Friday, June 11, 2010

Book Review: Feed, by Mira Grant

Title:  Feed
Author:  Mira Grant
Genre:  Science fiction / Horror
Rating:  5 out of 5 zombie bloggers

The world has become infected with a virus that turns people into shambling bags of viral flesh, while a group of young bloggers cover the recent presidential election.  Feed proves to be a thorough imagining of the post-infection world.

In Mira Grant's debut novel Feed, we enter the scene some twenty years after a rogue virus began turning people and animals into zombie-like creatures.  This event, known as the Rising, has left the world in shock.  Humanity has begun to adapt, like it always does, but zombies are an ever-present threat to the citizens of the world.

Feed focuses on a group of 20-something year old bloggers who grew up in the chaotic years after the Rising.  However, these aren't your normal bloggers.  Made up of news reporters, poets, and "Erwins" (individuals who go out and make the news by poking zombies with sticks), these young adults have licenses for journalism as well as firearms.  They are fortunate enough to have been chosen to report on one politician's campaign to the White House.  If only they knew the trouble they were getting into...

This novel is written in first person perspective and is interlaced with excerpts from the main characters' blogs.  This alone is a fresh breath in the horror genre.  The way in which Grant writes her characters allows the reader to truly connect with them.  You never get the feeling that any of the characters are just placed in the novel to become zombie food; each one has a unique perspective of the world they find themselves in.  The dialogue is at times hilarious, and at others, grave.

It is true that Grant's world is full of zombies.  However (and this is the true selling point of the novel), Feed is not about zombies.  It is about the characters.  At one point in the novel, Grant's protagonist writes:
"The zombies are here, and they’re not going away. But they’re not the story. They were for one hot, horrible summer at the beginning of the century, but now they’re just another piece of the way things work. They did their part. They changed everything."
This sums up how Grant treats her world.  Although there are moments of blistering action and horror, the zombies take the back seat to the loveable characters the author has crafted.  If you were ever on the fence about reading a horror novel, Feed is a great place to jump in.

Feed is also filled with a bundle of science fiction elements in the form of the technology that had to have been invented after the Rising.  Blood testing is a big deal, as it is sometimes the only way to determine who is turning into a zombie and who isn't.  Grant also brings up other things that one may not think of when they think of a zombie-filled world such as home owner's insurance.  Imagine how much your rates increase if you live in a heavily infected zone!

The thing that kept bothering me about Feed was the age of the main characters and how bloggers seemed to have replaced the main stream media.  Although it is admirable to take this route, I couldn't help but feeling that it would be easier for professional news casters to begin blogging than it would be for twenty-year-old's to go out into the field and gain acceptance in the political arena.  With that being said, Grant's approach shows a stunningly optimistic an appreciated point of view of the younger generation.

Finally, a quick note.  Because I listened to this novel on audiobook, I feel that I need to comment on that aspect.  I have never been able to tolerate audiobooks as they could never keep my attention.  However, the narrators (Paula Christensen and Jesse Bernstein) as well as the direction were AMAZING.  If you enjoy audio books, this is definitely one to listen to.

Feed measures up to all of my expectations of a science fiction / horror novel.  Read this book!

5 out of 5 zombie bloggers!


  1. I have this book waiting for me. Good to know about it being a good audiobook though. I love audiobooks for trips.

    Good review!

  2. I think I'll definitely check this out! I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed World War Z and this sounds similar without being a rehash.

    Nice review!

  3. @ Red - I've only read about half of WWZ (I should definitely pick it back up again...), but you're right in that it does seem to have the same feel. It is much more of a confluent narrative, though.

  4. The style of World War Z did make it difficult at times to stick with the story, and though I thought it was an interesting approach to the subject it's still probably my biggest complaint. Well that and I'd never had zombie nightmares before reading WWZ, but I suppose that's more praise than complaint.

  5. great review. this sounds really good!