I’ve Got Your Zombiepocalypse Right Here

28 Nov

Inaugural posts are super-intimidating, aren’t they? Part “I’d better talk about something awesome so I don’t bore the guests” and part “I have so many nerdy things to talk about, how do I choose?” ‘Course, the great thing about blogging is, eventually, I can talk about ALL the things.

So, no pressure, right? Talk about what you know, right?

Books, then. And a good post-apocalyptic society.

A good, post-zombie-pocalyptic society.

Yeah, that’s right. Let’s talk about Mira Grant’s Feed.

(Full disclosure: Mira Grant is published by Orbit Books, which is an imprint of Little, Brown, which is part of Hachette Book Group, which keeps me in internets and liquor. This blog is in no way affiliated with any of the above, and all opinions are my own and not representative of the company’s, etc. In other words: I’m talking about books that I think are awesome regardless of the logos on their spines, and I’m not gettin’ paid to do so. ‘Kay? ‘Kay.)

The year is 2034. The Rising is long over, and humanity has managed not only to survive, but to adapt and rebuild. You can’t go into most buildings without taking a blood test to prove you’re not about to start biting your friends. No one really has pet dogs anymore — at least, none over 40 pounds. Hell, you can’t even get a good cheeseburger anymore, since herds of cows are a big ol’ zombie threat, too.

See, the zombie threat hasn’t been eradicated — far from it. Matter of fact, everyone’s infected. Every man, woman and child on the planet, any animal weighing more than 40 pounds, is a carrier. When you finally bite it (har har) you’re going to get back up again unless there’s someone there to put a bullet in your brain. It’s not a matter of if, but when.

Thanks to Night of the Living Dead, people knew what to do when The Rising started. Hell, George Romero’s a national hero. But it wasn’t CNN or other news media outlets that spread the word and taught people what to do.

It was the bloggers.

These days, they’re split into three types: the Newsies, who tell it like it is; the Irwins, who poke the undead with sticks to see what happens; and the Fictionals, who write stories to entertain the people who stay locked in their homes.

Feed follows a small team of bloggers — Newsie Georgia “George” Mason, her Irwin-brother Shaun, and their Fictional friend Buffy Messonier — as they’re selected to cover a popular senator in the presidential campaign. Of course, digging for the truth means they’ll uncover a conspiracy at the heart of the infected, and suddenly someone wants them all dead.

I am an unapologetic book snob. Let’s get that out there. A story has to be damned solid to impress me, the world-building nigh-impeccable. If the characters were pressed from the same cookie cutter as everyone else’s in the genre, we’re going to have a problem. Oh, and if I get the sense the author has the “said” page bookmarked in his or her thesaurus, I get out the smiting stick. (Abuse of dialogue tags is a rant for another time, but it’ll come, I promise.)

Mira Grant has created a chilling vision of the not-too-distant future, loaded it with zombies (backed by science!) and set down characters who are both badass and well-rounded, who can run the gamut from smartassery to sorrow. It’s perfectly paced — even when she’s explaining backstory, it’s like you’re sitting down chatting with George while getting ready for the next round of zombie tag. Or saving Shaun from his round of zombie tag, as is more likely.

Another thing to know about me: I love books that kick me in the teeth. Sure, YES, PLEASE, TEAR MY HEART OUT might be an odd reaction, but if a story can make me sob, the author’s doing something right. Ask me about the end of The Amber Spyglass sometime.

I was nearing the end of Feed while on the train ride home. And there’s a scene. You’ll know it when you get there. There’s a Scene, and oh my god. (I’d already been through a scene once by that point, mind you, a few chapters earlier. One that left me sniffly and drained, and thinking, “Okay. Okay, it’s not going to hurt like that again, not in this book. Okay.” Yes, I knew I was lying to myself.) But my stop was coming up, and I had to get off of the train and drive home.

I kept my nose in the book as I disembarked. I kept reading as I walked across the parking lot, and didn’t look up as I got in my car. There could have been an axe murderer hiding in my backseat and I wouldn’t have noticed.

I got in, put the key in the ignition, and finished the chapter. And put the book down. And sat there, stunned.

Then I went home and didn’t even talk to my husband until I’d read the rest of the book.

Feed is the first book in the Newsflesh trilogy. The sequel, Deadlines is coming in the spring. Hie thee to your local independent bookstore, or follow the indiebound link above, and pick it up. You won’t be disappointed. Don’t forget to come back here and let me know what you think.


5 Responses to “I’ve Got Your Zombiepocalypse Right Here”

  1. Verdus November 28, 2010 at 12:46 am #

    Oh, boy howdy, do I love this book. And I know exactly which scenes you’re talking about. I only *wish* anything I wrote could gut-punch as well as this story.


  1. Goodnight, Meat. « Seven Deadly Divas - December 30, 2010

    […] brand-new books stacked neatly beside me: Christopher Moore’s Lamb and The Stupidest Angel, and Feed by Mira Grant. This is not a time for writing, I think to myself. This is a time for reading books and drinking […]

  2. L’esprit d’escalier » 2011 Hugo Award Nominees - April 25, 2011

    […] a little happy dance in my chair right now.  Feed!  Feed is on the list!  It was, hands down, my favorite book of 2010.  I also loved The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, so it sort of sucks to have to choose between them, […]

  3. What I Did On My Summer Vacation « Seven Deadly Divas - June 2, 2011

    […] reading begins properly with Feed by Mira Grant. This is a book about which falconesse has drooled and moaned a good bit, and I thought it prudent to follow her wise zombie literature advice. Now that […]

  4. Summer Reads « Seven Deadly Divas - July 8, 2011

    […] Feed by Mira Grant I honestly felt frustrated with this book for quite awhile (yeah I get it that Georgia has retinal KA, SHEESH), but it turned out to be one of the best books I’ve read all year. Click the link above to get all the goodness on this book from Falconesse. […]

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