I get a chuckle every time someone talks about predictions from science-fiction. No such thing has ever happened. Science fiction writes write books that are scientifically-minded (at least, a little more so than other books) and eventually it starts to look a little accurate, but only if you have your eyes blurred. If you are looking with more scrutiny, you realize just how off the prediction was. Mostly this is because with all books written prior to the 1990’s no one saw the internet coming. But even in modern books one often gets the feeling that they have completely forgotten just to what extent the internet has permeated every aspect of modern life, and this is not ever addressed in any of these books. I’ve often found myself reading a modern science-fiction book and asked myself ‘what the fuck happened to the internet?’
It’s a bit ridiculous, isn’t it?
Mira Grant’s feed didn’t forget the internet. I can imagine she had a similar line of reasoning to the above when she was coming up with the story. It follows a society that has a zombie problem, but never had the zombie apocalypse that every other book in the zombie genre imagines. Life has soldiered on despite the zombies, and while a lot has changed the world is largely recognizable as one that stems from our own. A plot synopsis illustrates the distinction; in Feed, the central characters are independent journalists / bloggers who have been contracted to follow / cover the campaign trail of republican candidate for the presidential election. In other words, its a zombie story where the world really did just keep calm and soldier on through it. It’s definitely a welcome relief from the standard ‘run for your life’ zombie stories.
(Potential Spoiler Warning)
The story was definitely kept afloat by the really good world building. The characters were likable enough, but there was a lot that did not seem terribly developed. Without giving too much away, a certain character’s betrayal felt like it came up from nothing, and there was really only a single line towards the beginning that explained the difference between that character and another that led to their betrayal. But that single line doesn’t do enough to explain why that character would compromise the people she was working with. As well as this, the principal villain of the story is telegraphed pretty early on, but the author recreated the tension lost there by having a character not believe it.
This book came with some pretty high recommendations that I was rather skeptical of. Largely, I do not think that ‘zombie’ genre really has all that much to offer. And despite these initial biases I was very happy with the book once I had finished it. I am even thinking about reading the sequels.