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What a ride!  I came home from work today determined to finish Deadline, by Mira Grant, or bust, and that’s essentially all I’ve done all night, aside from breaks to install a game shelf in my spare bedroom and eat dinner.  I’ve been wandering around my apartment since I finished the novel trying to decompress and determine my feelings , especially about the final chapter.  I won’t spoil it for anyone, because if you’re not reading these books RIGHT NOW, you should be, but OMFGTWIST. Not an entirely unforseeable twist, but completely unexpected that it was pulled off believeably.  Obtuse enough?  I try.

Anyway.  Wow.  Where to begin?  If you’ll recall from yesterday (aka about 6 inches below this on the screen) I wasn’t entirely sold at the start of this novel.  I originally believed that Feed, the first novel of the series was completely capable of standing on it’s own without any follow up, and that maybe it should have been left that way.  Yes, there were loose threads left hanging… but maybe that was ok.

I take it all back.

SPOILER ALERT – Do not continue beyond this point if you haven’t read Feed. I won’t spoil Deadline for ya, but its hard to discuss the sequel without talking about how the original novel ended and how Deadline begins. You have been warned.  Here be dragons. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

In my opinion, one of the elements that really drove the plot in Feed was the relationship between Georgia and Shaun.  For being a very action oriented tale, Grant gave us a TON of character development. I became truly invested not just in how the events of the story would effect the resolution, and the lives of the characters, but in how it would effect this relationship between Georgia and Shaun.  This plays out in the dramatic, traumatic final scenes where we see Georgia infected with Kellis-Amberlee and the extremes to which Shaun is pushed as a result. My primary reasoning in not expecting a sequel lay in these events… how could one continue to tell the story of these two characters, with one of them seeming removed from any active participation.  How wrong I was.

We learn in the very first pages of Deadline, which takes place almost a year after the end of Feed, how Shaun is coping, or not coping, with the lose of Georgia.  he’s not.  He’s gone just crazy enough to still hear her voice in his head and interact with her as if speaking to a ghost that only he can see.  He’s still functional, he’s still posting on his blog, and as you quickly learn, he’s very much intent on avenging his sister’s death. New details of an ongoing governmental conspiracy regarding Kellis-Amberlee come to light quickly, driving the action of the story, and Shaun spurs the remnants of the team to action.  This is where the novel really takes off, and where I’ll stop talking about the plot itself.  That said, as a wannabe author myself, I was thoroughly impressed by Grant’s ability to keep Georgia around and working to drive the action of the novel without having her actually put in an appearance, in the flesh.  It was a huge leap to ask her readers to take, and while I admit that it did seem to stumble coming out of the blocks, it picked itself up and the suspension of disbelief was maintained through the rest of the novel.

OK, it’s safe now.

Final thoughts?  I loved Feed, I’m enamored of Deadline and I’ve already preordered Blackout, the conclusion, for my Kindle. There’s apparently a novella out there entitled Countdown that I’ve also already downloaded and plan to start tomorrow, because I’m afraid that if I start it tonight I’ll have to stay up until I finish it, and this work-week kicked my ass.  I need sleep. Then I need more zombies.  How am I ever going to make it til June??