Zombie | Science Fiction | Horror
“Our story opens where countless stories have ended in the last twenty-six years; with an idiot –in this case, my brother, Shaun– deciding it would be a good idea to go out and poke a zombie with a stick to see what would happen…”
I have one phrase: Mind-boggling, irresistibly intense adventure.
So for starters, my all-time favorite genre is adult horror – to be more specific, I will actually grab almost anything related to apocalyptic themed premise, this can range from a television show, a movie to a book – I will dive into anything involving a zombie. It is something about the end of the world that fascinates me, probably the extinction of the human race is by far one of my favorite things to indulge my soul in. Case in point, the NEWSFLESH Series. This series was recommended to me by a pair of my close friends, and I was actually really quick in purchasing it. Actually, if I am being honest it was the cover art alone that was the underlying reasons why I bought the series, for starters, the main quote: THE GOOD NEWS: WE SURVIVED. THE BAD NEWS: SO DID THEY. I mean really – doesn’t that just give you chills?
Lets just drive in, shall we?
FEED occurs in 2039 from the perspective view of Georgia Mason who is a blogger, along with her brother, Shaun at the After the End of Times. Bloggers are the new mainstream media outlet of this day in age due to the outbreaks that lead to what is now known as the Rising, or the zombie apocalypse, to which majority of the world blamed mainstream media for the cause for the panic. Essentially there are different types of bloggers within the media; Newsies (objective, fact based reporters), Irwins (named after Steve Irwin who seek to educate by exploring, obviously the running joke of wanting to ‘poke things with a stick’), Aunties (sharing personal stories, recipes), Stewarts (reported by opinion), Fictionals (reported by poetry, often considered some content fanfiction). Definitely a really interesting and fun way to imagine what reporting would be like from the view of a blogger? erh…
Georgia and Shaun land the dream job, covering the presidential election, but unfortunately this comes at a cost they were not expecting. Anticipating to uncover Senator Peter Ryman secrets, our group finds out that they actually respect the political individual, it isn’t until the campaign goes from boringly uneventful to a string of random zombie attacks start popping up like daisies in highly secured areas of the campaign, does the group start uncovering more to the story. And it isn’t who is going to win the presidential election.
So in essence, this is what the world would be like if we survived the zombie outbreak and came out to actually rebuild society; people have jobs, there is still a government (for a better lack of the term considering the shady business they are) and all the while with the still lingering possibility of turning. Shit gets real.
Oh and that thought of outbreaks? …scary to think that even though society has been rebuilt, there are mentions of cities, states, countries being completely overtaken by the undead, even still. Not only can individuals still turn, or as they are referenced “amplify”, there are hugely quarantine measures taken to ensure the least amount of causalities occur in the midst of such incidents. What would it be like? This is something that is beyond one of my more favorite world building aspects of FEED, the detail of the thought process – controlled safe zones, blood testing, decontamination protocols (they literally bath in bleach…), eye exams – it is extremely far fetched to believe a zombie could actually happen but the aftermath if it could, is painful realistic.
Some of the other things that I liked were that the zombies were not the entire focus of the novel but they were not just a sideline either. This story like most zombie stories these days are focus not just on the zombies but the survivors themselves. Probably some of my more favorable interests is that the narrative is witty and downright snidely colorful along the while the character development is just on point – at least for the most part. One interesting part was the journal entries and the blog posts that were between each chapter that detailed what happened in the past, present or future that really tied directly into the chapter itself while giving you an idea of the world and the overall story development.
I will say however something that really stuck to my nitty gritty that I was not too keen on was a particular character development of the supporting cast almost seemed forced, just to move the story along for the sake of convenience. For example, a character who strictly behaves one way changes her personality to become a pseudo-antagonist for the convenience of plot. I understand that at times the author or publisher must condense information down on their readers but this more than anything else jumped out to me. It was just something that simply did not flow well with my thoughts of the plot, not that it made it any less enjoyable, but rather it lacked a luster. The same goes for the ending assumed ‘villain’ which was absolutely predictable yet came with a painfully obvious ploy, this was not the end. It in a way seemed anti-climatic to such a powerful buildup.
Overall, I would recommend that you purchase this book immediately if you are a fan of post-apocalyptic settings and conspiracies. If you liked World War Z, The Walking Dead, The Fallout Universe, Hater Series, and the Autumn Series then this is definitely right up your alley. If zombies are just not your thing, I would still recommend that you give this book a try as the story and character development itself is a great driving force. Especially as the trilogy continues it becomes less about the Zombies and more about human nature in itself, government conspiracies and how they directly affect the general public. Without giving away too much, the story comes down to about what’s right and wrong and the moral grays in between.
And just so you know…the ending is a swift kick to my phantasmal balls; the gut wrenching, tearfully choked up moment that cascades to what feels like it is the end of the world. It is even more powerful on audiobook; I am broken.