Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Blackout

Blackout by Mira Grant is the last volume in the Newsflesh Trilogy. I'm not really a fan of zombie stories, but I love this series. Why? Because the zombies are part of the setting, part of life. It's past the initial survival of the Rising and is all about how life has evolved. This series has the most fascinating backstory I've read. The first book, Feed, followed a group of bloggers through a presidential campaign. The second book, Deadline, followed them as they unearthed the conspiracy. In Blackout, everything collapses.

A synopsis, from BN:
The year was 2014. The year we cured cancer. The year we cured the common cold. And the year the dead started to walk. The year of the Rising.
       The year was 2039. The world didn't end when the zombies came, it just got worse. Georgia and Shaun Mason set out on the biggest story of their generation. The uncovered the biggest conspiracy since the Rising and realized that to tell the truth, sacrifices have to be made.
       Now, the year is 2041, and the investigation that began with the election of President Ryman is much bigger than anyone had assumed. With too much left to do and not much time left to do it in, the surviving staff of After the End Times must face mad scientists, zombie bears, rogue government agencies-and if there's one thing they know is true in post-zombie America, it's this:
       Things can always get worse.

Read my (premature) review of Feed here, and the ending of Feed. My review of Deadline. Don't worry, the reviews are spoiler free. Mira Grant is the open pseudonym for Seanan McGuire, find her at her blog and twitter. And I thought I was going to be missing out reading the book instead of listening to the audio, but the character's voices are so ingrained in my head from the last two books that I don't even see a difference. Feed and Deadline landed great narrators.

This is going to be really hard to talk about without giving away major things about the endings of the previous two books. Lets just say, science keeps getting re-written, and yet it all makes perfect sense. No one can be trusted, and yet the hints were there all along when the crew is betrayed. The characters all have reasons to act the way they do, and they continue to act that way even when we don't want them too. Each book in the trilogy furthers the story and reveals more about the characters and the world. Information from the first and second books get even deeper meaning in the third book.

The romance in this book is exactly how I wish more books handled romance. With tact. It's there, and it's a powerful motivator for the characters, but we're not smothered with false affection and sex. When the characters get together it's a huge payoff and the little bit of affection we do get to see is heart-squeezing and happy-making. And I'm not going to tell you who gets together with who. But it was perfect, and couldn't have happened any other way, and Grant handled it respectfully and perfectly.

Lastly, and I will probably get all kinds of hell for saying this, I want to see Kristen Stewart play Georgia in the must-happen Feed movie. She looks exactly how I imagined Georgia to look (except we'd have to cut off all that beautiful hair of hers) and she has the proper balance of humility, "don't touch me"-ness, and strength. And she's enough of a not-good actor to make the character a real person. And while we're at it, let's get a Mark Gatiss-David Fincher collaboration going.

Do yourself a favor and read these books. I can't say that enough. A couple times during Blackout I stopped and thought I can't believe a person wrote this. It's a level of storytelling that hasn't been matched for me since J. K. Rowling, the way everything fits together to just blow your mind. I may be fangirling at this point. I don't care. You need to read these books.

Update 5/23/12: I just discovered, via Seanan McGuire's blog, an alternate ending to Feed. It's called Fed. (Clever.) You have to like the FB page to read it—which, to anyone listening, I find super annoying. I have ignored things I would have normally done because it involved a FB step. But this story I wanted to read too much, so I jumped through your damn hoops. You're welcome. Now, go read Fed, but only if you've finished Feed (spoilers ahoy).

RISE UP WHILE YOU CAN.

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