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51 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
There are zombies. There's some gore, though not as much as you might think. And yes, some people (and animals) die in highly unpleasant ways. Still, I don't think of Feed by Mira Grant as a horror novel. It's science fiction in both the extrapolative and speculative sense, and a fine example of both.

A little term definition is in order here...
Published on May 5, 2010 by Mark L. Bernstein

versus
99 of 111 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not really a zombie book...
Feed depicts the life of three twenty somethings a few decades in the future where things have gone wrong. Very wrong. Typical media is in the minority and internet media and blogging are where it's at. Our bloggers end up following a Presidential hopeful on his campaign trail and find out that some people would rather keep the world as is than move it past the...
Published on June 12, 2011 by Labrynth


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99 of 111 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not really a zombie book..., June 12, 2011
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Feed depicts the life of three twenty somethings a few decades in the future where things have gone wrong. Very wrong. Typical media is in the minority and internet media and blogging are where it's at. Our bloggers end up following a Presidential hopeful on his campaign trail and find out that some people would rather keep the world as is than move it past the catastrophe that happened. With one turn after another they figure out a conspiracy that's bigger than they anticipate.

That's the good.

Here's the bad.

If you were looking for a zombie book, this isn't it. This is a political thriller with some zombie information thrown in on the side. The concept of how the zombies got here is discussed, a lot, and is solid. However, you could easily replace the zombie with almost anything else: HIV, Anthrax, Ebola, etc and get the same result. The zombies aren't needed and are a mere side note, which left me disappointed.

Half of this book reads like a solid thriller. The other half tho, reads like a freaking technical manual. I can't count the number of blood tests they take. But it gets described over and over and over and over and over again. To the point that, as a medic, I have to raise the B.S. flag because there's no way their skin would take that much sticking. Not to mention the increased risk of infection due to the multiple sticks. Multiple needles, multiple times a day. That's more than even your worst diabetic does and they will tell you how much it sucks. Also, how many times do I need to know the exact number of cameras any one person has on them at any given time? Apparently it's a lot. In all honesty, you could have cut out about half the pages if we hadn't been given these details ad nauseum. And there's a lot of repetition on the details. yes, we know Shaun only calls her by her full name when it's bad. Because we've already been told a half down times by 50%.

And finally, I know they're supposed to be brother and sister, which is why it seems a bit creepy I guess. I would have settled for best friends or something, but as siblings their relationship is enough to make you cringe a bit with a "So that's how they do it in THAT family" kind of feeling.

I almost gave this two stars, but I gave the benefit of the doubt because parts of it ARE very strong. If you enjoy tech and political thrillers, you'll probably going to enjoy Feed. If you want a zombie book, you might want to pass.
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51 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, May 5, 2010
This review is from: Feed (Newsflesh, Book 1) (Mass Market Paperback)
There are zombies. There's some gore, though not as much as you might think. And yes, some people (and animals) die in highly unpleasant ways. Still, I don't think of Feed by Mira Grant as a horror novel. It's science fiction in both the extrapolative and speculative sense, and a fine example of both.

A little term definition is in order here. Extrapolative and speculative SF have sometimes been referred to, respectively, as the "if this goes on" and "what if" types of science fiction. An extrapolative story looks at our world as it is today, examines current trends, and makes educated guesses as to what will happen next. A speculative story posits one Big Change, and explores how that change will affect the rest of the world.

In Feed, that Big Change is the Kellis-Amberlee virus, an engineered and mutated plague with the nasty habit of animating the corpses of those it infects, and using the time before the body collapses completely to a) feed, and b) spread the infection. Hence, zombies. In the Feed timeline, the first spread of Kellis-Amberlee, and the Rising that followed, occurred in 2014. It's now 2039, and the world is, as you might expect, a very different place. It's a world where the CDC carries the highest level of governmental authority, a world where Alaska has been abandoned, and a world where a bullet to the brain is far, far preferable to death by natural causes, and everyone knows it.

The extrapolation? That comes from the protagonists, Georgia and Shaun Mason. They're a brother and sister team of bloggers, and bloggers have become the primary source of news and information for the majority of the remaining population. We see how online news gathering and reporting (among other things) has come fully of age, with a feel for how people and organizations pursue ratings and status, and how those organizations function. We also see the technology used, though for my taste the advances shown there were actually on the conservative side.

