After watching The Walking Dead I felt I needed a zombie novel to bridge the gap. Feed seemed to get some good reviews and so I thought I'd give it a whirl. The plot centers around a couple of journalists / bloggers following a political campaign for president of The United States. This is all set in 'post outbreak' America which makes the whole thing much more interesting. The two young journalists are your typical tank-girl / nerd-jock stereotypes and they uncover a political conspiracy whilst encountering some zombie outbreaks along the way. So:
I liked the blogger / journalist angle; it felt fresh and it gave the two main characters an edge.
I liked the main thrust of the story, on the campaign trail and the use of How To Deal With The Undead as a manifesto pledge. It felt quite tangible.
I thought the plotting of why the undead rose from the dead and how the virus manifests itself is beautifully conceived and is one of the most impressive zombie raison d'etres I have ever read.
The sci-fi and the technology is wonderful - superbly imagined, credible and well depicted.
The actual conspiracy has quite a few major plot holes in it, big enough for a zombie to walk through. I sometimes felt that the plot was paced very slowly at times and then went very fast and then slow and then super, super fast and then to a crawl...I felt it should have raced towards a finale...and it just didn't.
The characters (apart from Senator Ryman) are wooden, one dimensional and all speak with similar voices.
The dialogue is poor most of the time and reads quite badly. Georgia Mason is just too flippant and jingoistic to sound even vaguely like a real person.
There are no real thrills in this book and the action sequences felt quite dry and antiseptic with no real panache.
The book is WAAAAY too long. It could have been half the length and been a better book.
Oh, and there are hardly any zombies. That, to me, should be the absolute top priority for a zombie book: zombies, lots of them and people who are prepared to do what is necessary.
I really wanted to like this book. There is a lot to like but it felt like a book that a strong editor would have sent back to the author to bash into shape and it would have improved the book immeasurably. It is let down by heavy tracts of unnecessary description, poor characterisation and woeful dialogue...but I think there is a terrific author waiting to come out. She has some superb ideas and occasionally the book really sings...but she needs some help IMHO. 2 1/2 stars. Call it 3, I'll be generous. But just for the sci-fi!
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