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Countdown (Newsflesh 0.5)

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  3,029 ratings  ·  315 reviews
The year is 2014, the year everything changed. We cured cancer. We cured the common cold. We died.

This is the story of how we rose.

When will you rise?

Countdown is a novella set in the world of Feed.

Word count: ~19,500
ebook, 105 pages
Published August 1st 2011 by Orbit (first published January 1st 2011)
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World War Z by Max BrooksZombie Fallout by Mark TufoA Plague Upon Your Family by Mark TufoThe End by Mark TufoFeed by Mira Grant
Best Zombie Books
202nd out of 1,021 books — 2,471 voters
World War Z by Max BrooksThe Zombie Survival Guide by Max BrooksThe Walking Dead, Vol. 01 by Robert KirkmanFeed by Mira GrantPride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith
Zombies!
142nd out of 1,296 books — 3,724 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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karen
come back, alfonso!

okay, another quickie mini-review for another mini-book i free-read on the work-nook last week.

no more dashes in the entire review, i promise.

this little novella chronicles the events leading up to feed and deadline (oh, and blackout which i want to come out now please). and once again, mira grant has rocked my world. it is a split-viewpoint (damn you, dash!) story, where the perspectives of scientists, eco-terrorists, the first victim, a dog, doctors, reporters, and citizens
...more
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
This will seem like an odd thing to say, but the Newsflesh world is my world. I would love to live there with George, Shaun, Buffy and the rest of the characters. Yes, yes, I’m well aware of the zombies, but I honestly don’t care. Given the choice, that’s where I’d want to be.

The point of my little confession is that I welcome every word Mira Grant decides to write. This is not a novella per se because it doesn't have a single storyline, it’s nothing like Apocalypse Scenario #683: The Box. Inste
...more
Kwesi 章英狮
"People blame science. Shit, man, people shouldn’t blame science. People should blame people." – Shaun Mason


In 2009, invented by Daniel Wells, the Marburg Amberlee (Marburg EX19) can cure leukaemia. First tested to Amanda Amberlee, a young leukaemia patient in Colorado been shot with Marburg EX19 at the age of thirteen, cured from the torment of her sickness. At the age of eighteen, her life becomes normal. The world once again saw the greatness of medicine.

In 2014, invented by Alexander and Jo
...more
Bonnie
Interested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog!

’There is nothing so patient, in this world or any other, as a virus searching for a host.’

Countdown is a must-read for fans of the Newsflesh novels. Countdown takes you back before the virus was spread, before the zombies came alive, when the world was still as vivid and vibrant as it is today. This is a super short story and left me wanting much much more, but it was still an extremely informative piece of writing that I felt was essential to tru
...more
Tania
3.5 stars. If you are interested to find out more about exactly how the Kellis-Amberlee virus came in to existance then read this. I love how this author alway looks at the smallest details when explaining cause and effect.
Sonja Arlow
3 1/2 stars

This novella is the prequel to Feed and as always it was full of scientifically probable explanations of a phenomena that has been written about at nauseam.

Some dystopian books are unique and enjoyable because they are so fantastical (think The Hunger Games and The Knife of Never Letting Go) and some are unique and appealing precisely because they skirt so closely along our current reality, allowing for the horrific probability that this could maybe just maybe happen one day. This ser
...more
Jason
5 Stars

Blackout, book 3 of the Newsflesh trilogy is my most anticipated release of 2012. I am a huge Mira Grant fan and I absolutely love the first two books of this series. This is a post apocalyptic story that seems to be cut out of today's news. It is relevant in the science that it purposes. It is relevant in it's format and telling. Blogging and the internet is today's best media outlet. This series works by putting an amazing set of characters into a world not much different then ours is t
...more
Wigs
It was alright but don't read this expecting this to be about zombies. Like, the zombies don't start til about 60% of the ebook, but the book ends at 85%, as the rest is the first chapter of Feed, as it, for some reason assumes that people are reading this who haven't read the rest, which I doubt. It doesn't really have the strength to be a standalone and I would only recommend to a fan of the series who really liked her style. This is basically a timeline of events, told in a very stark way. It ...more
Tina
Original post at One More Page


