In 2014, two experimental viruses—a genetically engineered flu strain designed by Dr. Alexander Kellis, intended to act as a cure for the common cold, and a cancer-killing strain of Marburg, known as "Marburg Amberlee"—escaped the lab and combined to form a single airborne pathogen that swept around the world in a matter of days. It cured cancer. It stopped a thousand cold and flu viruses in their tracks.
It raised the dead.
Millions died in the chaos that followed. The summer of 2014 was dubbed "The Rising," and only the lessons learned from a thousand zombie movies allowed mankind to survive. Even then, the world was changed forever. The mainstream media fell, Internet news acquired an undeniable new legitimacy, and the CDC rose to a new level of power.
Set twenty years after the Rising, the Newsflesh trilogy follows a team of bloggers, led by Georgia and Shaun Mason, as they search for the brutal truths behind the infection. Danger, deceit, and betrayal lurk around every corner, as does the hardest question of them all:
When will you rise?
Georgia & Shaun Mason are part of a "lost" generation. Born shortly after the rising, they find themselves the adopted children of prominent members of the public. Unfortunately that means that their parents are a little more "no guts, no glory" than most other parents. That suits Georgia & Shaun just fine though because it has allowed them to enter another world many consider off limits, they are bloggers.
I know, I know, who cares right? Well when the Rising went down the bloggers quickly became the most reliable news sources because the real news frequencies were being controlled by the government who didn't want people to panic & wanted to subdue the population. In come the bloggers to save the day; so now we have Georgia, a Newsie telling you the truth 100% of the time even if you don't like it, & we have Shaun, an Irwin best known for poking dead things with sticks for the sheer pleasure & enjoyment of all those watching.
Their B-listed site gets a major upgrade in the form of the Ryman campaign for the presidency. These two lucky ducks take their Fictional (poetry, music, fan fiction writing) techie guru Buffy along for the ride. It turns out to be the ride of their lives though because not long after they join the campaign trail things start to turn sour. Sure the ratings are going through the roof & they're hiring a lot more staff to manage things while they cover the big stories, the dead seem to follow them. Actually, they seem to be attacking the campaign from the inside. There's no telling who you can trust & in this world, that's already an issue. What's a girl to do?
I absolutely LOVED this book. Mira Grant deserves all the hype she has received for this series. While these are your basic virus-infected zombies that can easily be put down with firepower, they are still unique in their manifestation because they exhibit pack-like tendencies. When you gather a large enough group, they become organized & really strategize their kills. Even better is the twist that she has created in the zombie-creating disease's origins & manifestations. Sometimes you go full zombies & sometimes you develop a reservoir disease where you always carry it with you. Fascinating!
The characters in this book were quirky & engaging in a way that I have seldom found in zombie/post-apocalyptic scenarios. The main characters, while never having lived in our time, are very familiar with it & reference it frequently in a "well before it all went to pot, this is how it was done" kind of way. The sarcasm & wit of these young adults is enough to make anyone want to bone up on their inner-snarkiness. Not to mention the world they live in, not so much dissimilar as it is eerily familiar, is spot on.
In short, READ THIS BOOK! No, but really, if this is your kind of thing or if you want to try a zombie book that won't leave you terrified of the undead (more terrified of the living actually) then this is your ticket. Who's with me?!