The first twenty-six pages of Nicole Helget's The Turtle Catcher…
It’s 2040, the world is infested with zombies, and bloggers are celebrities. When the zombie apocalypse happened, the mainstream media failed to report the facts, but the bloggers didn’t, turning them into celebrities with their own paparazzi stalkers.
The celebrity bloggers we follow in Feed by Mira Grant are sister and brother duo Georgia and Shaun Mason and their tech guru, Buffy. The story starts with high action. Shaun is trapped by zombies and to get him out of it Georgia snags him on a motorcycle, flies up a hill, and jumps over packs of zombies. It’s a really fun scene that would play out great in a movie, and I figured the rest of the book would be filled with zombie-escaping action.
But this really isn’t a zombie book. Feed is a political thriller disguised as a zombie book because it’s more about politics than it is zombies.
Georgia, Shaun, and Buffy score a great assignment and join the campaign trail of a presidential candidate. Some zombie stuff does happen on the campaign trail, but is it part of a set up? This is where the political thriller takes over. Who is trying to cause trouble for this candidate and what will this mean for Georgia, Shaun, and Buffy?
I just didn’t like what this book turned into, but it’s also more than that. The writing was pretty bad.
Feed probably has the misfortune of being the book I read right after reading wonderfully written science fiction by Connie Willis and Justin Cronin. Willis and Cronin are beautiful writers and having read them so close to this book I couldn’t help but compare, and Feed didn’t fare well.
The biggest irritation I have is that I don’t know why these bloggers are considered celebrities when all they do is use snarky, juvenile comments and cliches in their writing. Georgia tells the story, and we also get some excerpts from their blogs, and through it all are some gems like:
“Their proverbial panties get wet just thinking about…”
“…what you’ll get from me is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. So help me God.”
“…she freezes, eyes getting all wide, and says, “Shaun?” And I’m like, “What?” And she’s all, “There’s somebody else in the yard.”
I could pull examples like this throughout the whole book. I cringed multiple times. Not all people in their twenties speak like those on the “Jersey Shore.”
There is also a lot of pointless repetition throughout the book, both with phrases and with zombie protocol. We’re told again and again how Shaun likes to poke zombies with a stick and he’s introduced like this over and over. I get it, he’s a reckless idiot who will cause problems. We are also told again and again how they need to take blood tests and go through some rigorous security protocols after they’ve been near zombie-infected areas. I could recite some protocols and how much they hate to do this.
I kept reading this book because I heard good things, but I just don’t agree with the praise it’s received. Am I being too critical since it’s not as good as the extremely well-written science fiction I had just read, or is it really this bad? Lots of people seem to enjoy this book, so I feel like I must’ve been cranky or comparing it too much to literature it could never be, but I really did not dig this.