This is actually one of the last books I read for 2011, and I got this because I'm such a loyal reader of Mira Grant and her Newsflesh universe. Countdown is the a prequel to her story and it narrates just how the Rising happened through the different perspectives involved in the story. I liked how the story wasn't really as simple as how it seemed when Georgia talked about it in Feed. There were so many people involved, some that were already known such as the de
...more
Nina
This is the last kind of thing I would usually read. Not that I have any prejudice against post-apocalyptic novels or dislike zombies - it's just not the genre that would usually catch my eye.
But oh boy, did I love this. Frankly, it's terrifying. It makes me want to snuggle into bed (with the next book in the series, obvz), seal every opening in my house and wait for the world to die.
Aside from the technical/sciencey aspect, which I only vaguely got because I'm totally not the sciencey type, the
...more
Keith Chawgo
Mira Grant prequel to her popular trilogy showed again what a fantastic writer with a scientific mind. With this novella, she goes back to when the virus starts and hops from place to place until all the pieces fully come together.

She has put alot of effort into the beginning of the end of civilisation and she was able to handle this with great skill. All her characters come across intelligent with extreme detail to characterisation and warmth. The evil that exists is given a three dimensional
...more
James
Jul 05, 2012 James rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All fans of the Newsflesh series.
I always find short stories hard to review. They always seem so ... short. Consequently, they always end up compromising on characterisation. Countdown is lucky, as it's not really about people. It's about a virus - and how much characterisation do you really want for a virus? This is the prequel story to the Newsflesh trilogy. In it Grant explains how the virus came to be and how the outbreak started.

Lots of the story had been hinted at - or more - in the three novels, but it was good to have t
...more
dblue
I am glad I read this after I was further along in the series. After reading Feed and Deadline and seeing how George and Shaun's relationship with their adoptive parents evolved it gave insight into the Mason's.

How the virus evolved was really scary. The lack of information and misinformation made it even more frightening.

Denise
Set in 2014, this prequel novella for the outstanding Newsflesh trilogy chronicles the events of the Rising in a clinical, yet emotional and absolutely harrowing account of the unpredictable combination of initially unrelated events that led to the dead rising and the world as we know it turning into the one we encounter in Feed. A great addition to the series, and like with each of the novels, I found myself glued to the page from start to finish.
John
[I read this novella as part of the Hugo Voter Packet in 2012.]

The spoilers listed below are only spoilers if you're unfamiliar with the Newsflesh universe; if you are familiar with that backdrop, nothing below will be any surprise (but then again, nothing in the novella will be either!).

This novella is actually written in a semi-similar style to the last one I read, Ken Liu’s ‘The Man Who Ended History’, and so I jumped straight in with gusto. It’s not presented as a documentary, but it’s the s
...more
Wendy
Jan 12, 2013 Wendy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: owned
I'm not sure I can write rationally about this novella because of ALL THE FEELS!!!!

These stories originally appeared on Seanan's blog as a leadup to the release of Deadline (Newsflesh 2.0). Several people have posed reviews that they were confused about how the introduction to this world could be published after the first book. That is because it's a prequel but most certainly NOT an introduction. To properly appreciate this work, you have to have at least read FEED first.

That is because this bo
...more
Elaine Wong
The prologue to the Newsflesh Trilogy. New and experienced readers to the world will thoroughly enjoy this, and it rates a 4.5 to me.

Separate storylines emerge in the beginning, and if you're not familiar with the history of the Rising, completely unrelated. A teenaged girl is cured of cancer; a scientist experiments with an infectious cure; a reporter sees his big break; a college group wants to be heroes; a young family enjoys summer vacation.

All this is available in teasers from other books,
...more
Kerry
Comments originally published here.

Apparently this novella was originally available on the author’s website and has now been released as a short ebook. I didn’t know anything about it, so was happy to see it turn up for sale.

