Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Review - Feed, Mira Grant.

Feed is a unique zombie novel down to its very foundations. Its an understatement to say that story that took me by surprise. Firstly, examine the cover: you see a cracked concrete background with the word 'Feed' smudged across the wall in blood. Above the word is a similarly stylised RSS logo (or RSS feed). What astounds me is how exact these images resonant with Mira Grant's story. It is approximately 30 years since the first zombie rose from the dead, and the world is a very different place.

If you're looking for a jam-packed story with relentless action, suspense and violence... you're reading the wrong novel. As expected, the story revolves around zombies but not as an in-your-face issue. Rather, the story is about the effects, fears and political agendas in a post-uprising world. The story is very slow - don't expect to be hooked until at least 400 pages into the story. But the final 200 pages justify this lack of excitement.

I have never read a zombie novel with so much meticulous detail. This isn't a story that merely says 'once upon a time everything was fine and then there were zombies.' Feed provides readers with a very realistic and well-reserached explanation of why the dead rise. The crux of the explanation is that everyone has the zombie gene: it is only with death that the gene is activated. I said before that the world is a very different place: since the uprising, people have become fearful of venturing outdoors. Thus, the rise of the bloggers have come about. This may sound stupid, but trust me, read this novel and it makes perfect sense.

My main disappointment is how slow the plot moved - it is literally a story about a news company following a presidential election... with zombies. However, I believe the end justifies the means. There is a slow reveal of something much larger than anything you could ever imagine - and confronts the reader with one of the biggest twists I have ever experienced in a novel. The characters are well-established, easy to like and if not a tad stereotypical, at least fun to read about.

Feed is well worth the trudge through the first 400 pages of exposition. I pulled a 2am-er just finishing the novel. It's that good!

4 out of 5


  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it in the end, I felt the same way, staying up late to finish it off (though I think it probably grabbed me about 200 pages in). Next up on my fantasy/sci-fi list is 'The Wind-up Girl' by Paolo Bacigualupi and I have very high expectations!