Feed is not about zombies. Yes, they play a significant role in the book, but the book is simply not about them. It is a gripping book about journalism and journalistic integrity.
It starts out with a dramatic zombie escape sequence, as all books involving zombies must, which honestly left me feeling… “um. ok. And?” The scene was good but it didn’t seem to have a real point beyond acting as a hook. Immediately afterwards she sets about the task of building up the world of her main characters, not a “zombie! zombie! fear! fear!” world; a world where two twenty-something siblings go about their life of being professional bloggers / journalists in a world where The Infected are an everyday part of life that has been, to varying degrees, contained.
When The Rising happened people stopped trusting traditional media, because it let them down so badly, and began to trust Bloggers who spoke the truth about the dead rising and what people needed to do to save themselves. By the time of the story Bloggers have become organized themselves into a very real and serious form of journalists categorized by the type of stories they produce: news, opinion, fiction, real-life action, etc.
Our main characters get a gig following a presidential candidate on the campaign trail, which sounds rather incongruous with a zombie book, and doesn’t make you say “oh my, this will be good!” But trust me, it is, and it gets better with every page. It’s just a matter of time before you’re stealing extra minutes in the bathroom just to see what happens next. It’s a little slow in the beginning, and some of the “clues” are discovered a bit too easily, but this is the best book I have read in a very long time.
The poignancy of the climactic scene in the van will stick with you for a long time, and you will love, and hate how it all ends.
Read this book. Read this book if you ever thought it’d be cool to be a reporter. Read this book if it bothers you that our media outlets are hamstrung by governments and over-litigious societies. Read this if it bothers you that people keep giving away their freedoms every time something scary happens. And… read this book if you like a little zombie spice in your tales.
Four out of 5 stars, only because the intro sequence left me feeling meh and the real story took a little bit to get going. You could *almost* delete the first two chapters and have a better book, but the end of the second chapter sets up some important details on how the main characters do their job.