The Feed

The Feed

THE FEED by Nick Clark Windo is a startling and timely debut which presents a world as unique and vividly imagined as STATION ELEVEN and THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS and explores what it is to be human in the digital age. It makes us. It destroys us. The Feed is everywhere. It can be accessed by anyone, at any time. Every interaction, every emotion, every image can be share...

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Title:The Feed
Author:Nick Clark Windo
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The Feed Reviews

  • Stacey Camp

    **5 Goodreads Stars**

    Nick Clark Windo's

    is a beautifully written, darkly intense dystopian novel concerning the future of humankin

    **5 Goodreads Stars**

    Nick Clark Windo's

    is a beautifully written, darkly intense dystopian novel concerning the future of humankind in a technology saturated world. 

    Imagine if Twitter and Facebook were implanted in your brain; you could access non-stop thoughts, memories, and newsfeeds of everyone in the entire world. This is the world in which 

    is set, and this is what "the Feed" refers to. It isn't hard to envision our world moving in that direction in the not so distant future. 

    Despite the draw and addicting allure of "the Feed," there are some citizens who don't like it. They are known as the "Resistors," people who have reverse engineered or reverse biohacked their implants, including such things as microphones in one's lip. They have physically cut out the implants from their bodies to avoid "the Feed."

    The book begins with Tom and Kate, a couple who have strong feelings about "the Feed." Tom is adamantly opposed to it despite the fact his father and brother, Ben, were the creators of it. Kate enjoys the fanfare of the "Feed," as she is essentially what we would consider a viral YouTuber in her world. She has lots of followers, and experiences endorphin rushes when they share or praise her content. 

    When "the Feed" is hacked by an unknown group, society as Kate and Tom know it collapses. Think Margaret Atwood's

    and Cormac McCarthy's

    collapse. It's bad, and what makes it worse is that most of the world has become so reliant on "the Feed" to tell them what to do that they have no clue how to do the most quotidian things. All information has been digitized. Physical books are obsolete. Medications and products are marked with QR codes rather than text describing their contents and use. If you needed to know how to cook a meal, you pull it up on "the Feed."

    absence renders most people helpless, leaving few people and little knowledge left to rebuild the world. Even language and vocalization have to be rediscovered, as most people communicated through their minds via "the Feed."

    The hacking of "the Feed" has also caused a mysterious illness infecting millions of people across the globe. This illness only comes on at night while people are sleeping, which means that someone always has to stay up watching their friend or family member for signs of infection. The infection causes people's personalities to dramatically change to point that they often kill or attack their friends or family members. The only way to "cure" this illness is to kill the infected person. It only infects people with "the Feed" implants, so Resistors without implants have slowly been taking over civilization.

    I'll admit it took me a few days to really get into this book. This is because the book's world is so rich and intricate that you have to memorize and learn lots of new vocabulary/terms. This is what makes the book so successful, though. Once you get into the book's brave new world, you find yourself enmeshed in its uniqueness. Once I got 25% of the way through the book, I could not put it down. There are so many unexpected, exciting twists and turns in this book, but they make sense within the context of the story and the characters' personalities and motivations. There were a few moments at the beginning of the book where I felt like I was reading Cormac McCarthy's 

    , but I mean that as a compliment. 

    To close, 

     provides timely, apt criticism of our digitally infused world. It encourages the reader to reflect upon the potential long term social and environmental consequences of a digitally connected and digitally addicted world. For those of you who are already itching to get a copy of The Feed, you'll have to wait until March 13, 2018. I can assure you, however, that it is definitely worth the wait. Thank you to the author, Nick Clark Windo, the publisher, HarperCollins, and Edelweiss for providing me with an advanced ready copy of 

    .

  • Lou

    The Feed does not create any physical sensation, its an implant, bio-tech with no battery source, the human is the power source.

    And then…

    A collapse

    all feeds stopped

    devastation upon the earth

    people scattered

    some survivors and some taken

    the characters within this tale on the road in search for food and ways to bring back vegetation and then in search for the ones taken.

