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BOOK REVIEW - THE FEED
Written by Nick Clark Windo. Out Now. Published by Headline in hardback. £12:99. Also available in an Ebook version.
THE FEED is set in a world where people no longer talk to communicate, where books are obsolete, and humans can be backed up and rebooted. The Feed is a big super “hub” that everyone is connected too, and where people no longer need devices to access the social media world. In short, it's everywhere.
A similar premise to Stephen Kings The Cell, technology is the catalyst for the downfall of society as we know it, those most up to date with all things techno are the ones most at risk. Clark Windo’s work goes further than King’s though by questioning morality and innocence in more depth.
Tom and Kate are expecting their first child, and although they have The Feed, they are not addicted, regularly turning it off. They are Soft Resisters. When The Feed stops, all knowledge is lost. They must learn to survive in a new world learning to cope from scratch. The Feed had controlled everything, power, knowledge and memories. Not only do they have to get back to basics, but they must also contend with Takers, people still stuck in The Feed, trying to take over the survivours bodies.
After a slow start used to build tension and introduce characters, Clark Windo uses the disappearance of Bea, Tom and Kate's daughter to ratchet the pressure up with more action, more questions, more to learn about the Takers, Kate’s growing mistrust of Tom and Toms past including his relationship with his Father, the creator of the feed. The ending is unexpected but most fitting, and it doesn’t leave you with a sour taste in your mouth.
The title made me think I was about to read a story about a monster that “feeds”. Instead, Nick Clark Windo manages to make technology far scarier than any monster making monsters out of the ones closest to us. The plot is plausible, in fact almost too believable, but that is what makes The Feed a genuine fear. I enjoyed THE FEED and would highly recommend it. The characters easy to like and get behind. I haven’t enjoyed a book this much in a long time. Even after turning the last page my mind is still with THE FEED and its characters. It has left me thinking, in a good way, left me questioning our societies heavy reliance on the internet and social media. If THE FEED doesn’t make you put down your phone, turn off your tablet or step away from your computer then I don’t know what will.
An amazing debut work from Nick Clark Windo and THE FEED makes you think right from the start.
Emma Louise Thomas.
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