Spoilers ahead for Mira Grant’s Feed, though not that many, because I haven’t even finished the book myself, yet.
I’m torn about this novel. It’s entertaining, yes. It’s just interesting enough that I haven’t gotten frustrated and put it down, but I find it oddly off-putting. Perhaps it’s because I’m slightly more than halfway through, and only just now has a real plot (an actual conspiracy, versus the ‘we are on the road’ storyline that was in play before) seemed to start. Or maybe it’s the continuous use of long, dialogue-free paragraphs that basically discuss politics and politicians that we have rarely seen, or haven’t seen at all. Feed is a big user of telling versus showing. I think my main issue is the protagonist, Georgia. I find her unlikable. She is incredibly cranky, and rude to the people around her, the people she supposedly respects and/or loves. She tells the reader all about her excellent writing and her excellent reputation, but no real evidence is given to lend credence to either of those claims (as previously discussed, chapter ends are usually punctuated by blog posts, but since those posts are in the same general style as the actual narration, there’s nothing there to really blow me away as a reader and say, ‘Oh, Georgia is quite talented’). Furthermore, nothing the other characters say about Georgia offers anything likable about her, anything resembling a ‘she is cranky, but…‘ statement. It’d go a long way, to be sure. I think Grant is relying too heavily on the idea that since Georgia is the protagonist, we’ll automatically like her. Her ‘snappy’ dialogue with her brother Shaun, or her one-liners directed at the people around her are designed to be witty, but since she’s given no instances of heart at any other point, she just comes off as rude. Were she a real person, someone would have told her off by now. The only character so far who seems to be a decent antagonist (zombie hordes notwithstanding, though those are few and far between) is Governor Tate, the adversary-cum-running mate to the politician the Masons are following on the campaign trail. He finds Georgia largely distasteful, rude, and disagrees with her politically. Naturally, he is painted in the worst light as a horrible person (who I’m certain will be involved in the conspiracy somehow) for having a dissenting opinion, although I don’t disagree with his opinion of Georgia, even if he goes about it in a condescending, semi-sexist, and vaguely classist way.
In spite of all of this, for reasons I honestly cannot put my finger on, the novel manages to be compelling enough I’ve yet to put it down. Hopefully this momentum continues, though we’ll see how I feel when I finish the book and have to decide whether or not I’ll seek out further books in the series.