    This barren devastation upon earth has the reader immersed within the story in a world with all that comes with survival and movin

    The Feed does not create any physical sensation, its an implant, bio-tech with no battery source, the human is the power source.

    And then…

    A collapse

    all feeds stopped

    devastation upon the earth

    people scattered

    some survivors and some taken

    the characters within this tale on the road in search for food and ways to bring back vegetation and then in search for the ones taken.

    This barren devastation upon earth has the reader immersed within the story in a world with all that comes with survival and moving forward the story visceral, panoramic, and pastoral with clear telling before the reader.

    This would appeal to readers who have liked Swan Song by Robert McCammon, The Stand by Stephen King, and The Road by Cormac Mccarthy. This has some good story, nice clear prose may not be as big as opus as some other great tales with similar subject matter but just as captivating, a modest tale in world gone topsy turvy, moral lines crossed and abuses upon the earth reaped upon the denizens of earth, an encompassing narrative that captivates the reader with the fates of a few souls and the earth as a whole in the need of finding things, truths, lost, and the taken.

    “…and for a long time we didn’t realise it was happening. So many people were taken, and there was no way of knowing. Because everyone looked the same, right? But these normal-looking people suddenly started doing bad things. Very bad things. Killing other people. Destroying buildings, power stations, trying to disrupt the airports. They killed the president. We didn’t know who was themselves and who was someone else. It was…terrible. They did awful things they’d never otherwise have done. But we realised people were being taken over in their sleep. So it became law: never to sleep alone, never to sleep unwatched. And..there were signs we had to look for. It stopped being a law that you couldn’t…Basically, Bea, if you saw someone being taken, it wasn’t against the law to…”

    “At ground level, they enter streets where disorder rules: the devastation is random, it seems. Sometimes single houses are gutted while their neighbours are pristine. Walls have crumpled into the road and entire blocks have been razed. Scraps of building point up like blackened broken teeth. One mound of rubble is mixed with twisted metal. A plane? A Satellite? Something hurled down from the sky. Everywhere the trees are unruly, their branches grown too low, too wide, freed and controlled no more. Grass sprays up between the paving slabs. Down here on the ground, away from the super-loads, everywhere Tom looks lie bones. Some still snag tendrils of fabric, or maybe it’s matter, but most are sun-stripped clean. Sometimes there are recognisable configurations: two attaching at a knee; a ribcage like a spider; vertebrae with the jawbone attached. Pieces of people discarded like toys.”

  • Blair

    The prologue of

    is a snapshot of future society just as it begins to crumble. As they spend the evening in a restaurant, Tom is trying to persuade his wife Kate to switch off her Feed, if only for a few minutes. The Feed is an invention that's transformed human life, making it possible for everyone to be permanently plugged in to a neverending stream of information and communication, augmenting everything about what one experiences in reality. (Advertisements, for example, no longer exi

    The prologue of

    is a snapshot of future society just as it begins to crumble. As they spend the evening in a restaurant, Tom is trying to persuade his wife Kate to switch off her Feed, if only for a few minutes. The Feed is an invention that's transformed human life, making it possible for everyone to be permanently plugged in to a neverending stream of information and communication, augmenting everything about what one experiences in reality. (Advertisements, for example, no longer exist in the physical world. There are just 'quickcodes' which cause relevant ads to display to anyone who looks at them – as long as they're connected to the Feed, but then everyone is except extremist Resisters.) The characters' conversation is interrupted by a shockwave spreading around them as the same scene is beamed into everyone's Feed. The President has been assassinated; it's the beginning of the end.

    Six years later, we find Tom, Kate and their daughter Bea living alongside a handful of other survivors. Thousands died when the Feed collapsed, and those who remain are damaged, often confused, and lacking in many of the skills needed to create a self-sufficient community. There's also the threat of being 'taken', when a hacker hijacks one's mind using the old biological hardware required to make the Feed work. These characters have been left in relative peace so far – but then two of the group are taken in quick succession, and Bea disappears, prompting Tom and Kate to set out across the ravaged country in the hope of finding her.

