/06/stand-stephen-king.html http://www.paperbackstash.com/2007/06/strangers-simon-clark.html