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Customer Review

33 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Socially relevant for now, at least, January 4, 2011
This review is from: Feed (Newsflesh, Book 1) (Mass Market Paperback)
First, let me be clear, this is not a young adult novel despite what other reviewers have stated. While the main characters can occasionally feel a bit juvenile, they are, in fact, adults (23 or so) and behave in adult-like ways. The target group for this book is probably not, in fact, zombie enthusiasts, but rather the type of people who rely heavily on Jon Stewart and The Daily Show for their news or spend copious amounts of time on the internet maintaining their blogs. If that amounts to 'Young Adult' in some people's opinion, they need to read more. (I'm a Youth Services focused librarian. I think I can recognize the difference, thanks for asking.)

Anyway, on with the review. I gave it three stars. I practically loved the book. So why 3?

The dialogue (internal, mostly, it seems at times) is repetitive. Georgia likes to keep reiterating the fact that her brother, Shaun (Shaun of the Dead anyone?), will probably die before her because he's an Irwin (as in Steve Irwin) and likes to poke things with sticks. Great. There's some potential action right there, should Shaun decide to find something to poke, preferably the taken over by virus type of thing, aka the Zombie. We also keep getting the same information over and over about Georgia's medical condition, retinal KA which is a version of the zombie virus that is limited to her eyeballs and forces her to wear glasses all the time just about and constantly explain how much an inconvenience it is. And then there's the excessive blood testing, also known as finger pricking that goes on. Not much actual zombie battling, though at least it's a bit different what with contact being a trigger for instant conversion and all.

But dialogue and repetive descriptions aside, this is a trilogy starter. It's a background book. It could be great (see The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins or Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld), but it's only sort of middling. We get all the info we'll probably need in background for the next two books and we get some character motivation for later on seeing as, surprise or not, some serious deaths occur. It's informative and witty and culturally relevent to now with a slap in the face as an aside.

So, bluntness aside, and the fun cultural relevencies which may or may not be true come 2040, the brains (pardon the phrase) comes from the fact that this is not really a zombie novel. It's a survival story. It's apocalyptic and full of conspiracy enough to almost make it a thriller. The writing may not be perfect, but it flows and makes terrorism into zombie chow. What we have is a novel that illustrates the fears of our current times and shifts them into the future where an attractive senator has a shot at becoming president despite the crazy world around him and his press crew.

This is a book about the freedom of the press, the freedom of speech, and the fact that technology can't always save us. Should you read it? Sure, if you want. I won't say you shouldn't and I won't say you should, because, really, I'm not in it for the ratings. I'm just happy to be able to have my say. Strangely, I don't care if no one reads or comments on this review. I'm not facing a Zombie Apocalypse for ratings now, am I?
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 26, 2011 12:26:31 PM PDT
K. Tucker says:
"I think I can recognize the difference, thanks for asking."

I'm beginning to believe that you're a "young adult" yourself. The smarm is a real turn off.

In reply to an earlier post on May 27, 2011 3:12:11 PM PDT
I was simply pointing out my credentials and was not being smarmy, but you are entitled to your opinion. I actually do appreciate your sharing that. If that makes me a 'young adult' in your book, then so be it.

Posted on Jun 15, 2011 5:45:51 PM PDT
Taylor Rand says:
A very thoughtful review; thank you.

Ironically though, it's persuaded me to not buy the book, at least not yet. I read zombie books for the zombies and survival aspects - I'm looking for something more like "The Reapers Are the Angels" or even the YA series "The Forest of Hands and Teeth."

I do think it's useful to know that this zombie horror novel is less about the undead and more about zombies-as-metaphors or freedom of speech, etc.

But your enthusiasm makes me retain this on my "Maybe next time" list.
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