Carter Reviews: Feed

           Confession, I love zombies (real unique, I know). Second confession, I love blogging (because you totally couldn’t figure that out yourself). Third confession, I’m pretty political (also something I thought I should clarify). So, of course I jumped at a book that appealed to all of these things, and its name was Feed.

      Before I give my opinion, here’s a quick summary of the book for those who haven’t read it. The book takes place in a future society where things are mostly like our world, if a bit more technologically advanced, with the teensy exception that there are zombies. There has been an epidemic of the Kellis-Amberlee virus(the zombie virus in a nutshell), which society has adapted to, but has still been changed undeniably by this new element. The book’s plot centers around three bloggers for a popular website known as After the End Times: Shawn Mason, a thrill-seeking “erwin”(blogger whose schtick is essentially going out and poking/fighting zombies); Georgia Mason, a dedicated field news blogger; and Georgette “Buffy” Messonoir, a blogger who writes fiction and poetry, and is also highly skilled with espionage and tech; as they report on the presidential campaign of a senator and get wrapped up in a conspiracy surrounding it.

            The worldbuilding deserves special mention, because it is excellently done. Every detail, from the politics to the history, is consistent and realistic, and provides a setting that’s interesting to visit(but obviously not one I’d want to live in). I like the spins the author put on the standard zombie virus to make it her own, namely the fact that everyone is infected and that you become a zombie when you die or get amplified virus levels. Finally, the political plot is intriguing and interesting to anyone who likes high levels of politics.

        However, I have mixed feelings about the characters. The narrator, Georgia, is not a character that I particularly like. While she is intelligent, determined, and dedicated, she is also stuffy, self-absorbed, short-tempered, judgemental, treats almost everyone around her like crap, and is generally an irritating person. She highly values the truth, which I say would’ve been a good character trait, but she rants about it so much that it gets pretentious fast, and I mean really fast. Also, the fact that she has heightened virus particles in her eyes so bright light causes retinal damage and migraines is a good weakness, but it’s used and brought up way too often, and never when it would actually be important or plot relevant.

             On the other hand though, her brother Shawn is kind of a stock adrenaline junkie character, but he’s still generally likeable and entertaining. He also gave me my favorite mental image from the book, Shawn sitting in a chair in a ballroom with his gun pointed at a dead zombie while he munches on breadsticks. That image is just so cool and ridiculous that it just cracks me up.

        However, I wonder which of the three main characters would be my, a blogger who writes fiction, favorite character. How about Buffy? Buffy is my favorite character, admittedly because I identify with her the most. These characters may have varying levels of my affection, but they also have really good and entertaining interactions. Probably one of the best parts of the book, other than the worldbuilding, is the main trio working off each other, particularly the back-and-forth snark between Shawn and Georgia.

     How would I rate the book overall though? Well, it does have Georgia, as well as a sometimes lacking plot with one particularly lacking twist, and a few parts that made a tech geek I know squirm. However, the rest of the characters are generally likeable, the worldbuilding is great, and the plot also has strong parts and a particularly well-written twist. Overall, this book isn’t making my top 10 list anytime soon, but I still give it a solid B or B+. It’s no masterpiece, but I still recommend it. If you like politics, zombies, or blogging, Feed is definitely worth a read.

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