Author: Mira Grant.
Published: May 1st 2010 by Orbit.
Sort: Feed #1.
The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beaten the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED. Now, twenty years after the Rising, bloggers Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives - the dark conspiracy behind the infected.
The truth will get out, even if it kills them.
This review is spoiler-free.
We follow the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse, called the Rising, through the eyes of blog journalists Georgia Mason and her brother Shaun. Georgia and her team join the presidential campaign from Republican senator Peter Ryman. They get involved with deadly incidents, which leads them to the discovery of a conspiracy. I already saw what was going on and who was behind it, but it didn’t matter for the enjoyment and pain I had at the ending.
The world-building is interesting. Humans live in tightly controlled safe zones and you need special passes to get into certain areas. Bloggers have taken over as primary source of information. There are three important types: Newsies, like Georgia, who make reports based on facts. Irwins, like her brother Shaun, who entertain and educate by ‘poking things with sticks’ and Fictionals, like their friend Buffy, who write fictional content. The focus on bloggers was a nice addition.
We get explanations how the zombies arose and this information in sprinkled throughout the story via blog posts from Georgia and her brother Shaun. My microbiology heart was happy. The medical aspect is simply amazing and blew me away. It’s sometimes hard to give a story a realistic background, but Mira excelled in it. The principle is that there are two cures, one for cancer and one for the common cold. These cures combined to form Kellis-Amberlee, a quickly infecting virus that goes live or amplifies when someone dies or gets bitten. I liked how these plausible explanations changed this book from ‘just another zombie story’ to something more.
I loved Georgia and Shaun, and more specific: their relationship. They grew up as brother and sister in a not-so-loving family. Mother and father are too busy with their career, but these two have a special, strong bond. The teasing showed how much they cared about each other. It’s not that I felt connected to them, but I got wrapped up in their lives and I was worried about them. Spoiler: AND THEN YOUR HEART IS SHATTERED AND YOU HAVE ALL THESE FEELINGS. DAMN YOU MIRA GRANT The alternative ending wasn't any better... The author doesn't shy away from shocking twists and brutal situations, but I was surprised that the story never felt too dark. Yes, there are zombies and yes, there is bloodshed, but the overall tone isn’t depressing. Perhaps because the main focus isn’t on the undead, but on the conspiracy. I think people who tend to dislike zombie books will be able to enjoy this too.