In the eighth chapter of Feed, HOLY SHIT. What else is there to say??? If you’re intrigued, then it’s time for Mark to read Feed.
WELL, HERE WE GO. This is not a long chapter, but holy bumblebee, Mira Grant can write action scenes. When I’m reading something like this, there’s certain things I pay attention to. Can I understand what’s going on? Am I confused by the placement of the characters? What are they doing, and why are they doing it? Is the action predictable to the point that it deflates any suspense or dread? Even if I know the main characters aren’t going to die, what’s left to make me feel like this is something I should care about?
On all these counts, the second big action sequence in Feed GLORIOUSLY PASSES MY ARBITRARY, RIDICULOUS TEST THAT NO OTHER PERSON USES. In a way, chapter eight feels like a very necessary reminder from Grant: this world is full of the living dead. I should not forget this. Not only that, but it’s a chance to me to see just how absurd Shaun is. When faced with a small group of zombies just outside the perimeter, he hops over the fence so he can kill them himself. And I get that this is part of what he does, not just for entertainment, but because it excites him. This is a thrill. Even when there’s another threat from inside the fenced-in area, he never really panics. That’s smart on Grant’s part because I know that when there comes a day where Shaun does panic, that will be the day I freak the fuck out.
For the most part, Georgia and Shaun’s reaction is fairly methodical, which further supports this idea that they’re so used to encountering zombies, they’re rarely a surprise to them. Again, but giving us these very concrete ideas, Grant then plays with them by forcing contradictions to them on the reader. If these two are used to zombie attacks, then something must be wrong if the zombies were able to get past trained security, turn a whole hell of a lot of people, and reach full amplification in such a short span of time. I don’t think this is a fluke. Why would Carl and Dayna be converted just after leaving Ryman’s event, given the pack behavior we see here? And how could they surprise and overpower other guards?
I also found it pretty realistic that Georgia, while good at many things, wasn’t a perfect shot. She might be in a more controlled situation, but she was nervous and taken unaware here. Still, she also has time to joke around with Shaun. I LOVE THAT ABOUT THEIR RELATIONSHIP. A little black humor helps to keep them calm, and they’re both on the same page about this.
And then the cavalry arrives! But it’s minus Tyrone and goddamn it. He’s gone already? You know, the very setting of this book means I have to just get used to the fact that anyone can die. Georgia knows that, too, so it’s why I just want to eternally high five her for offering to help Steve and the other guys clear the rest of the zombies. Sure, she might have a journalistic angle in mind, but she knows when to exercise tact. She also knows when she needs to keep other people alive. Good thinking, Georgia.
If you still want to do this crap after the first time you’ve burned the body of a six-year-old with blood on her lips and a Barbie in her hands, I’ll welcome you with open arms.
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