The Feed by Nick Clark Windo

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The Feed by Nick Clark Windo

Category: Dystopian Fiction
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Sam Tyler
Reviewed by Sam Tyler
Summary: Society has become addicted to The Feed, but when it crashes everyone is suddenly left to deal with the real world in this dystopian vision that will leave you feeling a little more depressed than usual, even for this genre.
Buy? No Borrow? Maybe
Pages: 368 Date: January 2018
Publisher: Headline
ISBN: 9781472241900

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For some people, we are already part of something bigger than ourselves. I am not talking religion, but about social media. Why have a conversation with the person sat opposite you, when you could be talking to thousands of people online? The highs of receiving a virtual thumbs up is like a mini joy injection that people can be addicted to. If you can ignore the trolls that ruin most of it, the internet and social media is the most fantastic development of the modern age, but what is the future? Will we become so addicted to the point that, if it was removed, we would all suffer?

The Feed is set in a future in which humans have given themselves fully to the internet, to the point that they have wired their brains to be permanently online. However, when The Feed suddenly breaks down, society begins to crumble. This is a generation of people who never actually bothered to learn anything as it was hardwired into their minds; even the ability to read. Can anyone survive the time after The Feed and will they ever discover why it collapsed in the first place?

It seems an odd thing to say, but I do like a good Dystopia. The genre is incredibly popular at the moment, probably because many of us feel we are on the precipice of one right now. The genre allows you to explore the issues of today and take them to the nth degree, in this case the proliferation of the internet and how that disconnects people from the world around them. At the start Windo appears to be onto something. An early scene is set in a packed restaurant full of noise and colour, but once our heroes Kate and Tom disconnect they realise that they are in a room in which no one is talking and the decorations are fake.

This is a very interesting idea, but Windo uses it simply as a prologue. Instead the book is set a few years later after The Feed collapses and humanity scrambles to survive. The book becomes bleak quickly; The Road levels of bleak. Useless people stumbling around a broken planet trying to hunt for old tins as they cannot work out how to fix anything. There are no laughs in Feed and it makes for a difficult read. Windo is able to justify the uselessness of most people by saying their memories are shot since they cannot access The Feed.

The first half of the book becomes a plodding survival drama about a group of people who can just about remember each other's name. However, bubbling beneath the surface is another interesting science fiction idea. Why do they watch each other sleep? It appears that their Feeds may just be open to nefarious interlopers. Around the halfway point an interesting twist occurs that makes the book easier to continue with, but many people would have struggled to get this far as, not being content enough with the grime and human suffering on offer, Windo throws in some kidnapping for added entertainment purposes.

The Feed is a book with some great science fiction concepts wrapped up in something that feels like an unwashed dog blanket. You have to get the stench of human misery out of your nose before you can smell the sweet high concepts. This style of gritty future is not new and is actually a little too popular and cliché at this point. Windo has sought to homage the dark menace of a universe like The Road, rather than concentrating on the unique elements of his own story. There is enough here for a true dystopian fan to enjoy, but the idle reader should avoid it as it may turn them to drink.

Grim futures can still be a joy to read; check out Nod by Adrian Barnes or Sand by Hugh Howey.

Buy The Feed by Nick Clark Windo at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Feed by Nick Clark Windo at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Feed by Nick Clark Windo at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Feed by Nick Clark Windo at Amazon.com.


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