Feed by Mira Grant, narrated by Paula Christensen and Jesse Bernstein
Please don’t stop reading this review when I tell you there are zombies.
Georgia and Shaun Mason live in the same world we do, just about 30 years in the future. Twenty-five years after science goes amuck, curing the common cold, but inadvertantly infecting every human being on the planet with a virus that turns them into zombies when they die. At least nobody gets colds anymore. Brother and sister, Georgia and Shaun are licensed bloggers, looking to jump to their own site. Georgia is a newsie, and Shaun is an irwin – the term for the highly adventerous who like to poke zombies with sticks (I can only assume it is a reference to the late Steve Irwin). When Georgia and Shaun learn that they have landed the gig of official bloggers for the presidential campaign of Senator Ryman – a smart, affable man – they figure they have arrived, everything seems to be going right by any standards. Until everything on the campaign starts going wrong, starting with a zombie attack on the Senator’s compound that can only be sabatogue.
Thoughts on the story:
I know, the whole cure colds and create zombies thing sounds a little bizarre when I type it here, but Grant made it seem ever-so-reasonable. Really, A+ for world building. In a dystopian or post-apocalyptic novel (I think this definitely leans more towards post-apocalyptic), I have this intense need to understand how exactly the world got the way it has become, I think it has to do with having been a history major. Grant totally came through for me on that. Georgia imparted to me everything I needed or wanted to know about the zombie-filled United States of 30 years from now, but it was done in a way that avoided simply being an information dump. Everything told was relevant to something happening in the story, or would have legitimately been written on her blog.
I completely loved Georgia. She was a really strong female protagonist who managed to seemlessly meld a no-nonsense business attitude with a deep love for her brother and friends and a deep passion for the truth. She also kept the story interesting with her dry humor and her quick (but not too quick) ability to work out what was going on.
Thoughts on the audio production:
Paula Christensen was the perfect choice to narrate Georgia, she absolutely became the character for me. “Feed” was well-suited for audio to begin with, since the entire story is told in first person, but Christensen totally nailed it. I did initially think it odd to have Jesse Bernstein around for what seemed like only narrating his blog posts at the beginning of chapters, but I understand now why that was done and am okay with it, even if it was slightly disconcerting while I was listening.
Honestly, “Feed” was everything I had hoped that “The Passage” would be but it wasn’t.
I seriously loved both this story and the audio production. There was just so much energy to it, and the story was so interesting. The zombies were really more of a device to fuel the story about politics and new v. old media and, perhaps partially because I’m already very interested in those things, it totally worked for me. Loved it, can’t wait fo the second book in the trilogy, recommend it highly.