    Inevitably, when I read stories like this, I find their settings and contexts and technology – their worlds – far more interesting than whatever the characters are doing. And Nick Clark Windo has put a

    of worldbuilding into

    I could have quite happily read about life both pre- and post-collapse all day. There are tons of details to get your teeth into as Tom and Kate traverse a landscape made strange by loss and decay, shaped by desperation and the art of making do with what's left. Scenes like those with the spiked van, the Pharmacist and the 'human animal' will haunt me for a while.

    Where the book stumbles is in the construction of its characters. I disliked both Tom and Kate, and I couldn't get a sense of their bond with Bea, or care about their quest to find her. When you find yourself thinking 'I wouldn't be bothered if any or all of these people died', it's... usually a bad sign. BUT! Halfway through, there's a monumental, genius twist that changes everything. I can't say any more than that without spoiling it.

    lacks the humanity of

    which the blurb (naturally) compares it to. It reminded me more of a cross between Louise Welsh's

    and Liam Brown's

    If carefully constructed future worlds matter more to you than likeable characters, you'll get a lot of enjoyment out of this. And at least the ending is almost on a par with

    as far as 'awful outcomes for awful people' go.

    The Feed

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  • Whispering Stories

    Book Reviewed by Stacey on

    I started reading this book a few months ago, unfortunately, due to time constraints I had to put it to one side for a while as it wasn’t really a book I could dip in and out of – I know I tried – As the story was quite complex, for me anyway. Whilst I love Dystopian fiction some elements felt quite Sci-Fiy (is that even a word) and Sci-Fi isn’t something I read often, hence I needed to concentrate on the book.

    The story begins in the not too di

    Book Reviewed by Stacey on

    I started reading this book a few months ago, unfortunately, due to time constraints I had to put it to one side for a while as it wasn’t really a book I could dip in and out of – I know I tried – As the story was quite complex, for me anyway. Whilst I love Dystopian fiction some elements felt quite Sci-Fiy (is that even a word) and Sci-Fi isn’t something I read often, hence I needed to concentrate on the book.

    The story begins in the not too distant future in a world where people are connected to ‘The Feed’, they do most things via it, including communicate with one another – Even when sat facing each other, spoken language is rarely used. You can see another person’s fears, worries, memories, loves, just about everything about another person via The Feed. Just think of today’s social media but with the ability to see into the person you are connecting with. This has been happening for years and is a way of life.

    However, one day The Feed goes offline. Imagine a world where people don’t know how to communicate with one another, let alone speak out loud. There is also another scary element to The Feed disappearing, it is easily hijacked and people are vanishing in their sleep, so when you sleep someone has to watch over you.

    The Feed is one amazing book set in a world where people don’t know how to be just like we are in today’s society. Imagine if the internet vanished and you couldn’t access anything via the web anymore, how would life exist, how would businesses exist. Imagine that scenario but with a more serious element to it, you or someone you love could easily be taken by someone or something hijacking the now dead internet. Quite scary to think about.

    This is a book that makes you think, not only about the future but about the use and quite often overuse of technology today. It is full of surprises and twists and turns. It did feel a little slow to get going, but once past the first couple of chapters the pace picked up and the book came alive. The characters all fitted together perfectly and whilst the premise of disappearing in your sleep might seem a little far-fetched, the bonding and behaviour of the cast made this book perfectly realistic.

    It’s hard to believe reading this novel that it is written by a debut author, the writing is that good. If you love Dystopian fiction then this is a book for you. Also, I believe that there will soon be a TV series based on the book. I hope that they keep to the plot and do the book justice. I for one will be watching it.

