Author: Mira Grant
How it begins: Our story opens where countless stories have ended in the last twenty-six years: with an idiot--in this case, my brother Shaun--deciding it would be a good idea to go out and poke a zombie with a stick to see what happens. As if we didn't already know what happens when you mess with a zombie: The zombie turns around and bites you, and you become the thing you poked.
The premise: It's 2039. Everyone has been infected with the Kellis-Amberlee virus which turns the dead into the hungry undead. Dealing with zombies and outbreaks, contaminated zones, and the constant threat of infection has become a way of life. But the point is that life goes on. Three young bloggers, Georgia Mason, her brother, Shaun, and their friend, Buffy, have been chosen to cover Senator Peter Ryman's presidential campaign. They each have different blogging strengths: Buffy is a techie who writes fiction, Shaun craves danger and adventure and loves to detail his zombie encounters, and Georgia, a "newsie", is interested in facts and telling the truth. Whatever the truth may be. Even if it means revealing a dangerous conspiracy that could change everything.
My thoughts: I almost didn't read this book--not only does it have 571 pages, it's the first book in a trilogy--but in the end I couldn't resist giving it a try. And I'm glad I did. This novel chronicles a political campaign and the power of social media all against the backdrop of a futuristic dystopian society that happens to include zombies. There's action, and intrigue. And some great characters. I especially liked the banter between Georgia and her brother, and the unbreakable bond they share. Grant even includes some of their blog posts, which I thought was fun. I also liked Grant's science. Overall, this is one of the better zombie books that I've read; I'm looking forward to checking out the second book in this series.