Series: Newsflesh #2
Published by Orbit on June 1st, 2011
Shaun Mason is a man without a mission. Not even running the news organization he built with his sister has the same urgency as it used to. Playing with dead things just doesn't seem as fun when you've lost as much as he has.
But when a CDC researcher fakes her own death and appears on his doorstep with a ravenous pack of zombies in tow, Shaun has a newfound interest in life. Because she brings news-he may have put down the monster who attacked them, but the conspiracy is far from dead.
Now, Shaun hits the road to find what truth can be found at the end of a shotgun.
I jumped directly into this book after reading Feed, still reeling from its tragic outcome. I’m going to try hard to avoid a lot of the spoilers, but I recommend if you haven’t yet read Feed, you skip this review until you have!
After such a strong first book, it would be natural to expect a sequel like this to fall flat, or not live up to the story. However, it does the complete opposite, and continues to build the intensity that made the first so compelling. Deadline rubs salt into the wounds from Feed, and creates new ones you couldn’t possibly anticipate, no matter how well braced you are. This book answers so many questions and doubts inspired by the first book, but does so in a way that you are left clamoring with even more! Like the rabbit hole that never ends, Deadline draws you deeper into the conspiracy, deeper into the science, and reinforces your emotional investment to force you to the edge of your seat.
The story picks up almost immediately after Feed, while Shaun’s grief and anger are still intense and raw over losing Georgia, his beloved adoptive sister and the heart of the After the End Times crew. He’s devastated, he’s unstable, he’s in shock, and he’s hearing Georgia’s voice in his head. What is more, with his sister gone Shaun is now the head of his blogging crew, inextricably enmeshed in the Ryman campaign, and all the secrets the government is holding back. He wants answers and he is about to go to any length to find out the truth that cost him everything.
Shaun’s frenzied state of mind only exacerbates the precarious situation, so this becomes an opportunity for the supporting cast to shine. New characters only hinted at, or not mentioned at all in Feed, rise to fill the gaps left by main characters to flesh out (pun intended) the readers’ understanding of the blogging community and culture. Becks, Maggie, Alaric and Mahir all add unique perspectives on the complex world of blogging, considered to be the main venue of information sharing after the Rising. Their unique advantages reflect on the larger world. Maggie in particular adds so much of the post Rising world; coming from money, she has everything and anything she could need and uses this to the advantage of her team in ways I could not have even begun to fathom. Mahir also, so reminiscent of Georgia in his commitment to the truth, helps reflect on the international scope of the rising and how every minute thing in life as we know it has changed when Kellis Amberlee arrived.
The highest point of Deadline is the massive extrapolation into the government conspiracies with the CDC and the science/virology of Kellis Amberlee. There is much discussion about reservoir conditions, which plays out as a huge factor and reveal in this book, and what potential they may offer in combating or curing KA. And then the virus becomes even more terrifying, with spontaneous outbreaks and the potential of mosquito vector, which rips away any sense of security anyone might have anywhere. The advances in the scientific knowledge from book 1 to 2 is as chilling as it is exciting, and it inspires a desire to know more. Mira Grant put a tremendous amount of research into how to construct her fictional science, and it pays off in a massive way.
Even getting through Feed can’t prepare you for the rollercoaster that this book offers; it’s just as thrilling as the first. This is a phenomenal read, and I am fast becoming a HUGE Mira Grant fan!