Feed is an electrifying and critically acclaimed novel of a world a half-step from our own that the New York Times calls “Astonishing” — a novel of zombies, geeks, politics, social media, and the virus that runs through them all — from New York Times bestseller Mira Grant.
The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beat 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, Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives—the dark conspiracy behind the infected. The truth will out, even if it kills them.
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Praise for Feed:
"I can't wait for the next book."―N.K. Jemisin
"It's a novel with as much brains as heart, and both are filling and delicious."―The A. V. Club
"Gripping, thrilling, and brutal... McGuire has crafted a masterpiece of suspense with engaging, appealing characters who conduct a soul-shredding examination of what's true and what's reported."―Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
“Feed is a proper thriller with zombies.” —SFX
Urban fantasist Seanan McGuire (Rosemary and Rue) picks up a new pen name for this gripping, thrilling, and brutal depiction of a postapocalyptic 2039. Twin bloggers Georgia and Shaun Mason and their colleague Buffy are thrilled when Sen. Peter Ryman, the first presidential candidate to come of age since social media saved the world from a virus that reanimates the dead, invites them to cover his campaign. Then an event is attacked by zombies, and Ryman's daughter is killed. As the bloggers wield the newfound power of new media, they tangle with the CDC, a scheming vice presidential candidate, and mysterious conspirators who want more than the Oval Office. Shunning misogynistic horror tropes in favor of genuine drama and pure creepiness, McGuire has crafted a masterpiece of suspense with engaging, appealing characters who conduct a soul-shredding examination of what's true and what's reported.
A fun spin on the classic zombie novel. Exciting.
A nice mixture between good ole fashion zombie gore and political finesse.
In a nutshell: Fans of zombie fiction will find enough to like; fans of well developed dialogue and non-telegraphed plots beware.
Review: Like the far superior Zone One, Feed falls squarely in the more literary vein of zombie works--less survival porn than social commentary. This is hardly a new development in the genre; as with most things zombie, George Romero got there first. Still, the recent trend towards zombie apocalypse aftermath fiction is a welcome addition to the genre and a sign that it has reached a certain level of maturation. The who, what, when, and how of zombie plagues are pretty well established by this point, which means authors can skip to the "we won, now what" scenarios. Author Mira Grant even plays off this fact in the story (her main character is named Georgia for a reason).
Set three decades after a zombie plague wipes out over a third of humankind, Feed follows three young digital journalists as they cover a presidential campaign from the inside. Along the way, we get some fun zombie set pieces as well as intriguing glimpse into a world where everyone carries the zombie disease and will eventually turn into a zombie. Suffice it to say, blood tests are a regular occurrence.
That said, Feed is ultimately a high concept political detective story designed to explore the power of truth, and that is its downfall. The ability to write good zombie survival porn is quite different than the ability to write a clever study on the price of truth. While the prior can work with a clever enough angle and punchy action scenes, the latter requires subtly and finesse. Unfortunately, Feed lacks enough of either quality to really work. It's enjoyable enough throughout, and it has a promising beginning, especially the intriguing family dynamic it teases in the first few chapters. However, that early momentum is quickly lost. It's as though Grant couldn't sustain both the plot and the philosophy. As is, the philosophy is under cooked, and the plot and characters are so well worn they're almost parody (only Grant's earnestness keeps it above the fray).
Despite these weaknesses, Feed remains clever and well paced enough to warrant the effort if you're a fan of the genre. All others are encouraged to read Zone One.