Publishing Company: Orbit Books
‘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 is 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beaten the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED.
Now, twenty years after the Rising, bloggers 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.
This was a lot better than I expected. I’m not one for zombie books usually, zombie films I like, but I don’t think it works in book form. Until I read this. This isn’t the usual zombie book because, 1 it’s not on the outbreak of infection where it seems like the universe won’t survive and 2, we have survived and have survived to some extent of normalcy.
The book is mainly from Georgia (or George), with input from the other primary characters, Shaun, Buffy and Rick. You find out that there are different types of bloggers, the main ones that are in this book are the Newsies, the Irwins, and the Fictionals. George is a Newsie (basically they tell the facts as they are), Shaun is an Irwin (think daredevil and people who know how to spin a story so it’s about the moral but mostly about the heart pounding way they spin stories to be readable), and finally the Fictionals (do I really need to explain?).
Now for the characters (you know it’s my favourite thing to write about), which I have to say, all of the characters are extremely well developed. George was the bad ass of them. She always wears dark protective clothes, sunglasses (for medical reasons, but it still looks amazing) and she just has this attitude about her. But you can see that’s because of how she’s been raised, who her parents are, her job, things like that which really do shape her as a person. But you can also see all her weaknesses and things like that, which you can see she also tries to hide. Things like the way she looks after her brother, he’s the only one in her life that you can tell she honestly and fully trusts with her life.
Apart from that, we can also see the respect people have for her and what she does, and then also the respect she has for people who she thinks deserve that respect. She obviously has a balance of mean and good in her, because of what she does and how she handles situations. She will do anything for a story, but knows when she’s overstepping boundaries and she doesn’t do it for the people who she thinks deserve better than awful news reports.
Then we have Shaun, who we think won’t last long because he’s introduced to us by prodding a zombie with a hockey stick. At first I have to admit I really didn’t like him, he seemed careless, childish and pathetic, but he definitely grows on you. He’s one of those people who you think are going to grate on you and annoy the hell out of you, but to be honest, he’s someone who ended up making me laugh a lot. He seems to always be in a good mood in very carefree, but we can tell he does care about things like his sister, the site he runs, his friends, he just shows his care for things in his own way.
There were some times when I seriously felt bad for him. There was all these points where you just feel awful for what he goes through, because he does seem to react to more situation, but at the same time, he knows what he has to do to save himself and keep others safe. It is a shock, how much you end up relating to him, and liking him as a character.
And of course, of the main three bloggers, there’s also Buffy, who’s really called Georgette but she calls herself Buffy because she lives in a world filled with too many girls called Georgette (Georgia and Georgette were the two best girl names in that year, named after George Romero, really good idea), and she lives in a world filled with zombies and she’s blonde and perky (I loved the references in this book, points to Mira Grant for them all). I loved Buffy, she was geeky, she’s different, and she’s happy to be who she is.
The thing about Buffy is, later in the book, you have to wonder how much you like her, and her intentions, but at the same time you can’t dislike her. I think that with Buffy, you see the flaws to the full extent that you can in a character, but because she’s such a fantastic character, even with those flaws, you surprisingly feel some form of sympathy her when her flaws come out. She seems like the character who you could never hate fully, even if she stuck a cattle prod through your heart, of course you feel the hurt she causes from her actions, but you always have this feeling of pity and happiness when it comes to her.
There are a ten of characters I’d love to talk about, Senator Ryman, Emily, Governor Tate, Rick, loads of them. Unfortunately, that would make this review ridiculously long, so I’ll talk about the structure of the book.
Mainly, we have Georgia’s point of view, which is good because you can tell that she’s more of an observer than any of the other characters, but it’s not just told through simple narration, they also have blog entries from different characters, as they explain certain things that link with the chapters. We get their thoughts and feelings through this.
And while on the subject, the blogging is a fantastic addition to the story, it shows the developing world in a good light, and you have to realise that even without the zombies the truth behind the way the news is shown is definitely the way it’s heading now (even if I’m biased with my book blogger…)
Altogether, I think this book is ten times better than I expected and it’s different to what you expect. I think if you’re interested in social media and the changes in it as it begins to grow, you will love this book, if not, you may not.
Setting: 4 out of 5
Characters: 5 out of 5
Plot: 5 out of 5Writing: 5 out of 5
Thanks for reading x