In the twenty-eighth chapter of Feed, shit is real on an astronomical level. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Feed.
I know I don’t get much time with Shaun in this chapter, as it’s quick and brutal, but it’s much more clear that Grant is writing Shaun entirely different than Georgia. Now I get what it’s like to be an Irwin and what that lifestyle means. It’s fitting that Shaun’s POV chapters come during the most action-packed moments of the entire book. It’s a full-on outbreak now, and as Steve and Shaun do their best to navigate to the surviving security folks, I get a taste of Shaun’s reckless joy.
I get that that’s a weird word to use to describe this. This isn’t a party, and this isn’t a trip through memory lane. The urgency of this story comes from the fact that Shaun’s singular goal is all that’s keeping him alive. I wouldn’t say that he’s reckless as he and Steve do their best to navigate the crowds of undead, but what’s Shaun going to do once he confronts Tate??? I can’t see anything beyond this moment, and it makes this book scary. Plus, you know, we haven’t really had a full-on horde sequence in Feed, and Grant fucking delivers. If I didn’t know there were two other books, this would feel like the end. Background characters shuffle by, amplified and hungry to feed. Andres is dead. Well, surrounded by his aides while he was all by himself? I don’t think he made it out. No Mike. No Susan. No Paolo. At this point, just Carlos and Heidi are alive. Zombies have taken over everything.
Then there is a truly awful moment where a zombie latches to Shaun’s back. God, you know, it’s here that the design of these creatures really fucks me up. It’s not enough that a bite can cause amplification. Because Grant has used Kellis-Amberlee to explain the zombie outbreak, it’s both a zombie horror story and one of those contagion thrillers as well. There’s so much to worry about! Again, Grant was willing to kill off Georgia. Who’s to say Shaun can’t die in this chapter? But I’m thinking that at least until we get to the end of this book, Shaun is safe. Mira Grant needs to finish Georgia’s story, and she’s not going to do that without Shaun. (Please don’t let me regret this. PLEASE DON’T LET ME REGRET TYPING THIS.)
Unfortunately, everyone else? Entirely expendable. I think any one of these characters could die. How do we know that Carlos or Susan will be alive if Shaun and Steve get out? With the CDC headed to the site of the outbreak, it’s possible that they’ll just destroy the whole place, ignoring the chance to save anyone who is still alive. Plus, Shaun and Steve are purposely breaking a quarantine, and Carlos and Susan helped them. They all might be killed just for the hell of it. Amidst this sort of chaos, Shaun is kind of ecstatic to be having one last adventure. He recognizes that this might be it for him. Maybe he even wants this to be his last Irwin experience. He sure as hell makes a lot of jokes to Steve that fall flat, so I’m thinking that he’s just given up on being sad for the moment. If he survives, he’ll have to learn to cope with his sister’s death, but for the moment, there’s no reason he should enjoy off-roading over the American River in Steve’s SUV.
And so this chapter ends with Steve and Shaun gunning it into the city for the final showdown with Tate. How the hell is this going to be resolved in two chapters? How is there another book? I am scared about how this is going to end, y’all.
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