“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 was very excited when I found out from Tina (of One More Page) that Deadline was finally out. I loved Feed. It was the zombie novel that changed the way I look at how zombie stories can be told. So, obviously, I was ecstatic to grab my copy of the sequel as soon as it was out—and now I have, on my hands, my very own copy of Deadline.
Okay, I’m not actually holding it. It’s kind of hard to hold a book while typing at the same time. And I’ve already finished reading it. Umm. Yeah, so there’s that. And, uh, I kind of lost my train of thought. Let’s just get on with the book, shall we?
Deadline picks up some years after the events of Feed. After the game-changing end of the first book, the opening of Deadline definitely surprised me. I mean, sure I’ve read the opening months ago, but how it was handled still surprised me. It was a good surprise, as it wasn’t where I was expecting the story to go. And there’s not ‘but’ here.
In Deadline, the Center for Disease Control (or the CDC) is still far from discovering a way to contain the Kellis-Amberlee virus that had turned many of the dead into shambling zombies. And we begin to find out the reason why. It’s a conspiracy!
Sure, we get that from Feed. It wasn’t a secret after the climactic confrontation between Shaun Mason and General Tate in the end of Feed. We knew that someone bigger was pulling the strings—we just don’t know why. What surprised me was the involvement of CDC in the conspiracy. Or rather, the people in the CDC involved in the conspiracy.
In a post-apocalyptic world, there are only a few people you can trust. Shaun, our protagonist, had his team of trusted allies by his side the whole time—most of whom we only meet in this book, so I feared that Mira Grant (the author) would pull another Buffy. Except she can’t. And, thankfully, she didn’t.
What I liked most about Feed was present in Deadline as well—our characters were constantly in motion. Feed had our three main characters (Georgia, Shaun and Buffy) on the political trail of Senator Ryman’s presidential campaign. Deadline has Shaun with a permutation of team members going out on road trips every so often as he searched for the truth. This was good as the second book had more characters than the first, and we are only actually meeting them for the first time here, so the characters each get their own chance to shine. And they do.
The only thing that didn’t live up to my expectations was Shaun’s perspective. Feed was told through Georgia’s eyes, and it had her dry humor. With Shaun taking the helm for Deadline, I was expecting a lighter persona for the readers to latch on to. Except Shaun’s voice wasn’t light. It makes sense, taking into consideration the events that happened to Shaun prior to Deadline, but still—it felt like I was still reading the book through Georgia’s perspective. (And in a way, I was. But I’m not expounding, because that way leads to spoilers.)
Overall though, the book was solid. I’m still not sure if we did get the answers we were supposed to get, as I got lost in the medical jargon that the characters employed, but we do get two crazy developments by the end of the book that made sure that I’m going to be buying the third book, Blackout, as soon as it hits the market. Developments you’ll have to find out for yourself when you read the book, because I’m not going to spoil a perfectly good story for you.
Deadline is available locally through Fully Booked. But I suggest you give them a call first to find out which branch actually has a copy. It took me two trips (and a lot of griping and ranting) before I got my copy.