The structure on which all this extrapolation and speculation is built is the 2040 United States Presidential race. Senator Ryman, a Republican candidate, invites the Masons to travel with and cover his campaign. Beyond that, it's a trip I encourage you to take for yourself.

"Mira Grant" is the not-at-all-secret pen name of Seanan McGuire, whose urban fantasy novels have landed her on this year's final Campbell Award ballot. Her greatest strengths under both names are in world building and characterization. The world here is believable and engrossing, and the infodumps are relatively unintrusive. The characters are fully formed, with individual voices, beliefs, and attitudes. I grew to care about them deeply, so much so that at one point I likely would have yelled "No!" if I hadn't been reading on a crowded plane, and at another I had to put down the book for a minute to wipe my eyes.

McGuire/Grant's weakest area before now, the one that's been the target of the most criticism, has been plotting, particularly where it comes to building and resolving mysteries. That's still a little bit of an issue, in that the villain of the book is too cartoonishly obvious, but Feed displays a more developed sense of pacing than her previous work, and carries the reader along, sometimes at breathtaking speed.

Feed is the first volume of the "Newflesh" trilogy, so there are a couple of key questions that remain unanswered for now. But this book has a clear, satisfying end, so the wait for next year's Deadline (which has already been delivered to the publisher) isn't too onerous.

This is an outstanding book. Highly recommended.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A book on the minutia of media, January 9, 2013
This review is from: Feed (Newsflesh, Book 1) (Mass Market Paperback)
If you want to read a book about 2 asexual pseudo-siblings in media, Feed is for you. My wife snagged this as a horror fiction zombie book for me for Christmas and I'm struggling to finish what is essentially a book on the minutia of media that has a zombie-skin on it to make it hip for the modern market. Most of the time you're left with the protagonist reading off lists to you of "things to do" which is about as exciting as watching your boss bullet-point all the new crap he's decided you'll be doing. The first really unexpected visit with zombies (outside the intro) is 145 pages in and has the primary character, whom you've already been told has to pass such extensive training in firearms to be a journalist, run out of ammo after one clip and spend most of the encounter mentally check-listing how to report the story later. If the author writes this book from an inside perspective on media it's a horrifying mental view of insanely stupid, shallow, self-absorbed and self-righteously deluded people. Unless the point is to show that media are the same stupid shuffling, civilization-destroying mess that the zombies are, this thing is a mess.
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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't finish it. What book did the 5-star reviewers read?, December 26, 2012
This review is from: Feed (Newsflesh, Book 1) (Mass Market Paperback)
I picked this up recently because the reviews for it were mostly good. Which leads me to ask, "What book did you guys read?" This is another story that tries too hard to be too smart and instead is just really boring and completely unbelievable. It's like a hipster's version of The Walking Dead. Everybody's cute and smart, yet are complete idiots when things, eventually, start to happen. The characters here are the kind that you want to see die. But, they keep hanging around. And, for a book that takes place after a zombie apocalypse, there's barely any zombies. This isn't a thriller or a horror novel. It's a really boring take on blogging and the media that takes place in the future. Avoid, save your money, your time and read something else.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Well-Reviewed, but I Abandoned the Book, January 30, 2014
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FEED posits a near-future in which the zombie apocalypse fails to bring about the collapse of society. Instead, the living have retreated behind gated communities, where they get the latest news from risk-taking bloggers and obsessively test their blood for active infections.

It's won high-profile awards, and the ratings and reviews here suggest many adore this book. (In fact, it was recommended to me by a source I trust.) So it's with some embarrassment I confess that, about a quarter of the way in, I abandoned the book. For me, that's saying something, because I can't remember the last time I *didn't* finish a novel.

I never found the characters particularly bright or compelling. I never felt invested in the election they're covering. And after reading for the twenty-third time the laborious details of how the finger-pricking blood tests are done, I just snapped the covers shut and moved on. (Well, metaphorically -- I was, after all, reading the book on my Kindle.)

I doubt readers of political thrillers will care for the youthful, zombie-battling bloggers at the center of this book, and I doubt that readers of zombie books will are for the political and technical details that consume so much of this book's word count.

Sadly, I can't recommend it.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This author should sue her editor, August 16, 2013
This review is from: Feed (Newsflesh, Book 1) (Mass Market Paperback)
Feed is easily the most poorly written book I have ever read. So much so that I am writing my first book review ever on it so nobody else suffers through what I had too. I bought the book on my nook for like $3 so I'm more upset with the time I lost than I am with the money. On to why...

