Author: Mira Grant
Publication Date: 5/22/12
Blurb: Rise up while you can. - Georgia Mason
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.
Blackout is the conclusion to the epic trilogy that began in the Hugo-nominated Feed and the sequel, Deadline.
I was over the top excited to read this final installment, but I admit that I was also nervous. I loved Deadline, but I found myself balking a bit at what Alaric would call the “Mad Science.” I have no flipping clue how to review this and remain spoiler free but I am going to try my hardest!
And I guess that means that I can’t even really summarize anything that’s happened in the previous two books. Ummm… there were conspiracies and deaths (oh so many deaths!), high-stakes journalism and heroic bloggers, twists that we never saw coming, and a few zombies thrown in for good measure. I laughed, I cried, I shook my fist in frustration.
Here’s what I absolutely loved about this installment: I had so many doubts, but Mira Grant made me forget every single one. I got so swept up in the first two thirds of this book. For the first two thirds, I couldn’t care less just how out-there the science was, or how random the plot, or how convenient some of the scenarios. Grant really knows how to keep the pace moving and her characters are each so unique and full of personality. I loved the entire ensemble.
Still… something was missing in this book for me. I just didn’t feel the emotional gut-wrench that I’d become accustomed to with the previous two books. The first two books in this series made my cry real tears – not just a few little prickles but full on crying. And, just to put things in perspective – this book has just as much death as the previous two. But no tears. Even in the climactic, endgame scene involving my favorite character – I just didn’t feel it.
I think the forward momentum in this book really stalled out for the last third. Things started to feel repetitive: run, fight, use witty banter as a coping mechanism, describe a posh hotel in intricate detail, run, fight, use witty banter as a coping mechanism, describe a posh hospital in intricate detail, run, fight, use witty banter as a coping mechanism, describe a posh laboratory in intricate detail... and so on. And the reasoning behind all of this running felt shaky at best. The witty banter, which I previously found funny, really started to wear on me by the end. I just wanted someone to show an honest emotion! Stop joking about it for like a second! Then, feel free to resume.
However, all of these things were more like niggling doubts I had. The major thing that prevented me from really loving this book was something very very spoilerific, so you’ll all have to excuse me if this gets really confusing.
Remember at the end of Feed? When Mira Grant did one of the most courageous, bold things I’ve ever seen in fiction and just blew all of our hearts to smithereens? I felt like I actually grieved. But then, in this book… it really felt to me like all of that courage and bravery was just being undone. It felt like a major cop-out on her part. And I did love the scenes where she attempted to remind us all of that certain event, and that it had happened, and that it could never be changed. BUT, for all of this verbal reminding, I never felt like she showed us that it hadn’t been magically undone. If a hypothetical “development” walks, talks, and goes by the name of a duck, isn’t it essentially a duck? And I really didn’t want it to be a duck, at least not all of the time. I wanted it to have issues acting like a duck some of the time. I wanted it to forget how to quack or waddle or swim. I wanted its little duckie friends not to recognize it immediately. Otherwise, it just feels so shallow. It doesn’t feel real. It feels like a magic fairy tale solution.
Are you all confused yet? Time to wrap this up then. In short, I still really liked this series. It’s fun; it’s fast-paced; it’s much better and more inventive than most. I had my issues with it but I think they’re more about personal preference. These books are well worth reading.
Perfect Musical Pairing
Temple of the Dog - Say Hello to Heaven
This song really isn't for either of them though. This was written by the remaining members of Mother Love Bone, after their lead singer Andrew Wood died. This is my song for the wall - for all the brilliant characters I mourned during the course of this series.