This is the story of the actual zombie Rising that forms the background and basis of Grant’s Newsflesh trilogy. Despite not being at all into zombies, I have found that the right book – one about the science and the mystery, rather than the blood, guts and gore – can work ve
...more
Sunil
This fantastic prequel to Feed details the events surrounding the Rising. Although most of the major information was covered in Feed itself, these vignettes put a more human face on the story, as well as giving the perspectives of the viruses themselves. The standout character is Alexander Kellis, whose relationship with his husband is strained by his relationship with his research, the research that would unwittingly lead to the end of the world. We also get a look at the pre-Rising Masons, w ...more
Sam
Jul 02, 2012 Sam rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of the Newsflesh Trilogy
Following important characters such as Dr. Alexander Kellis, Dr. Daniel Wells, Dr. William Matras and Micheal and Stacy Mason (no idea who these people are? I'd recommend you go read Feed) as well as a couple of other people, as we see how Kellis-Amberlee came to be and the start of the Rising. Personally, I never gave it five stars because I felt it ended too quickly. I would have liked to see a little more. But I guess that's what you get with a short story. It's worth reading though, if you'r ...more
E. VanZwoll
Countdown: A Newsflesh Novella shares the months and weeks leading up to the "creation" of the Kellis-Amberlee virus and the initial aftermath of the infection. There is a lot of good back-story here, told from the perspective of John Kellis, the man who created the untested Kellis Cure, and Dr Wells, the doctor in charge of the Marburg-Amberlee trials. You also learn more about the Mason family, pre-Georgia & Sean, as well as the bioterrorist group that released the Kellis Cure before it ha ...more
Chichipio
I can't give this five stars since the format itself makes it less thrilling, more impersonal. But still, it's a great addition to the series, giving a factual account of how it all started. Anyone who enjoyed Feed and Deadline is going to like it.

(view spoiler)
Christina  Torretta
When I read the Newsflesh Trilogy I was enraptured. I mean being a zombie fan why wouldn't I be? Mira Grant is a virologist and it shows. In every bit of her writing and they way she writes. This book introduces exactly how the virus, or in this case viruses, came to ruin the earth. And that's what I love the most. In many zombie books or movies there is just not enough information saying how it all happened and it can take away from the story. OR you get the authors that try to explain how it a ...more
Aioki Reika
“The Real Beginning…”

The 0.5 Story of the NewsFlesh Trilogy. Reading this short story makes everything clear to me now, how it all began the people behind the Kellis-Amberlee virus, how the outbreak began.

It is such a shocker that the man behind creating the cure for cancer and the common cold was like Dr. Frankenstein. All of his life’s work ended up bad for people and there is no stopping it.
Sophie
Countdown delves into how the zombie-making Kellis-Amberlee virus that shaped George and Shaun Mason’s post-apocalyptic world in Feed came about. Grant detailed the intricate biology behind the virus, which made her zombie transformation theory very convincing (and therefore that much more terrifying). Reading this after reading Feed builds up a sense of dread; Countdown shows the makings of a nightmare while capturing the horror movie-esque suspense. Like pouring salt on a wound, Grant also exp ...more
Jean Pearl
How did the end begin? Or more specifically, how did Kellis-Amberlee come to be? How did the world that Georgia Carolyn Mason and Shaun Phillip Mason were living in happen to be? How?! Need answers to these questions then, READ THIS ON!
Ariana
And so it all started...
Reading this book felt like meeting with an old friend - it made me happy to 'get in touch' again, and it made me sad to let go afterwards. *sigh*
Jackie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Eli
There are no happy stories in this book, but a short telling of how the HUMANS brought down millions of years of evolving and surviving.

A liked this book a lot, it was a nice read while traveling on the bus and finished it in 2-3 hours. But there is this one annoying thing by Mira Grant.

I know in English, and in many other languages, in the past couple hundreds of years of patriarchy, the term 'man' came to be the equivalent of the meaning 'human'. Well, it is not. It is just a word which is us
...more
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Born and raised in Northern California, Mira Grant has made a lifelong study of horror movies, horrible viruses, and the inevitable threat of the living dead. In college, she was voted Most Likely to Summon Something Horrible in the Cornfield, and was a founding member of the Horror Movie Sleep-Away Survival Camp, where her record for time survived in the Swamp Cannibals scenario remains unchallen ...more
More about Mira Grant...

Other Books in the Series

Newsflesh (4 books)
  • Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy, #1)
  • Deadline (Newsflesh Trilogy, #2)
  • Blackout (Newsflesh Trilogy, #3)
  • Rewind (Newsflesh, #4)
Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy, #1) Deadline (Newsflesh Trilogy, #2) Blackout (Newsflesh Trilogy, #3) Parasite (Parasitology, #1) San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats (Newsflesh Trilogy, #3.1)

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“There is nothing so patient, in this world or any other, as a virus searching for a host.” 15 likes
“People blame science. Shit, man, people shouldn’t blame science. People should blame people.” 6 likes
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