This is the first part of the Newsflesh Trilogy. This takes place 25 years after a zombie apocalypse So everyone has somewhat created a reasonably safe lifestyle coexisting with Zombies. Well, not quite, obviously. But there are places that are fully quarantined, places totally off limits, places where a zombie attack is about as likely as a mugging. Security measures that are… scary. But the protagonists were born right after the Rising and so this is all pretty standard to them. I bought this book because the cover was ugly, it’s about 600 pages and it’s not a love story.
I’m going to go light on any spoilers (I’m not going to tell you who kicks it… come on, it’s a z-poc, somebody’s got to die, be realistic)
They call their zombie outbreak “the Rising” and the virus they are driven by is called Kellis-Amberlee. It started out a well intentioned cure for cancer and the common cold.
The 3 main protagonists: Shaun Mason, Georgia Mason, and Georgette “Buffy” Meissonier. (Georgia and Georgette, female names deriving from George, as in Romero. And Shaun of the dead. Apparently parents have a sense of humor after the Rising) are reporters/bloggers who start out covering any action, news and Rising related fiction to entertain the masses, most of whom are not real into travelling outside in search of adventure given that zombies are shambling and/or hunting around trying to find someone else to zombify.
Anyway, about those security measures: Built in at the Mason house, they have a state of the art security system which involves them getting a blood test and reading a sentence in an airlock at their doorway before they can proceed in.
-“Coming in together means that if one of us ever tests positive, that’s all she wrote; they won’t let anybody out of the garage before the cleanup crew arrives, and the chances of whoever comes up clean making it to the van before something happens aren’t good. Our next door neighbor used to call Child Protective Services every six months because our folks wouldn’t stop us from coming in together. But what’s the point of life if you can’t take risks now and then, like coming into the damn house with your brother.”
There’s tons dealing with government regulations, like making it a felony to raise a child in an area deemed too hazardous. There was also this bit; “Quarantine procedures hit different social and economic classes in different ways, just like outbreaks. When Kellis-Amberlee breaks out in an urban area in hits the inner cities and the business districts the hardest… …the slums may not have the same security features and weaponry, but they’re the most self-policing and fewer people try to conceal injury when they know amplification isn’t going to cost them coworkers; it’s going to cost them their families.”
So there are two interesting major points there. All people are infected with Kellis-Amberlee, it’s just a matter of when they die or amplify, so it’s not a matter of just coming in with flame throwers and saying “problem solved” ..it’ll help in the immediate future, but the virus is still an issue. The CDC is notified when someone pulls a positive blood test and there are SO MANY security cameras, security procedures and rules and regulations to where you can and cannot be at. Where do you draw the line? How much of this is really protecting the population? And secondly, who survives this? For a while, it seemed like only rich (mainly white) people survived, but to be honest there aren’t many physical descriptions of people (but I’m pretty sure there was only one Asian man and one black man in this whole book). And sidenote -I live in “the slums” (no one really says that) and half of the first floor apartments around me have bars on their windows, so they are that much ahead of the game in terms of zombie outbreaks, we have security measures. I like to consider these things.
Most of this story takes place while our bloggers are covering a presidential campaign. It’s action packed, it’s bad ass. Everyone’s pretty levelheaded. No one’s a “special snowflake” and everyone can and will shoot. Oh, and Mira Grant came up with some neat stuff involving animal zombification.
5 Stars- Totally Killer… can’t wait to start the next one. Actually, I had to wait to start Deadline because I was a little emotionally drained and exhausted from having z-poc dreams all week.
Edited to add: Also, did I mention that I liked that there was no love story? I like the story of a brother and sister going on adventures and people looking at them funny because they want to share a room. (hello? zombies! Shit, everyone can sleep in my room. Armed.) And it wasn’t a creepy or romantic relationship like in some series (Ahem! Charlaine Harris- Harper Connelly series, who made her main characters brother and sister and love interests because Charlaine Harris can’t write a fucking plot.)
Are there vegans here? Yes. Because cows can turn into zombies. Most people enjoy white meat only, or teriyaki soy burgers.