  • Mogsy (MMOGC)

    3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

    We’ve all heard the cautionary tales involving social media, about the dangers of being constantly plugged in. Nick Clark Windo’s dark thriller debut takes this idea even further, imagining a future where people are permanently connected via implants so that access to everything is instantaneous as well as continuous. This is “the Feed” that the novel’s title is referring to—a new tech that humans have become so dependent

    3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

    We’ve all heard the cautionary tales involving social media, about the dangers of being constantly plugged in. Nick Clark Windo’s dark thriller debut takes this idea even further, imagining a future where people are permanently connected via implants so that access to everything is instantaneous as well as continuous. This is “the Feed” that the novel’s title is referring to—a new tech that humans have become so dependent on, and so addicted to, that society can no longer function without it. And so, when the Feed collapses one day, the results are predictably catastrophic. Some of the most basic skills and knowledge are lost to the digital abyss as everyone must now learn how to survive offline and fend for themselves in this Feed-less new world.

    For couple Kate and Tom, the adjustment has not been easy. But they have managed to keep going the past few years, living with a group of survivors as they raised their daughter Bea, who was born post-collapse. But then one day, Bea goes missing, snatched away by raiders, and so Kate and Tom must embark on a treacherous journey to bring her back.

    It’s said that things have to get bad before they can get better, and likewise, some books make you go through some really rough patches before you can get to the good parts of the story. The Feed was a book like that. For most of the first half, I struggled with nearly everything—the characters, the plot, the world-building. From the moment the story opened, my patience was put to the test. I found both protagonists horribly off-putting. Kate was especially annoying, as a heavy user of the Feed before its collapse. She was an attention monger, self-absorbed and totally oblivious. To be fair, she was probably written this way by design, but in this case the author might have overplayed her personality. Tom, on the other hand, struck me as bland and lacking in any spirit or agency. I didn’t feel like I could connect to either of them at all, which made the first part of this book a difficult slog. I also struggled with the world-building and the exaggerated side effects of the Feed. Humans are biologically hard-wired for curiosity, and I found it hard to believe that almost the entire population would simply surrender themselves to the Feed unquestioningly and let themselves become so helpless.

    And then the collapse happened, and subsequently, Bea’s disappearance really turned things around. Not to the point where I suddenly loved the book, mind you, but the story did become immensely more enjoyable once Tom and Kate finally had something to fight for. The second half of The Feed unfolded a lot more like a traditional dystopian novel, following our protagonists as they traversed the post-apocalyptic landscape, encountering violence and suffering. However, there is also a unique element to this world, which comes in the form of a very specialized threat. Even after the collapse, the sinister legacy of the Feed remains as those who possess the biological implants live in fear of being “taken”, a term to describe the process of being hacked and having your consciousness along with your personality and memories wiped clean and replaced. The result is a lot of chaos, mistrust, and panic, along with an “us vs. them” mentality among the survivors. While The Feed is not a zombie story, you can see how the overall tone and some of its themes can sometimes make it feel like one.

    There is also a monumental twist near the end that changed nearly everything, and I’m still not entirely sure what to make of it simply because it was so out of left field. Did it make this book more interesting? Yes. But in terms of whether it made the story more coherent or feasible, probably not. That said, I’m impressed with how Windo handled the challenges that came about because of this surprising development. Everything could have fallen apart, but ultimately he was able to keep the threads of the story together and saw things through to the end.

    I won’t lie, there were a lot of issues with this novel, particularly with the pacing and balance of the story’s numerous concepts. Still, there were plenty of fascinating ideas in here that I appreciated for their originality, especially once I got past the initial hurdles. There’s an almost sputtering, sporadic feel to the plot; in some ways, it’s like an engine that needs to be primed several times before it catches, but once it starts running, the ride smooths out and becomes a lot more enjoyable. The journey was certainly not boring, and that’s probably the best thing I can say about a novel in a saturated market like the dystopian genre.

  • Kirsty 📚📖❤️

    I've read a lot of horror books and not really been scared but whilst this doesn't fit that category social media is everywhere and the idea of an apocalypse occurring when everything is switched off is something I can actually see happening and find quite scary. Whilst the switching off wouldn't cause me to have mass panic like some I can really feel for these characters especially Danny who has only ever known this way of life and struggles to cope in the real world without the network contact

    I've read a lot of horror books and not really been scared but whilst this doesn't fit that category social media is everywhere and the idea of an apocalypse occurring when everything is switched off is something I can actually see happening and find quite scary. Whilst the switching off wouldn't cause me to have mass panic like some I can really feel for these characters especially Danny who has only ever known this way of life and struggles to cope in the real world without the network contact. 

