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Feed (Newsflesh, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 2010
"In An Instant" by Suzanne Redfearn
A deeply moving story of carrying on even when it seems impossible. | Learn more
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From Publishers Weekly
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From Bookmarks Magazine
- Item Weight : 10.9 ounces
- Mass Market Paperback : 608 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0316081051
- ISBN-13 : 978-0316081054
- Dimensions : 4.25 x 1.25 x 7.5 inches
- Publisher : Orbit; Newsflesh, Book 1 edition (May 1, 2010)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #111,127 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Bad mechanics. Stupid politics. Poor plot. Unbelievable cliched bad guys (oh, this writer does NOT like Christians, hoo boy). It's a zombie novel that comes off anti-gun, but in which the characters carry and use guns, including the climax (darned monster of a Christian gets their just deserts).
It's a shame because the set up was interesting. The characters and world building had quite a lot going for it. However, the writers lack of understanding of basic physics and the world outside of Berkeley California combined with a clear and abiding loathing for Christianity (hey, I'm not Christian, but the degree of vitriol in this book was impossible to ignore), the United States and the US Military completely destroyed what they set out to do.
Feed features zombies, too. But it takes a fresh approach. Instead of being focused on the initial outbreak of zombie-ism or its immediate aftermath, the story is set about 15 years later. This allows the author to imagine the changes to American society due to the threat of zombies. As demonstrated in her other works (like Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day and Every Heart a Doorway), the author is very good at worldbuilding. Her “post-zombie” America is an interesting environment that was fun to explore for a while.
The book is not, however, an exercise in pure speculative worldbuilding. The plot follows a team of bloggers embedded with a presidential campaign. There’s drama and action. It’s all very tense and emotional, featuring a smart, strong female lead, her more extroverted and action-oriented brother, and a pretty, religious, hippy techie female sidekick. I got some dust in my eyes while I read it. There was some talk that it should have won some major awards the year it came out, and I can kinda see why.
I had a few problems with the book that prevented me from giving it a 5-star review. There’s a mystery in the book that ain’t all that mysterious. An average Scooby-Doo episode is less obvious than this book as to the identity of the Bad Guy. He/She might as well be twirling a mustache. And for a book about following around a presidential candidate, the political analyses, viewpoints, and world building is really simplistic and not realistic. I know it’s weird to critique a book with zombies for a lack of realism, but whatever, the book appears to aim high to have something “meaningful to say about the now.” I think it’s only fair to say that ambition wasn’t quite achieved to its fullest potential. The book is also a little heavy-handed and on-the-nose. It’s not SO much a zombie action/adventure novel as a kind of All the President’s Men that champions the pluck of New Media Blogging as a method of uncovering the conspiracies against Americans. The zombie stuff is pretty much a metaphor for the fears of the people – of disease, of terrorism, of the Other – that have always frightened Americans. It’s a cool idea, but instead of the clean, clever zombie-as-consumer of Romero, it comes off sort of clumsily.
But all of that is criticism from my brain juices. My heart fell hard for the main character and her brother. I liked reading about their adventures. The book made me laugh. It made me sad. It made me think. It made me squirm (so many blood tests!). I don’t know that I’ll continue the series, but I am glad that I visited that world for a little while. If you like zombie stuff, you should consider a visit, too.
"Feed" is a political thriller about the internet and journalism, and the intersection among the three. The title is a play on words. Feed, obviously, is what zombies do. But journalists also count on a regular news feed to keep them informed about the larger world. And on the internet, an RSS feed is one way Joe Average can keep track of an overflow of information.
Siblings Georgia and Shaun Mason and their friend Buffy run a website called "After the End Times." Georgia is a Newsie - basically a real reporter, who uses video feeds and writing to try and keep her readers informed. Shaun is an Irwin, whose job is to "go out and harass danger to give the housebound readers/viewers a thrill." (It's named after Steve Irwin, which is a nice touch.) Buffy is a Fictional, who provides stories, poetry, ongoing novels and other fiction content to the website. She's also their primary tech geek. They also have a "staff" located all over the world, which helps keep the website active and ever-changing.
In search of higher ratings for their website, the trio apply for and win the opportunity to provide coverage of the campaign trail for a Senator who is running for President. And that's where all the excitement starts. Do zombies play a part? Yes, indeed, they do.
But "Feed" is about much more than zombies. It's about love and ambition and betrayal. It's about how the drive for higher ratings and thus more paying advertisers shapes how the news is reported. It's about politics and the compromises made in the interest of winning a campaign. And ultimately it's about even larger questions, like who would want to keep the living populace of the country terrified, and why?
Is it a perfect novel? No. Grant has done her research and in the interest of promoting a viable accuracy, she sometimes goes on a little too long on the technical aspects of internet journalism, virology and epidemiology. "Feed" is also, it turns out, the first book in a trilogy. Although I found "Feed" perfectly satisfying as a stand-alone story, I'll absolutely be looking to read the other two books.
Highly recommended for people who enjoy journalism, pondering the future of journalism, politics, thrillers... oh, and zombies.
Top reviews from other countries
This starts off really slow. The main characters are bloggers and there is a lot of technical details about their online systems which becomes a bit tedious after a while. After halfway though, things begin to happen quickly and I enjoyed the last half of the book. The title was clever as it can refers not only to the zombies' main imperative to feed but also the blog feed which is such a big part of the book. If you like zombie fiction, then this one is worth sticking with through the slow beginning. Rating 3.5 rounded up to 4 stars.
I never write reviews either but this book is so bad I feel the need to warn people not to part with their cash. Unless there is a toilet paper shortage again, in which case, this could provide a cheap option.
So so boring. Mundane information about blogging. I didn't identify with any of the characters (if anything, the relationship between Shaun and Georgia was weird, not sibling like at all).
I really must read reviews more carefully and not be swayed by the stars rating in future!