4 out of 5
FEED has been sitting in my backpack for several months in the virtual "I really need to get around to reading this" pile. I'm glad I did. It's quite well done.
FEED starts out somewhat slow, but that is to be expected for the first novel set in a new universe. It does after all take some time to get the reader up to speed on the way things work 20 years after "Rising Day". Once fleshed out though, the book becomes a fairly fast paced romp.
Several of the negative reviews on Amazon have centered on the fact that the book is not really about fighting zombies. True. The zombies are mostly background material, they are the reason for the story, not the focus. One might as well complain that they were mislead because they thought that Huckleberry Finn was going to be about the river.
Primarily the book is about the rise of new media over the old in the post-zombie-apocalypse. Those complaining that it was more about blogging than zombies should take note of the giant RSS feed symbol on the cover.
It's about living in the post zombie rising world, not about the zombies. Says so right on the cover: Good news: we survived; Bad News: So did they. Seriously Hello People, pay attention here.
McGuire does an excellent job of world building and of characterization. She does fall short a bit in the plotting department, as the bad guys are way too obvious, and I thought she telegraphed the ending pretty early. A little better plotting would have earned this 5 stars.
Spoiler Alert: I knew Seanan was going to go with the Podkayne of Mars ending by page 3 or 4. Now other than Heinlein, I can't think of anyone else who has used that ending, so most readers might not be expecting it. And of course I mean the original ending to Pody, not the sanitized one the publisher forced on Heinlein.
The odd thing is, I've known Seanan since high school, so when her characters go into expository mode they speak in Seanan's voice. It's a particular voice unique to Seanan. Using a pseudonymn is silly. The book is written in Seanan's voice, style, and particular sense of humor; there is no point in pretending otherwise, even if Mira Grant is an open pseudonym.
And don't worry, there are enough zombies to go around.