    The opening chapter is great and a brilliant set up for the rest of the book but once the dystopian post-apocalypse part kicked in I felt it didn't follow through on the premise and I was left wanting more.  The writing style changes (to tie in with the lifestyle change I assume) and I couldn't quite gel with it. It felt very disjointed and I often got confused as to where one character paragraph ended and the next started.

    It's not a bad book, the idea is a really good one but for me I wanted more from the story.

    Free arc from netgalley

  • Jenny in Neverland

    The Feed is, to put it simply, an exceptionally elaborate and advanced form of social media. But instead of on an iPhone or a laptop, it’s all ingrained in your head and you can access anything, anyone and everything instantaneously. It’s addictive and life-altering and it’s gone so far that most humans can’t function without it. Then one day, it collapses and everyone is offline. Our main characters, Tom and Kate manage without it and find a way to survive with their daughter, Bea and a camp of

    The Feed is, to put it simply, an exceptionally elaborate and advanced form of social media. But instead of on an iPhone or a laptop, it’s all ingrained in your head and you can access anything, anyone and everything instantaneously. It’s addictive and life-altering and it’s gone so far that most humans can’t function without it. Then one day, it collapses and everyone is offline. Our main characters, Tom and Kate manage without it and find a way to survive with their daughter, Bea and a camp of others, adapting to the new ways of life that the collapse of The Feed has forced them into. Then one day, Bea goes missing and Tom and Kate head out on a truly treacherous mission to find her amongst a world of no technology, savages and threats far beyond our imagination.

    Okay, just to put it out there, I have a lot of thoughts about this book. Some good but mostly bad / annoying. But bear with me. First of all, I loved the concept. I’m not opposed to a bit of Sci-Fi every now and again and being a bit of a social media addict myself, this concept sounded right up my street and I was instantly drawn in to it by the blurb and the cover. With very little information about what The Feed is at first, you’re going into the book with so many questions that anything is possible.

    The book begins with a look of “Feed talk“. It’s all very rapid and almost like the language was trying to emulate what was going on in someone’s brain whilst using The Feed but I don’t now if it was the formatting of the copy I had on my Kindle but I had a few problems with this section (after this in the normal bulk of the story, the formatting was absolutely fine!). I noticed a few wording mistakes which shouldn’t have been there and on occasion, I felt like I was reading a sentence which was in the wrong part of the book which made no sense to the one that came before or after it. I don’t know if this was intentional but nevertheless, it was weird and kinda annoying.

    Another huge problem I had which made me struggle with this book more than I would have otherwise was that there were no chapters just a few really long sections. No chapters is something I cannot stand. But that’s just a personal preference and something someone else might not be at all affected by.

    But something kept me reading The Feed and I think it was the need to know more about this world they live in. It was very interesting and very unique and original. It had almost a Walking Dead vibe to it, after the collapse and roads were deserted and cars were upturned and houses were ransacked. I did find it very difficult to picture some of the settings, however. I loved the first part where Tom and Kate lived in their camp (an old farm house with land) with a few other people, including their daughter. It was a nice part of the book which, now having finished it, was like the calm before the storm. But everything after that big, the city and the buildings they were in, I found it very hard to imagine. In a way that, if this was turned into a movie, then it would look words apart from how I’m feebly attempting to imagine it in my head.

    Thinking about it now, this book would actually make an amazing film or TV show!

    One more niggle was that Kate was a desperately annoying and two dimensional character. I couldn’t tell you a single trait she had or something she loved (other than her daughter) or anything of substance. In fact, none of the characters I felt were particularly interesting or vibrant. Except Sylene who was intriguing – especially how she came to be in the story. I definitely feel, personally, that the writing was very much focused more on the settings a rather than the characters and the people and for me, I prefer it the other way around.

