Feed by Mira Grant
I'm a bit tired of the zombie genre. However, this was of interest because of the large part that blogging plays in the story. In fact, blogging is the reason for the story, as it turns out. And that is the reason my friend pressed the book upon me, as he knew my long time blogging and podcasting habits.
Set in 2040, the world has seen the zombie apocalypse thanks to well-intended medicinal cures going awry (isn't that always the way? Thank you, I Am Legend movie). The major media downplayed the idea of "zombies" rising from the dead and cost thousands of lives. But the plucky blogging community of citizen reporters gave everyone the truth and helped save civilization. Variations of George and Shaun are the most popular children's names now thanks to society's debt to such movie makers as George Romero and movies like Shaun of the Dead for giving tips to how to avoid and kill zombies. So, yes, the book is heavily invested in pop culture, as one would expect
At the time of the story, bloggers are the new celebrities and our heroine, Georgia, and her brother, Shaun, are among the most popular. They are picked to cover an up and coming presidential candidate as he campaigns before the Republican National Convention. It soon becomes apparent that someone is out to stop the campaign and our intrepid reporters are out to uncover the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
The only drawback to the story is that the solution to the mystery is so extremely simple that I'd considered it early on and rejected it as too obvious. Yes, both where the adversary was getting information (and why) and who the villain was (and why).
I really enjoyed the environment of the Newsies, Irwins, and Fictionals and how they worked together within their news organization to create full news coverage. I also appreciated the thorough thought the author gave to the virus and the implications to the living population. That actually gave the story a complexity that was lacking in the mystery details. As well, I liked the basic story and characters, although I could have done with much less of Georgia's ever present headaches due to the virus' effect on her eyes. Got it and don't mind a few reminders, but they could have cut it in half and it would have been enough.
Overall, though, high marks for a thrilling, fun to read story that kept me interested so that I kept picking up the book every time I had a chance, reading it in two days. Ironically, my overall comment would match the one that we kept reading throughout the book when others would comment on our heroes' "blogging as journalism" ... not perfect, a bit rough and could use improvemnt -- but it has great heart. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel and crossing my fingers for a more complex plot.