Besides a decently creative storyline, this book offers nothing but pain for the reader. The characters are terrible. I don't mean Bella Swan annoying, I mean they are contradicting, flat, and unrealistic. The protagonist, Georgia, and her adopted brother, Shaun, are weirdly, creepily close for twenty-something's. I seriously kept waiting for them to hook up as the only time either character showed any emotion was when the other was in danger. This could have been done in a way that didn't leave the reader feeling like they were about to engage in some incest action. Maybe in a zombie-infested world incest is all the hope some people have for love. I would have enjoyed that twist much more than realizing that the author created Georgia in her own image and created Shaun in an image resembling her perfect type of man and not seeing the problem. Speaking of problems, was this book even edited? Several times Shaun is described as easy-going, funny, danger-seeking and that he pokes zombies with sticks (somebody please count how many times that exact description for him is used). The first time we see Shaun have an anger attack is halfway through the book for an incident that is not fully explained or understood by the reader. What happened to the goofy guy? The character flaw is not developed early enough and therefore doesn't work.

This book probably could have been edited a few more times and polished up. It feels like a first draft that was rushed into publication.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 100 Words or Less, August 20, 2012
By 
JRubino (New York, New York) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Feed (Newsflesh, Book 1) (Mass Market Paperback)
Zombies are fun! That's the sole motivation for the beginning of this series. And I couldn't get past page 50 of the opening novel.

I understand it's all meant to be hip and quirky and maybe even funny, but when the first chapter opens with characters acting like idiots in dangerous situations, all the while spouting witty one-liners ... well, then it's just not for me.

I like my apocalypse stories to carry some weight. I need to care about the tough decisions and the end of society as we know it. This novel is all about hipster survival - everything's okay if you can stay online. Blah.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Decent but flawed, July 17, 2012
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This review is from: Feed (Newsflesh, Book 1) (Mass Market Paperback)
Get it from your local library.

I get the feeling the author came up with a great idea then rushed through details while the editor took a long lunch. The basic premise sets a brother and sister duo against the backdrop of a zombie apocalypse in which the author explores themes of top down technocratic autocracy, the prevalence of individual first hand reporting via the internet, and the entropy of American Politics. For all the potential these topics offer, Feed falls short in delivery.

The books greatest weakness are its characters. The main characters display inconsistent traits and idiosyncrasies, one could attribute this to their age (early 20s) but when juxtaposed to their profession (action bloggers?) character credibility breaks down. For example, in one instance, a main character chastises a secondary character for "multitasking and not paying attention" in the field when said character continually takes a lassez faire approach to survival in a zombie world. Secondary characters suffer from a lack of motive. An opportunity to explain a secondary characters reasons for a double cross go unexplained. When it comes time to confront the main antagonist, his motives are a card board cut out of what one can assume is the author's opinion on what is wrong in American Politics (it's that transparent). As mentioned in a few other blogs, the characters repeat one liners ad naseum. Many times in the book, the author's attempts to make the characters seem "cool" leaves them coming across as adolescent "jerks."

Setting suffers as well. Professional security is depicted as rather buffoonery, even the most standard practices are ignored by the author to further plot. The depiction of technology and the characters ability to manipulate it is of a Swordfish quality. The access given by the political campaign in Feed is rather unprecedented. I sincerely doubt that even after a zombie uprising a presidential campaign would grant these characters the access they receive, let them influence policy decisions as they do, nor tolerate their continuous lack of simple manners.

The themes and plot had great potential but fell short in. Some more research (how much nerve damage in their hands does everyone in this world have?) and another rewrite (less repetition) would have served this book immensely before going to press.

Still, if your into zombies, it's worth it, but pick it up at the library or borrow it from a friend.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable book in need of tighter editing, July 15, 2010
By 
Eric D. Honaker (Burnsville, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
Feed is an interesting and enjoyable book, but one with flaws.

The central premise of Feed is one we are all familiar with from horror movies - there has been a zombie apocalypse. A man-made virus (two, in fact) that get loose in the populace turn the carriers to mindless virus-feeding machines.

The book takes place a few decades later. The reality of feral zombies, and the fact that any mammal over 40 pounds that dies is going to turn into one, has had time to sink in and for society to try to find ways around it.

Enter our heroes, a trio of bloggers. In much the same way that the traditional media in the US didn't start reporting on Iranian unrest until it was well underway, newspapers and TV fell down on reporting and assisting people in Grant's zombie apocalypse. The facts in the case were distributed by bloggers. In the wake of the trouble, bloggers organized, and are at the forefront of real-time reporting.

