“Alive or dead, the truth won't rest. My name is Georgia Mason, and I am begging you. Rise up while you can.” The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beaten the common cold. But in doing so we had created something new, something terrible. The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED.
Now, twenty years after the Rising, Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives – the dark conspiracy behind the infected. The truth will out, even if it kills them.
I don't consider myself a zombie fan, it's never been a genre that interested me. But, the author, who also writes (lighter) urban fantasy involving the fey, under the name of Seanan McGuire, is one whose writing that I enjoy and I had heard good buzz about the book. Combine that with the above blurb, which piqued my interest, and I had to check it out. It's the first book of The Newsflesh Trilogy.
The beginning of the book starts out fast with a close encounter between a group of zombies and the two main leads, brother and sister, Shaun and Georgia Mason. Then it becomes one slow, long info dump that gives the background needed for the story. We meet their parents, their business partner and friend, Buffy, the computer geek and fiction writer, and learn about the virus which turns people into zombies, and some of the resulting social, political, and cultural changes. The book is set in the USA, but occasionally references other parts of the world and how they were affected.
The book picks up the pace when Georgia, Shaun and Buffy are chosen to be the official, resident bloggers for one of the candidates in the race to determine party candidates for the US presidential election. It's a bold strategy for the candidate to have bloggers (who are considered respectable journalists in this world) living with, and following him, daily on the campaign trail. What follows is an inside look at an election campaign complete with betrayal, intrigue, medicine, politics, and life in general.
Grant takes a while to establish her world and is occasionally stingy about revealing information but overall, the book is a solid, fascinating read, well worth the reader's patience. It's an intriguing mix of science fiction, sociology, current events, action, horror and politics. One note: hardcore zombie fans may wish there were more zombie appearances but it was just right for me.
Publisher: Orbit Books
This book was purchased with the reviewer's own funds.