Thursday, April 26, 2012
Deadline by Mira Grant
If you like: conspiracies * contagion * zombies
Warning: this review contains spoilers for Feed, book one of the Newsflesh series.
Deadline continues the story of the bloggers of After the End Times, a group dedicated to uncovering the truth about the causes of the continued existence of the undead. Unlike its predecessor Feed, Deadline is less about politics and blogging and more about unravelling the mystery behind the national conspiracy uncovered on the campaign trail.
After the campaign of book one ended and two of the three primary characters had amplified into zombies, it is obvious there will be many changes to the storytelling in book two of the series. Initially, the inclusion of George as a voice in Shaun’s head may seem irritating, or like an unnecessary trope. As time goes on, it helps to explain Shaun’s new rational behaviors. That being said, the constant need for Shaun to explain that he is talking to his dead sister and not the humans in the room does prove to be irksome. Moving the secondary characters from Feed who were primarily online in book one into positions of action in this book provides a diversity to the story, and helps propel the mission forward. Deadline does not dwell on the loss of the characters from book one, but each character handles with his or her grief in a realistic way. The conspiracy that enveloped book one is still strong in book two. The additional information from the CDC makes the virus much more interesting, as well as the implications behind its continued evolution.
The conspiracy continues to grow throughout the story. Many of the developments come as a surprise, and the tension that builds throughout the second half of the story is riveting. The paranoia that engulfs all aspects of the story seems entirely reasonable, and is essential for the characters to survive. The evolution in the virus, and in the understanding of how that evolution works, leaves the reader to eagerly anticipate Blackout this spring. Readers who are less interested in politics will find Deadline is filled with more action and less blogging. The hunt for the truth is still strong, but it is much more clandestine this time around.
If you keep looking over your shoulder with your hand on your gun, read Deadline.
Grant, Mira. Deadline. New York: Orbit, 2011. Kindle edition.