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Feed - Mira Grant What do you get when the honorable friendships and truth-telling of The West Wing (Sorkin years) are mixed together with sibling closeness rivaling V.C. Andrew's Flowers in the Attic, and emotional, family-shattering zombie transformations resembling Simon Pegg's Shaun of the Dead? Well, Feed, that's what. Despite Feed's flaws, I enjoyed the read very much, and am eager to get started on the second installment in the Newsflesh trilogy.

What did I love about Feed? Plenty! Grant's fearlessness in killing off her major characters, including the narrator; surprise plot twists; the deep theological discussions about what the Feed brand of zombie apocalypse says about the various images of God holding sway today; the closeness between siblings Georgia and Shaun; the scattering of pop culture references throughout (Tom Cruise and Al Gore as the 2018 Presidential ticket, George/Georgette/Georgia as popular post-Rising names in homage to George Romero, George Romero as a savior of the human race, Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin as the archetypal action journalist, etc.); the roulette-like tension that builds as red and green lights dance during blood tests; Grant's attention to detail on the science behind zombie infection; the emotional gravity and near-constant sense of foreboding maintained through much of the book - these are just some of the reasons I enjoyed Feed. In the end, the book's power came down to one thing for me - I did not want Georgia to die. She was such an ornery, honorable, talented, physically vulnerable heroine. It's not an overstatement to say that the circumstances surrounding her tragic infection and death devastated me for a time. I had to set Feed down and talk to my partner Amanda about how Grant had hurt my feelings. Books don't take me to that vulnerable place too often. Grant should be ashamed of herself! :)

There were flaws too. Governor Tate comes off as a Scooby Doo-like villain in the end ("If it wasn't for those damn blogging kids, I would have gotten away with it."). I struggled to believe the closeness between Mahir and Georgia. Infodumps abound. And how did Mom and Dad Mason go from somewhat pathetic glory hounds to repulsive, unfeeling rejects in the span of one page at the book's end? These issues aren't even close to enough to keep me from continuing through the series. I really need to know the whos and whys behind this conspiracy, and if the truth and Georgia, in Obi Wan-like fashion, will get the last laugh. Feed's a very worthy read.