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#79 Feed by Mira Grant

In 2039, everyone is infected with the Kellis-Amberlee Virus. This disease turns every carrier into a blood thirty zombie upon death, and the process can be speed up if someone is bitten or otherwise infected by one of the walking dead. While most of the world spends as much time as possible isolating themselves in designated safe zones, bloggers Georgia and Shaun Mason tempt fate by traveling into infected territories for a good story. When their high ratings attract the attention of Senator Peter Ryman, they find themselves with the job of a lifetime: follow Senator Ryman around the country as he campaigns for the chance to become president of the United States. But when one of Ryman's rallies go horribly wrong, Georgia and Shaun find themselves in a fight for their lives.

Feed is a book that I've been curious about for a while, so I was excited when I learned that it had been selected for calico_reaction 's book club this October. It didn't take long for me to become absolutely hooked on this novel, but not for the reasons I suspected. Sure there's plenty of nail biting suspense, and zombie fueled action (although less than I expected on the latter), but what really drew me into this book was Grant's solid world building and characterization. Feed is satisfyingly current, drawing from twenty-first century topics such as the struggle between blogs and traditional media outlets, as well as hot button political issues. This makes the story, despite it's fantastic elements, feel well grounded and believable. The novels believability is further enhanced by the no-nonsense heroine Georgia, who so desperately wants to bring the truth the the masses that it's easy to trust her. She's informative without feeling text book, and I loved watching her interact with her thrill seeking brother.

There are so many things I enjoy about this novel. I love the fact that Feed doesn't constantly move at 150 mils per hour. The moments where it slows down to develop characters, and their relationships make more dramatic developments later on in the novel more shocking. I like that we're presented with an unlikely duo of protagonists. Yes by-the-book female lead and the more impulsive male lead has been done before (some would argue, to death), but I appreciate the fact that the sibling-like bickering was because Georgia and Shaun were actually siblings, and not some sign that they would end up together by the end of the book. One thing I found amusing (and quite realistic) is how the zombie situation has impacted the media. Sure, people now report on the status of the undead, but the people who report the news are still the same. You have fame whores, thrill seekers, and those who want nothing more to report the truth.

Feed is a politically charged suspense novel that drew me in in ways I was not expecting. Grant has found a new reader in me, and I will be sure to pick up the rest of this series, as well as sample her works written under the name Seanan McGuire.

Rating: five stars
Length: 599 pages
Source: Lewiston Public Library
Challenge: This book is not part of any challenges
Similar Books: For more books about the undead try Dead Beat by Jim Butcher (my review), No Humans Involved by Kelley Armstrong, The Forests of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan (my review) and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith (my review). Feed should also appeal to fans of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (my review).
Other books I've read by this author: this is my first

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