Friday, 17 August 2012

Deadline by Mira Grant

Deadline is the second book in Mira Grant’s Newsflesh trilogy. You can read my review of the first book, Feed, here. If you haven’t read Feed, I highly recommend not reading this review because it contains spoilers for the end of book 1.

A little while after Feed leaves off — the presidential campaign is over and the dust has settled — Shaun picks up the story global conspiracy he and George scratched the surface of in the first book.

Unlike Feed, in which the reader didn’t learn much about conspiracies in the first half, Deadline pretty much opens with a researcher from the CDC, who was reported dead, showing up and revealing part of the conspiracy. From that point on, Shaun, Becks and the rest of the team spend their time alternately looking for answers by poking trouble and running away from doom.

While I enjoyed Deadline, I didn’t like it quite as much as Feed. I think the main reason is that I enjoyed living in George’s head more than Shaun’s (even if Shaun isn’t the only one occupying his own skull…). Where Feed had more politics, Deadline had more answers to at least the medical questions if not the people behind the conspiracy (and let’s face it, if it had, where would book 3 go?). Of course it didn’t come close to resolving everything and it’s definitely left me wanting to pick up book 3 straight away, particularly after that ending, wow.

One thing I thought Deadline began to explore in an interesting way was how much right does an organisation have to withhold information from the general public. If they think the information would cause panic and mayhem, should they keep it to themselves? Are they working in the best interests of the public if they think they’re keeping them safe with secrecy? What lengths is it OK to go to to maintain that secrecy (hint: they’re probably going too far in these books)? It’s a relevant concept and I hope it’s explored more in the last book, Blackout.

I highly recommend this series to anyone that likes SF, fantasy or action. Grant has created an excellent world and a scientific zombie apocalypse. Go read Feed first, if you haven’t already, before you read Deadline.

4 / 5 stars

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