I decided to give the Newsflesh Trilogy by Mira Grant a fair shot by reading all three books, even though the third installment is the current nominee for Best Novel at the Hugo Awards. Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance was such a disappointment, that I plan to go back and read some of the other books in that series later, too.
I’m really glad I started with the first book, Feed, as it was a pleasant surprise. I didn’t expect I would really enjoy a zombie novel, considering zombies have pretty much inundated the market lately. Really, how many more angles can you explore with dead brain-eaters? And considering my knowledge of zombie lore starts and stops with Shaun of the Dead, I kind of dreaded the idea of having to spend my summer reading three entire books about zombies.
But I’m glad I made the commitment. In Feed, Mira Grant, or, rather Seanan McGuire (why do authors adopt pseudonyms mid-career?), builds a profound new zombie world with a meaningful historical and scientific basis to explain the presence of zombies thirty years in the future. It is a quick, eventful read starring a cast of characters with famous nomenclatures (Shaun, Buffy, and several derivatives of George Romero.) At first, I thought I would be annoyed by reading about a perky, kick-ass blonde named Buffy, but the tongue-in-cheek jest faded as the character developed into her own identity.
The combination of two man-made viruses have resulted in a worldwide zombie plague. Siblings George (Georgia) and Shaun risk their lives daily to cover the news of the plague and share their findings on their popular blog, which attracts the attention of Senator Ryman, a presidential nominee, who invites them to cover his campaign. The campaign coverage brings danger and controversy to the young bloggers who seeks to expose the truth at all costs.
I don’t want to do a full review until I complete the entire series because I’m so far into the second novel that i can’t really keep the past two novels separate, but I will say these three things:
1. According to Mira Grant, stock in Starbucks and Coca-cola will still be strong in 3 decades, even in a zombiefied America. (Or maybe because of a zombiefied America?) Seriously, these characters drink way too much Coke. It probably says something about me that I worry more about them when they drink Coke for breakfast, than I do when they are fighting off zombies at the Republican National Convention.
2. This book is written in first-person narrative, which repels me like no other writing style. I’ll take overused adverbs over a first-person narrated novel. But, because this book is about young blogger journalists, first-person is the only style that suits the story.
3. No one is safe in Feed. Bravo to Mira Grant for surprising me.