June 1, 2011
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** Contains spoilers for Feed's ending which !!! I recommend you read so, so much both before looking at this review or Deadline (or its synopsis) but also because it's really good **
Read my Feed review and stay away from Deadline if you haven't read Feed yet :-)
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 think that, somehow, possibly, I liked Deadline better than Feed. Something I didn't expect - or even know to be possible - especially after the ending of Feed.
While Feed set everything up, established the world that Shaun and Georgia lived in, the zombies and how they came to be, Deadline goes deeper. The Kellis-Amberlee virus, two things that together were supposed to - and did - save us from cancer and the common cold, but together led to the living dead is a known fact.
What's not as well known, what Shaun and Georgia were working to uncover is the truth - the truth about just what, Shaun's still finding out and in Deadline it's really something. Something that puts them all in danger: the regular After the End Times crew and a believed-to-be-dead CDC doctor who appears with some startling information. Information it seems someone doesn't want her to share.
I seriously love this book - this series, so far. The world that was already well imagined and built in Feed gets even better, even more firmly established and expanded on here. The characters uncover more and more that while making some things make no sense (on purpose) for a while, makes others make perfect sense.
The action scenes are done very well. I forgot (I think) to mention in the Feed review that the Newsflesh zombies aren't your usual shuffling, moaning zombies; some of them are fast. Their speed leads to great action. The characters don't have the advantage of standing back and, calmly, shooting them all from a distance, sometimes they have zombies, suddenly right on top of them. It adds a lot to the tension and suspense.
Mira Grant came up with, in Deadline, probably one of the best implemented and my favorite ways to keep a not-really-supposed-to-be-around character, around. A character I thought wouldn't be present for this second book and one I was going to miss a lot. It worked better than I first thought it was going to because it was fully, unabashedly part of the story. It was, pretty literally crazy but it worked fantastically.
Now, the ending. Remember how I said that the ending of Feed would make you want to read the next book (i.e. this one) asap? Well, I did. Except, that wanting had nothing on how much this book's ending will leave you wanting to read Book 3 Blackout.
Really. Really. Really. The ending.