Zombies are everywhere these days, even infecting Day Two of the Adult 4 Teen blog. I would fight it, but Feed by Mira Grant is entertaining and smart, and as a paperback original it might have escaped notice. First in the Newsflesh series, this particular zombie apocalypse centers around social media, blogging, the future of communications and presidential election politics.
It also boasts a very clever website.
Feed won Mira Grant (aka Seanan McGuire) the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, presented at the Hugo Awards last month. So when your teen readers clamor for the second in the series, don’t say I didn’t warn you. (Deadline is scheduled for May 2011.)
While we’re here, thought I would mention that the publisher of Feed is Orbit, the Science Fiction and Fantasy imprint of Hachette Book Group. Orbit made a splash in the Adult Books for Young Adults world last year with Soulless by Gail Carriger, a 2010 Alex Award winner. In what is projected to be a five-book series titled The Parasol Protectorate, Soulless was followed this year by Changeless and Blameless.
Tomorrow we move into the realm of nonfiction. Meanwhile, enjoy the review.
Adult/High School–When readers first meet Georgia Mason and her adoptive brother, Shaun, it is 2039 and they are battling a horde of zombies in the city that was once Santa Cruz. They escape when Georgia is able to drive over the mob and get them safely to the van they share with their third adoptive sibling, Buffy. The three of them form the core of a journalistic team earnestly engaged in spreading the truth through blogging, one of the only forms of communication still available. The society they know is cloistered, ever-fearful of the Kellis-Amberlee viral infection that rapidly transforms a human into a flesh-eating zombie. When the trio is chosen to cover the presidential campaign, they are thrilled. But as they get closer to the inner circles of power, uncovering the truth becomes deadly. This action-packed, technology-amped suspense novel has many page-turning elements–zombies, political intrigue, combat scenes, and even a hint of incestuous romance. Georgia (who is named after George Romero, because it turns out he got it right about the zombies) is a tough and passionate narrator. Teens who loved the latest spate of zombie tales will find something more satisfying than awkward high school romance here. In fact, the zombies are peripheral in much of the novel, which focuses on the corruption of the American political machine as well as the evolution of the deadly Kellis-Amberlee virus. Think Michael Crichton, only savvier. And the ending is a real killer, sure to leave readers hooked to the “Newsflesh” series.–Diane Colson, New Port Richey Library, FL