Wednesday, 21 February 2018

The Feed - Nick Clark Windo

Title - The Feed
Author - Nick Clark Windo

Blurb

Tom and Kate's daughter turns six tomorrow, and they have to tell her about sleep.

If you sleep unwatched, you could be Taken. If you are Taken, then watching won't save you.

Nothing saves you.

Your knowledge. Your memories. Your dreams.

If all you are is on the Feed, what will you become when the Feed goes down?

For Tom and Kate, in the six years since the world collapsed, every day has been a fight for survival. And when their daughter, Bea, goes missing, they will question whether they can even trust each other anymore.

The threat is closer than they realise...

Review

Spoiler alert: I hated this book and I will not be pulling punches. I’ve looked at other reviews and I don’t get it, man. I just don’t get it. I couldn’t even finish the damn thing it sucks that hard. 

As you might have guessed I’m going to be writing this very freeform, kind of like I was speaking to you in person. That is partly because this is a stream-of-consciousness rant, and partly because that’s how the whole god damn book feels. 

My main issues with The Feed are twofold. Firstly, it is so painfully obvious that Nick Clark Windo wanted to write a screenplay for a TV show, probably a BBC 6 episode miniseries (I mean the thing reads like he’d only just finished reading the 2007 remake of Survivors), and boy oh boy does it come through in his writing style. Here’s the thing about writing dialogue and action in novels – you write it like it’s a fucking novel, because that’s what it is. What you don’t do, is include passages like, and I’m paraphrasing because I don’t want to pick the thing up again, “ ‘How are we going to explain all of…’ the dumbass character I don’t remember the name of gestured vaguely to the interior and exterior of the building, indicating the new world’ ”. Now see, that works just fine in a screenplay. In a novel? It’s jarring and awkward. Some people may well disagree with me and say that it makes it more realistic, but I think it’s bad writing. 

Secondly, the setting itself. Now, I have a background in bioscience, so I’m admittedly nitpicky when it comes to science fiction, but I try to encourage the suspension of disbelief in myself where possible. This being said, the whole premise of the Feed itself just makes no god damn sense to me. There’s a scene in the first chapter (Which, by the way, was from a different person’s point of view to the rest of the book – why? Like it’s not like that character disappeared or died or anything, she’s still there, just… relegated to side character) where she is trying not access the Feed, but does so. It describes all the things she’s able to do with it (generic social media stuff since the whole feel of the book can be summed up by that picture of a guy wearing a shirt saying “durr hburr technology is bad fire is scary and Thomas Edison was a witch”), and mentions that she did all that in like 11 milliseconds before switching it off again so her husband or fiancĂ©e or boyfriend or whoever he was doesn’t notice. First off – no, you can’t do all that. I don’t give a flying one how good the technology is, the human brain cannot process that amount of different information at that speed. No, not even with incredibly advanced technology, not going to happen, it’s dumb.  

Second of all, he then notices and berates her (of course). Using the Feed is described as making you slackjawed, rapid eye movements, phased out, all that typical “why is this generation constantly on their phones” bullshit – however, 11 milliseconds is not long enough to notice. MAYBE I can accept that if you were living with that technology present in all aspects of daily life you’d pick up on the cues of it a lot quicker, but… come on. 

My next big gripe with this book is how vague it was. When a writer does the irritating “six years later…” thing after the first chapter, a lot will have changed, and so they make allusions to those things and slowly make reference to them. That being said, the author reeeally wanted to keep his cards close to his damn chest with this stuff. He was trying to be all vague and mysterious, oooh what could be happening, what are they all so afraid of, which would be fine if he handled it well. He didn’t. There were ample opportunities to explain what was going on – hell he’d set it up perfectly for the main character to explain to his child what was happening in a natural conversation, but apparently flashbacks are better. See what I mean about wanting to write a screenplay? 

I’m going to be honest, maybe the book gets a lot better. Maybe it draws you in later on. But I read through a decent portion of it and I had less than 0 interest in finding out any more. I had much more interest in coming to my computer, which will probably make my brain rot and my eyes fall out if Nick Clark Windo has anything to say about it, and writing this review in one shot.


Product details
Paperback, 368 pages
Publisher: Headline (9 Aug. 2018)
Language: English
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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