    Enough moaning, I am very confused about this book because like I said, it kept me reading. I finished the last 15% in one sitting and I wanted to know more and what was going to happen next. Which is obviously what a book should do to the reader. But there were too many “little things” which irked me to give it a higher rating than I have. If the author wrote another book with a similarly interesting and unique idea, would I read it? Yes, probably. If they made this story into a film, would I watch it? Heck yes, definitely! If I could rate on originality and storyline then this wouldh ave got a 4.5 but I have to take everything else into consideration when rating a book. I certainly wouldn’t encourage people not to read it though because it has a lot of potential to be a very popular read next year when its released!

    You can find all my book reviews here:

  • Figgy

    RTC

    Elements of stories like

    and others that I can't mention because of spoilers... but, you know what, not entirely engaging or amazing, even though I quite enjoy the shows and books that clearly inspired this one.

    The writing is... fine. But the character building is pretty much non-existent, and the only character I actually related to didn't show up until around half-way through. Also... the "chapters" are hundreds of pages long, with scene breaks rather than chapter breaks... a p

    RTC

    Elements of stories like

    and others that I can't mention because of spoilers... but, you know what, not entirely engaging or amazing, even though I quite enjoy the shows and books that clearly inspired this one.

    The writing is... fine. But the character building is pretty much non-existent, and the only character I actually related to didn't show up until around half-way through. Also... the "chapters" are hundreds of pages long, with scene breaks rather than chapter breaks... a personal pet peeve.

    I had actually given up on this book (not actively... but I had set it aside and didn't feel any great desire to continue) at around 40% for about two weeks, but then I read something in a review about how there was a twist around 40% in, so I got the audio to keep pushing through on my long drives to work.

    The twist, which is reasonably easy to predict for those who frequent the genre, did help the pacing of the story a little, and the events thereafter were a little more interesting and different, but it only came in at around 50%, and by then I really didn't care enough to feel for any of them. And it's not different enough to really surprise or challenge fans of the genre.

    The first 50% is this plodding, unoriginal, undeveloped... thing. While the second half is better, it didn't do enough to change my mind after all the plodding beforehand.

    Also, the main catalysts of this story were super manipulative

    My advice would be if you're going to do this one, get the audio. The narrators are quite good (including the author), and it does disguise the areas the writing is lacking, such as the characterisation and the world-building.

  • Laura

    Book reviews on

    The Feed is a really unique, interesting dystopian-style novel (I won't say 'thriller' as I don't think it's really that kinda book, and I'll explain why) which I enjoyed reading.

    I felt that it was fairly slow to start with, taking time to build characters and a sense of this world that Tom and Kate (and the people around them) live in. Because a lot has changed between the real world of today and the fictional world that the story is set in, there's a lot to t

    Book reviews on

    The Feed is a really unique, interesting dystopian-style novel (I won't say 'thriller' as I don't think it's really that kinda book, and I'll explain why) which I enjoyed reading.

    I felt that it was fairly slow to start with, taking time to build characters and a sense of this world that Tom and Kate (and the people around them) live in. Because a lot has changed between the real world of today and the fictional world that the story is set in, there's a lot to take in with regards to details and occurrences as things begin to fall apart. We then skip forward 6 years and see how things have developed.

    I struggled to warm to the main characters, but there's kind of a reason for that as you read on. There are some interesting developments and surprises which took the book, for me, from a fairly slow read to suddenly a much more interesting one - I really like the way the author ramps up the tension as the book goes on. The second half of the book definitely features more 'action' but I still wouldn't categorize this as a thriller, as it's much more about the characters and the setting they live in, rather than what they're doing - though of course this does play a key part too, as they desperately try to search for their missing daughter.

    I loved the idea of humans becoming reliant on a kind of social network which is embedded inside us; with our seemingly growing reliance on social media and technology, this is a very pertinent story which makes you sit back and consider how realistic this is. Worryingly, I can actually imagine this kind of thing happening one day.

    I don't want to say any more as I don't want to give too much away, but this is definitely a recommended read for anyone who enjoys a different and intriguing dystopian read.

    Many thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.

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