Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy Series #1)

Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy Series #1) - In 2014, the Rising happened. The dead came back to life and went on the rampage, biting or simply splattering the living to try to spread the infection. Millions died and the only reason more didn’t die was the Bloggers – while the news was telling the world that everything was ok, the Bloggers told the truth.Decades have passed since that first Rising, decades in which society tried to put itself back together under knew, extreme security precautions, avoiding the zombie infested zones and living with the fact that anyone who dies will rise again – and attack and spread. In this paranoid world, the functions of government continue and it’s election time. And George (Georgia), her brother Shaun and he friend Buffy have been handed the biggest opportunity of their blogging careers – the chance to cover a presidential candidate for the full length of the campaign.It’s a great victory for the legitimacy of blogging and a massive opportunity for George and Shaun to establish themselves as Alpha bloggers; but on the campaign trail they find something far more sinister than your average election time politics.I love this world. I love this world because so much detail has gone into its creation. Not just into connecting all the fantasy elements together to make sure all of the fantastic and sci-fi and dystopian elements were internally consistent, but also the work that has gone into to plug all the gaps and make sure that it is something can see and believe happening.Because it’s a complicated world. It isn’t the standard zombie apocalypse with a few brave souls desperately trying to survive and occasionally losing it and trying to kill each other as has become something of a staple in the genre. This is a society that has survived and built up after the apocalypse. A society with people who have grown up not remembering anything but the zombie threat. A society that has to deal with the fact any human being could die and will rise as a zombie, who has to deal with the fact even a spec of infected bodily fluids could trigger your own zombiedom leading to a chain reaction that could massacre everyone around you and create an army of the undead – and not just zombies but any large mammal. A world where large sections of the country are abandoned or near abandoned because of the zombies, where there are threat zones designated based on how safe they are from zombiesThe knock on effect from that is huge – beef disappears, large farm animals are too dangerous to keep around people since, if they die they become a threat. Wilderness becomes a no go area. And the endless quest for safety has led to ever more restrictions, gated communities where children can’t even go out and play and where an entire generation has grown up with a deep terror of crowds or the outside, their homes overlaid by security systems and constantly monitored for infection. The government has huge sweeping powers in the name of security – including a CDC with broad, lethal authorisation. People take constant blood tests to a paranoid degree to prove they are safe to be around.All of this is put together with more unique elements – like the rise of blogging as a major source of media as the mainstream media tried to cover up the zombie outbreak rather than tell the truth – and entertainment for the shut in masses. It all comes together to be a deeply nuanced and multi-levelled world where hours must have gone into considering every contingency. Especially since this is also a book about politics so the political implications of everything have to be considered – laws about keeping large pets or annihilating all wildlife, the question of the death penalty, raising religiosity in the face of the near apocalypse; political issues that have been vastly skewed because of the zombie uprising.I love this world. I love this world beyond measure. I love this world so much I want to say it’s perfect and wonderful and I have no complaints. But, objectively, I can’t say that. Objectively I have to admit that this book is absolutely bursting with info-dumps. I love them, I love what they reveal, I find them fascinating in the extreme – but they’re still info-dumps. They didn’t bother me, but in any other book they would have infuriated me. Similarly, the first half of the book is probably inexcusably slow – introducing this world while not achieving an awful lot. Senator Ryman’s policies – “the good guy” – are also awfully good; too good. The chances of a politician being universally reasonable on everything? It’s a bit of a stretch.But I loved the world so didn’t mind. And after that the story definitely picks up – it races along through action, intrigue, betrayal, high emotion – and ends with a positive kick in the gut that leaves you staring at your tablet with a stunned expression and a dawning sense of horror that NO THIS IS NOT GOING TO BE FIXED?!?!Read More