Stuff I Like - The Newsflesh Series

I've been running behind on this, obviously. Suffice to say, I have not been in the mood to be positive about much of anything. But we push on, yes we do. 

I thought I hated zombie stories. Zombies are the big thing nowadays, and I am not a fan, because they all seem to be the same... A small group of survivors has survived the zombie apocalypse and must defend themselves against an ever increasing horde of the ravenous undead. Oh, and most of the survivors will be just raaaaging assholes because apparently that's who we believe will survive the zombs. It's just not my jam. 

The Newsflesh trilogy--Feed, Deadline and Blackout by Mira Grant--are another animal entirely. It's set twenty years after The Rising, the point at which two airborne viruses combined into one zombie-creating pathogen. And the world has kept turning; civilization hasn't collapsed, but adjusted to this new reality, in which a failed blood test can mean instant death and journalists are the new rock stars. Georgia and Shaun Mason are two such; she's the Newsie, an investigative reporter, and he's the Irwin, a sort of extreme nature documentarian who picks fights with zombs. When they're chosen to accompany Senator Peter Ryman on his Presidential campaign, it quickly becomes apparent that someone doesn't want them there, and is willing to shed blood to be rid of them.

Feed and the rest of the trilogy are much more about journalism and the human need to know than they are about zombies. The living dead are simply a fact of life, but they aren't the driving force, people are. There are no straight out villains, no screaming sociopaths, just people who believe themselves to be right, and often those we look at as our heroes are the ones in the wrong. The author excels at both characterization and worldbuilding, and she is so, so good at both ratcheting up the suspense and breaking the reader's heart. You want these books. Go get 'em.

(When you're done, AND ONLY WHEN YOU'RE DONE, check out Mark Oshiro's chapter by chapter reviews and watch a man nearly lose his sanity. Heavy, HEAVY spoilers, read the books first.)