Series: Newsflesh #1
Author: Mira Grant
Pages: 571 (paperback)
Published: May 1st 2010
Published by: Orbit
The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beaten the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED. Now, twenty years after the Rising, bloggers Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives - the dark conspiracy behind the infected. The truth will get out, even if it kills them.
Zombies came and there was chaos. Then people got over it and began trying to live their lives again. It was bloggers that spread the word of the original uprising, and this medium has taken over much of the media. Georgia and Shaun Mason are two such bloggers who, along with Georgette "Buffy" Meissonier, win a place on the campaign trail of Peter Ryman. They thinks it's going to be the launching pad their career needed, but there's so much more going on than they know...and there are still all those zombies out there too!
This book is a light, humorous look at America trying to carry on with a normal life 20 years after two miracle cures - for the common cold and cancer - join forces, mutate and cause the Rising: zombies. For obvious reasons, the story and humour both were sometimes a little dark, but it was a nice twist on the normal zombie story.
The story focuses on bloggers - who've taken the place of televised journalists - Georgia and Shaun Mason and Buffy Meissonier as they go on the campaign trail. The characters are likeable and most have their moments of brilliance, though it gets a little annoying that we are constantly reminded that Shaun likes to 'poke dead things with a stick' and that Georgia has retinal KA. In the case of the latter I understand that it is a significant, and annoying, part of her life but it seems like we can't go two pages without being reminded of this fact.
George does make a good narrator, if she does over explain things at times; this may be cleverly done and be based in her journalistic roots, but there is an awful lot of showing rather than telling which makes me think it's more the author coming through than George herself. The little snippets taken from other characters' blogs were good, and each did have their own distinctive voice.
The story as a whole was intriguing and very few clues were given as to what was actually going on, keeping you guessing until the characters themselves find out. This was nice in that I was saved being exasperated at the sheer stupidity of characters not realising what was going on when it has been made clear enough for to the reader to work it out, but a little frustrating in that I didn't think there weren't really enough clues to tell you that something was going on until it was revealed. You think it's just going to be about zombies and stuff, and then it's all like *BOOM* now there's this going on too! I would have liked a bit more of a precursor.
This book was a pretty solid 3 stars for most of it. This is, until we reach the end.
The ending made this book for me. There were a couple of twists in the story prior to this point, but the peak of this story was brilliant for it's emotion rather than for its cleverness or inventiveness. A good story was made better by the sheer emotiveness of the writing and, for that reason, I've had to bump it up to 4 stars.