Monday, January 30, 2012

Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy #1) by Mira Grant

Notes: There is a touch of "colorful" language used in this book, but I think most people would understand that being chased by zombies would provoke a good deal of "colorful" language.

'Every life has a watershed moment, an instant when you realize you're about to make a choice that will define everything else that you ever do, and that if you choose wrong, there may not be very many things left to choose. Sometimes the wrong choice is the only one that lets you face the end with dignity, grace, and the awareness that you're doing the right thing....Welcome to my Watershed.' - Georgia Mason

Twenty-five years ago a horrible virus was unwittingly unleashed upon the world. They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions and the same could said of the hell made on earth by the virus. Scientists were attempting to create cures for cancer and the common cold, but the resulting "cures", while succeeding in their endeavors, had a very undesirable side effect when combined. It caused the dead to come back to life and feed off the living. The history books now refer to that initial two year time period as the Rising. In the beginning, news of the Rising was kept under wraps, but the blogging community was not as easily silenced as the standard media or things could have ended much worse than they currently were. Later, when the virus spread to undeniable proportions, parts of the world were quarantined off and labeled as lost because the conditions were ideal for zombies and deemed not worthy of the effort to save. The cost of human lives to secure the area was too high.

Now in the midst of the upcoming presidential elections, Georgia (aka George) and Shaun Mason have been granted the honor of following one of the presidential hopefuls through the primaries and, if he gets that far, the election. They started off going after one story and ended up with another. What had started off as a great adventure turned into something more--something neither was prepared for. "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." When all is said and done the main question on everyone's mind will be, "Was it worth it?" You be the judge.

In the words of Georgia, "Alive or dead, the truth won't rest...Rise up while you can." Georgia is smart, driven, loyal, and a serious journalist with a great future ahead of her. Her best friend and coworker is her brother Shaun. The two are very close and are almost always together. Before the rising their almost co-dependent nature would have been thought odd, but as Georgia states, "If I need to have someone guarding my back, when the living dead show up to make my life more interesting than I want it to be, I want someone that someone to be Shaun." Georgia loves what she does and enjoys digging to find the truth. She knew from little on what she wanted to be and it was a journalist. She's living her dream.

Shaun is the opposite of Georgia. The phrase coined for the type of journalist he is is called Irwin. It's a style which is used in reference to journalists who report things in a similar style to that of the late Steve Irwin. I felt this was a nice little tribute to Steve, who displayed such a fearless, flamboyant and somewhat boyish enthusiasm for the work he so obviously loved. The kind of reporting that makes practically everyone who is watching it equally as enthusiastic about it. Think of Shaun as the Steve Irwin of the zombie world. He likes poke, prod, and provoke a zombie while getting up close and personal to see what it will do while sporting a grin on his face. (Please note I am not implying Steve Irwin would have done such a thing to animals).

Buffy and Rick make up the rest of the main staff of After the End Times, the blog that Georgia and Shaun run. Rick joins the team early on in the book, while Buffy has been part of the team for much longer. The group is moving up and are hoping the campaign trail will lead to more than just a scoop on the next president. They're hoping their Beta rated blog will be upgraded to Alpha status. Once they realize that they're the blog being chosen to follow one of the Presidential hopefuls, it seems like their dreams are just a hop, skip, and jump away from becoming realized. The crew, with the exception of Rick, are young, but all are ambitious and easy to relate to.

While on the campaign trail, they uncover a story so huge their lives will be endangered. I found 'Feed'
engaging, thought provoking, dramatic, and emotionally moving. Make sure to have a box of tissues handy and find yourself a cozy little spot to read this one. Once you get into the story you're not going to want to put it down.

Where does the title come from? Well from a couple of things. Firstly, the zombies go on a "Feeding" frenzy. Secondly, if you notice on the cover (and below), the symbol found on the book refers to RSS Feed. I put the two symbols side by side so you can see the similarity. RSS (originally RDF Site Summary, often dubbed Really Simple Syndication) is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format.[2] An RSS document (which is called a "feed", "web feed",[3] or "channel") includes full or summarized text, plus metadata such as publishing dates and authorship. (Definition gotten from Wikipedia. If you'd like to  learn more go to ). Thanks Jex for recognizing the hidden RSS image on the cover.
Feed Computer icon.

Have you ever received something thinking you were getting one thing and then discovered what you got wasn't at all what you expected--it was better?  It exceeded your expectations, blowing away the item you thought you were getting and wanted? Well, that's kind of the way I feel about 'Feed'. I read this book because it was voted to be the January Book of the Month in the Goodreads group, Nothing but Reading Challenges, of which I am one of the moderators. I figured it would be a typical zombie book, but it was that and so much more. I could see this one being made into a movie for the silver screen. It had action, drama, and most importantly it made me cry! I absolutely loved this. I fell in love with the characters and was totally pulled into the story. The book contained no romance, but none the less was a total book seduction. A truly wonderful book that has bite. lol (Sorry couldn't do this review without a little zombie humor thrown in.) Prepare to get lost in this book and the awesome world Ms. Grant created. Her zombies eat the competition. *smirk* This one gets 5 out of 5 roses.   

Book Trailer:

Just for fun:
If you are having trouble visualizing what the zombies in the book would look like, I found this cool app for your iphone which allows you to transform you, your family, friends, and even enemies into zombies. Okay, not literally, but via a photo. It's call ZombieBooth: 3D Zombifier. Warning: The following video is is not for the faint of heart, so only click on it if you think you can handle it, otherwise just keep your cursor off the button. Check it out if you dare! 

Order of Series:

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