First off--apologies for not being a very good comment responder the last few days. I'm home with a sick little boy, so things have been crazy around here! I promise I will come back to Earth soon.
Author: Mira Grant
Publication Date: May 1, 2010
Source: borrowed from the good ol' public library
Plot Summary from Goodreads:
The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beaten the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED. Now, twenty years after the Rising, bloggers Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives - the dark conspiracy behind the infected. The truth will get out, even if it kills them.
First and foremost, I will take this opportunity to share a zombie joke.
What do vegetarian zombies eat?
Okay then. Now that you've survived my poor attempt at humor, on to the book. I love zombies. I'd heard good things about this novel (the first in the Newsflesh trilogy) for a while, and with Halloween coming up, I figured I could use some zombie-chomping goodness in my life. However, despite what the description sounds like, this is not a book about the zombie apocalypse, per se. It takes place 20+ years after the zombie horde has arrived--so the world has already had ample time to fight and contain the infection. That's not to say the zombies aren't a threat anymore (because they are...oooooh yes they are), but the world's survivors have had time to figure out how to live around it. There's an entire generation that never even remembers going about their lives without zombies.
That's the generation that Georgia and Shaun are a part of, and they come equipped with a cynical worldview to match. Georgia is the primary narrator, and I quickly took a liking to her voice. She's persistently sarcastic and skeptical, which is a POV that could easily get annoying as the sardonic one-liners start piling up. But I thought that Grant wrote it well, and I appreciated Georgia's humor paired with her overall bitterness towards...well, everything except her brother, and the pursuit of truth.
On top of that, the world-building in this book is phenomenal. Grant thought through every part of what this post-infection life would include, from the virology behind the disease, to the social ramifications of its containment. I got caught up in it early on, and it's a big part of why I'll be looking for the next two Newsflesh books soon.
As for the action--DUH, there's zombies. Biting, moaning, flesh-hungry zombies. So you will get your fill of that. But there's also political corruption, media wars, and conspiracies. (Oh, and fellow bloggers will be happy to hear that bloggers have taken over the media in 2040, so there is hope for us yet!) It's important to realize that the zombies are not always center-stage in this book--they are the reason for everything that's happening, but the actual story here goes far beyond that. I could see how that might throw people off, given the description. But I liked that Grant took the often-done zombie idea and put a new spin on it.
There is one ginormous "OMG, WTF" twist that had my jaw hanging open and my eyes glued to the page. I don't want to give anything away, but I think Grant did something very risky there. I'd love to chat about it with anyone who's read the book.
Overall, this one was a win in my book. Great narrator, non-stop plot movement, and a dystopian world that's believable enough to suck you in within the first few pages. I'm excited to see what the second book of this trilogy has in store!
What are some of your favorite zombie reads?
(And hey, don't forget my audiobook giveaway is still going on, HERE!)