The crew of After the End Times win a contract to follow a Presidential hopeful on the campaign trail. On the way, we learn a lot about the society, blogging, and zombies. We also learn that the candidate and his family are the targets of a deadly conspiracy.

The story and characters are engaging and believable. The villain of the piece is a bit one-dimensional, and the candidate comes off as too-good-to-be-true.

Where the book really fails is in world building. The broad strokes of the world and society are pretty good. The details suffer from a lack of consistency. In one instance we learn that a piece of technology costs "more than a blogger makes in a year." Later in the book the main character says she'll buy a new one with her Christmas money. In one instance, security precautions are draconian and extremely overdone. Later (sometimes involving the same groups) security is much more casual. All in all it gives the story a frustratingly slapped together feel that could have been avoided with better editing.

I enjoyed the story enough that I will probably read Grant's next book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Annoying characters and boring story, June 5, 2014
By 
I was very underwhelmed by this book. For starters, it is marketed as a zombie book, when in fact, it's a political conspiracy book with some zombies thrown in. It was entirely not what I was expecting.

The writing in this book was painful at times, and extremely repetitive. The world building is force fed to the reader via Georgia rather than shown through events. I will say that the zombie concept that Grant has come up with seems entirely original and was interesting. But I will also say that again, we are force fed the zombie virus situation throughout the book. It seemed like every five minutes I was hearing about a blood test, which model it was, where the needles stuck, and about the blinking lights that finally settled on green. I get it! I got it after the first few pages, actually.

Another repetitive aspect that drove me crazy was Georgia's health issue - Retinal Kellis-Amberlee. Basically, the zombie virus concentrated in her eyes. We constantly hear about her sunglasses, how her eyes hurt in the light, her migraines, contacts, and how every time she enters a building she runs into problems with security. Once again, I got it after the first few times.

The characters in general just weren't very likeable to me. Georgia seemed kind of arrogant and goes out of her way NOT to fit in with everyone else. She constantly talks about her desire to tell the Truth (yes, with a "T") and nothing but the Truth. Though she associates herself with the "newsies" (a branch of bloggers who report only facts without opinion), every blog post we hear from her is nothing but opinion, even going so far as to state which candidate should win the presidential election.

Shaun just seemed like an idiot. If I had to hear about him "poking things with sticks" one more time, I was at risk of giving up altogether. But I pushed through. Shaun is what is called an Irwin - a blogger who goes out into dangerous areas to get footage of himself doing stupid things. Oh, and Irwins are named after Steve Irwin (there was even something about a Steve-o award), as if people in 2040 will remember who Steve Irwin was.

Buffy was another idiot, just for different reasons. I'm not really sure why they don't have books (Kindle, maybe?) in the year 2040, when they have earring cameras and hotels with private elevators, but for whatever reason, they rely on fictionals (bloggers who write fiction, shockingly) to get their fix. Buffy seems to whine and complain a lot throughout the book and is the ultimate demise of everyone.

I didn't love any of them. I actually thought they were all maybe 18 years old, only to find out from reviews that they were actually around 24. They were completely juvenile, unrealistically so. No one in real life makes a (supposedly) witty comment at the end of every sentence. And no one would call their brother an idiot when she thought he was about to die.

Speaking of brother/sister relationships, this one was a little weird. I love my brother and all, but I don't share a bed with him and I can stand to be away from him for more than five minutes. I've also never let my love for my brother interfere with my dating experience.

My last unfortunate comment is that I have never before read a book and not cared at all when a character died. I did not care in the least when characters in this book died. I think that fact alone speaks volumes about this book.

Notes on the Audiobook:
Audiobook narration is extremely hit or miss, and this one was a definite miss. Paula Christensen's voice was annoying, her voice rising at the end of each sentence, almost like a sports announcer. Jesse Bernstein's voice wasn't nearly as bad, but BOTH need to work on their British accents. I have never been to England, but I've had English friends and I watch TV - I could have done a better job. Paula's accent sounded like a strange combo of Australian and British, and Jesse's sounded like Samoan mixed with British and American. Both were really weird.

This review is also available at Cornerfolds[dot]com!
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Feed (Newsflesh, Book 1)
Feed (Newsflesh, Book 1) by Mira Grant (Mass Market Paperback - May 1, 2010)
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