Author: Mira Grant
Publication Date: 5/1/10
Blurb (www.miragrant.com, via GR):
In 2014, two experimental viruses—a genetically engineered flu strain designed by Dr. Alexander Kellis, intended to act as a cure for the common cold, and a cancer-killing strain of Marburg, known as "Marburg Amberlee"—escaped the lab and combined to form a single airborne pathogen that swept around the world in a matter of days. It cured cancer. It stopped a thousand cold and flu viruses in their tracks.
It raised the dead.
Millions died in the chaos that followed. The summer of 2014 was dubbed "The Rising," and only the lessons learned from a thousand zombie movies allowed mankind to survive. Even then, the world was changed forever. The mainstream media fell, Internet news acquired an undeniable new legitimacy, and the CDC rose to a new level of power.
Set twenty years after the Rising, the Newsflesh trilogy follows a team of bloggers, led by Georgia and Shaun Mason, as they search for the brutal truths behind the infection. Danger, deceit, and betrayal lurk around every corner, as does the hardest question of them all:
When will you rise?
I think my Venn diagram says it all. What? It doesn't? Well, alright then. This book was a real roller coaster for me. I attempted to read a library copy in December and I just couldn't make it through. THE POLITICS. THE BLOGGING. There are several sections of Feed that really slow down the pacing. At points, I felt like I was running around an empty track. At others, someone had tied concrete blocks to my feet and I was running in quicksand. I am so happy that I finished it my second time through, though I have to admit that my motivation to do so was increased by 1) the fact that I was reading with a friend and 2) several of my Goodreads friends sing this book's praises.
The ultimate strength of this novel is in the characters. Adopted brother and sister, Georgia and Shaun, hold the entire story together with their bond. I grew to really enjoy some of the side characters as well, though it was clear to me who was up to no good before their big reveals.
I think the reason I didn't love this as much as some of my friends is that I felt it could've been at least 100 pages shorter than it was. The beginning solidified Georgia and Shaun's familial situation and their friendship with Buffy, as well as the entire world they were living in and the blogging atmosphere. I was hooked. The ending was just fantastic. It was the middle that was rough going and it makes me nervous to start the second Newsflesh book--will it be a blog slog again?