Monday, December 10, 2012
Book Review: Blackout by Mira Grant
Author: Mira Grant
Publisher: Orbit Books
Publication Date: May 22, 2012
Source: borrowed from the good ol' public library
Plot Summary from Goodreads:
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. They 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.
Blackout is the conclusion to the epic trilogy that began in the Hugo-nominated Feed and the sequel, Deadline.
I have already said so much about this trilogy in my other two reviews (HERE and HERE). If you don't want the trilogy spoiled for you, you should probably start with the other two books first! Otherwise, do read on.
First and foremost--this was an excellent conclusion to a truly action-packed trilogy. This third installment does not have a single dull moment. **Spoilers** Now that Georgia is back, the book alternates between her POV and Shaun's POV. This alone made me never want to put the book down, because each Georgia chapter would end on a cliffhanger, followed by a Shaun chapter ending on a cliffhanger, and on and on. Until their stories intersect in the middle of the novel, you're constantly bouncing back and forth between them, which I loved. Just like the other two books, this one gets an A+ for action, and the zombie stuff is suspenseful without being gory or overdone.
Also, the world building continues to shine. The author obviously knows her stuff about virology, and incorporates it into the novel in a way that is easy for the lay-reader to understand. This adds SO much to the trilogy in terms of believability.
I only had a few small complaints, and one of them will not be new to you (given my review of Deadline). I really...really...REALLY do not like Shaun as a narrator. He constantly reminds us that he's so crazy, he's on the brink of insanity, he's going to punch someone in the face, yada yada yada...it gets very old, very fast. Having Georgia back as a second narrator was helpful though, because I only had to listen to him half of the time.
The other issues were focused more on writing style. I would love to count how many times the characters "wince" or "grimace" in this novel. Nobody winces or grimaces that much in real life, even if they are being pursued by the undead. And this book (along with Deadline) spends significant amounts of time reviewing things that happened in the previous books. I don't understand why authors do this, especially in trilogies. Who is jumping in at book #3 without reading book #1?? All that review stuff is just space filler for everyone who read the other two books.
But just like with Deadline, those complaints just don't matter as much as the good stuff. The action and suspense is awesome, and I developed a love for a lot of the side characters as well. I felt invested in all of them. There are some great twists (weird, but great), and the ending is satisfying without being all tied up with a bow. If you want an addicting trilogy with some smarts, Newsflesh is definitely for you!