It's time for another debut! This one's sorta cheating on my part because it's really a pseudo-debut. It's the first Mira Grant novel, but the author also writes under another name. But either way, it's really good.
In 2014, we had cured cancer, and the common cold was no issue for us. But in our great triumph over disease, we unwittingly created another one: the Kells-Amberlee virus. The KA virus is chillingly simple. Once infected, the mind is controlled by the virus and given just one command: FEED.
That's right. We've got zombies on our hands.
Twenty-six years later, the world is a different place. Cities are deemed unsafe, security protocols determine how and where people live, and blogs are seen as truer than official news. Two of these bloggers, twins Shaun and Georgia Mason, are going to look into events deeper than ever before. It's time for the 2040 presidential election, and they're getting to cover it. Beneath a series of seemingly tragic accidents, they will unearth a conspiracy that will endanger all they hold dear. No, really. I say this all the time, but it's true.
FEED is enormosly fun to read. When you take zombies away from the horror of the initial outbreak, you get a fantastic worldbuilding tool, which Mira Grant uses to great effect. It's fascinating to look at the ways society has evolved as a result of zombie presence in the world, and it's actually handled fairly plausibly. I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least.
This is not a horror novel. It's a taut political thriller. With zombies. I know, some of you just started groaning, but it's still really good stuff, and a breath of fresh air in the much-overused "undead rising" genre. The characters are nicely drawn, and the political movements are pretty believable. It makes sense once you understand how things work in Grant's world.
And for a zombie novel, this one's long. Clocking in at about 600 pages, FEED provides for good immersion into a zombified alternate reality. But I can't really think of anything I'd cut out. Despite its length, Grant uses words smartly, better than some novelists who have written five times as many books as her. I know it seems odd, gushing about a pseudo-debut right after gushing about someone else's debut, but I'm just having good luck in that department of late.
Grant provides a phenomenal introduction to a projected trilogy of Newsflesh novels (like her pun?). FEED is great reading, very fresh and promising for Grant's career. There are twists that I honestly didn't expect, but Grant never takes herself too seriously. At the end of the day, it's a book that's simply fun to read. I can't wait to devour the next novel (see what I did there?), BLACKOUT, when it comes out.
My rating: 9.5/10
Coming Soon: The 13th Reality-- The Blade of Shattered Hope.