Sunday, July 3, 2011

Feed (Book)

Blogging. Presidential Campaigns. Ratings. Zombies. The Bond Between Sibling. Conspiracies. Viral Amplification. Betrayal.

I confess that when I found out that a zombie book was one of the nominees for the Hugo Award, I put off reading it. I was almost to the point of saying that I would only read it if it actually won the Hugo Award. I am now glad that I didn’t wait. Feed by Seanan McGuire, written under the pen name Mira Grant, is a really good story. The explanation of the Zombies is believable. The characters are likeable. The plot is fast moving. The book is well written. And yes, I was on the verge of tears at some points.

Briefly, the story takes place in 2039/40 during the presidential elections. Georgia and Shaun, adopted siblings, are bloggers who have been chosen to be embedded in Senator Ryman’s campaign for president. The siblings and their colleagues have lots of high tech gadgets, including cameras and microphones. Their world is different from ours. Since 2014 everyone has had to deal with the threat of the Kellis-Amberlee virus, which causes large mammals to reanimate after they die, an adaptation that helps the virus to spread. In order to keep the living safe, people constantly have their blood checked for viral amplification. At first Georgia and Sean are focused on blog ratings. As the story progresses, there are unexplained accidents, which might be acts of terrorism. Will the bloggers risk their lives to uncover the truth? Most of the story is told from the first person point of view, which offers an interesting twist. (When I described the book to my neighbor, she told me it sounded like epidemic fiction, which I have since learned is a whole sub-genre.)

I am not about to start reading more zombie books, but I do think that Feed is a worthy contender for the 2011 Hugo Awards. I have now completed reading all the 2011 Hugo Award novel nominees. The Dervish House is still my favorite. Feed is in my tie for second place.

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