Mira Grant’s FEED packs the punch of a shotgun loaded for bear
Grant writes journalists with the same raw reality and stark impact as Edward R. Murrow broadcast during The Blitz of London. She captures the intensity of lives focused on pursuit of truth and she drops her readers into the thick of Sean poking a zombie and gives readers a taste of the addition to danger and deadline adrenaline.
Grant’s also pretty damn good with juggling a non-stop plot action- thriller plot and balancing her ensemble of characters who are people you can easily care about. In a scene where a key character might be infected reminded me of the suspense of the scene in John W. Campbell’s classic novella Who Goes There? (For geeks, it’s the scene when the researchers are testing to see who is the alien. If you can't find a copy of the novella, check out John Carpenter’s 1982 adaptation The Thing.)
Unlike Who Goes There? the surprise in FEED (Orbit, 2010) wasn’t the reveal of the villain but the price the protagonists paid to unmask him. I’ll just say this: Brutal. Loved it.
I generally don’t seek out zombie movies or books. However, I love Campbell-winning Grant's October "Toby" Daye urban fantasy series, written under her real name Seanan McGuire. The Toby Daye series has evolved into an incredibly twisted police procedural with the fae, politics, and other delightfully nastiness.
The first book in her InCryptid urban fantasy series has all the fun of a grade-B man in rubber suit monster movie including creepy lizardmen and a freaky religious cult with ballroom dancing. What’s not to enjoy.
I have no clue if Grant/McGuire ever served time as one of the ink- or pixel-stained journalist. With three series (InCryptid, October Day and NewsFlesh) in the works, she must write as fast as a journalist with an editor shouting or perhaps, cussing, for copy and a time machine.
The strength of Grant/McGuire's work caused me to give FEED a read. Now, I want to hang out with Georgia Mason and compare deadline war stories. I wish I could get chapters of Deadline on RSS feed. Since I can’t, I’ve now put the next two books in the NewsFlesh series, Deadline and Blackout, on hold at my library.
A caution, FEED may not be to everyone’s taste. If you like brutal choices — like the choices made by George R.R. Martin in his Song of Fire and Ice and the HBO television show Game of Thrones that he inspired — you’ll love to FEED on Grant's zombie apocalypse.
This review was previously posted at Pulp & Pixels.