"Beliefs or anxieties, they don't matter. One way or another, death comes in the shape it wants and doesn't guarantee a pretty ending."
Tragedy, horror, and the instinct to survive will do crazy things to a person, but how will they effect two young men who have barely struck out into adulthood? Dead Meat follows a small group of survivors as they discover the true extent of their recently ravaged world and find out first hand that the promise of living another day will make you do things you never imagined were within your nature.
This was how I interpreted the tone of the book as there are moments you start to second guess the sanity of the main characters Benny and Gavin. As a psychology major, I was immediately taken by the depth of each character and the range of development they go through. The action scenes are well thought out and spectacularly executed, but the true achievement of Dead Meat is in its characters. The Williams boys have obviously taken great pains in bringing the main characters to life and exploring the depths of human emotion, both light and dark, and it absolutely shows. What books have you read lately where you met a character who disturbs and terrifies you one moment, charms you the next, freaks you out again, and then heads straight into becoming one of your favorite, albeit slightly douchey, anti-heroes of all time? The anti-hero is a difficult character to pull off, but when done right, these characters always top my list, because we don't often get to see authors really push the limits with the classic hero. I can't even begin to describe how perfectly Benny both fit and exceeded my expectations. I hated Benny. I loved Benny. He frightened and repulsed me and with a turn of the page, he was being charming and heroic. WTF Benny? Why are you so crazy awesome? I haven't had a character mess with me like this...well...ever!
"'Open the door,' I whisper. I swallow to moisten my throat and say it again, this time much louder. 'Open the door.'"
And that ending? Obviously I won't spoil it for you, but HOLY CRAP! I never saw it coming and I usually have the story figured out fairly early on when I read. I will say that I'm fairly heartbroken over it, but satisfied all the same.
I think the only complaint I have about this book is the female characters. There are only two, and both are fairly underwhelming. Not that they aren't well developed, they are, but one only makes a short appearance and the other is truly vile. I wanted at least one good, strong, female character, but didn't find it here. However, I can't exactly hold it against the authors as again, through the depth and realism of these characters, they show important aspects of how humans can experience and react to life and death situations.
The Final Verdict Dead Meat is gritty, stunning, character driven zombie horror fiction that asks readers, what would you do to survive when you have everything to lose? Another edition to my must read zombie fiction list.
FTC Disclosure I was provided a copy of this book by the authors and IO Tours in exchange for an honest review. I have received no compensation for my review. All opinions stated are my own....more
At this moment, after just finishing Deadline, I believe I'm in shock. I don't really know how I will write a review for this book without giving away spoilers for itself and for its predecessor Feed, but I will give it a try. Was this the best book ever? Certainly not. Were there flaws? Quite a few actually. Do either of those factors compare to the grip this series has a hold of me? Do they effect the love I have for the characters that Grant has created? Do they lessen at all the emotional reverberations I feel long after I have put the book back on its shelf? The answer is a loud and resounding NO. The people we love without a doubt have flaws, but the sheer magnitude of the impact they have on our own personal human experience makes these flaws pale in comparison.
This is Deadline to me.
This is the Newsflesh Trilogy to me.
The After the End Times team is back and hot on the trail of the conspiracy that rocked their world in the last book. If you think I'm being incredibly vague here, I am because there is honestly very little I can talk about this book plot wise without giving everything away. Let's just say I was very impressed with how quickly the action got going compared to Feed. Instead of a huge info dump that gets us acquainted with the characters and the world they inhabit, we take a quick moment to catch up with the team, and then are thrown directly into the action. And thank god for the action! Where Feed spent much of its length exploring politics, blogging, and evil plotting, Deadline spends it running, jumping, climbing trees. (Sorry couldn't resist the Eddie Izzard reference ^_^) There is still plenty of evil plotting going on here for those of us who loved that in the previous book, but this time we get to enjoy a faster paced story.
What Deadline has made up for in pace and excitement, it seems to have lack key character development in Shaun. I felt Grant had an almost unlimited amount of potential for Shaun's character here, but she held back for some reason. This was really disappointing for me as I love a good crazy anti-hero, but after being blown away by the ending, I trust that Grant knows what she is doing here. You see, after finishing Deadline I got the distinct feeling that everything that felt like a flaw throughout the course of the novel was absolutely intentional. Every emotion I felt during my read of this book seems to have been directed by Grant's storytelling in an almost subliminal way. To me this proves that Grant understands her core audience and knows just how to play us.
Which leads me to my final thoughts... What exactly does she have planned for us in Blackout? The ending of Deadline completely threw me as did the ending of Feed. So, if Grant is topping herself with each book... what epicness can we expect from the final book in the Newsflesh trilogy? I'm absolutely tingling with anticipation.
The Final Verdict
I think fans of the first book will love the ride and be left dying to find out what happens next.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is not your teenager's zombie fiction. Grant has put together an intricate and well thought out world for her characters who are just as gritty and strong as the world they live in. I was fascinated by the political and journalism aspects and have great expectations for this series , so much so, that I went out and bought Deadline last week after only reading a few chapters of Feed. I enjoyed how the zombies weren't exactly the main focus of the book, but always lingered in the dark corners waiting for their chance to make a move. Without giving away spoilers, I can say that less than 1/4 of the way through, you realize the zombies aren't the real villains of this novel, but a tool. This concept is what finally hooked me after the extensive info-dump the first part of the book turns out to be.
The Virus I was thoroughly impressed with the intelligent tone and Grant's obvious extensive research. The Kellis-Amberlee virus isn't just some all purpose explanation for why the zombies are around. Grant describes the virus so intricately, if it didn't reanimate the dead, it would sound like something that could be present in the near future. The origin of the virus is described for the reader in great detail making the creation and spread believable by playing on the rash actions of today's extremist groups. The virus is so well developed in fact, that it really is its own character. Dark and sinister, it lays dormant in all living creatures just waiting to come in contact with an active strain of itself. Once it does, it amplifies rapidly inside its host, slowly enough for the host to get near others while still appearing normal, and quickly enough for the one person to have the potential to create a hazard zone the size of a large city. No one is safe, and eventually, everyone will succumb to the virus, even if they die a natural death.
The Pacing & Narrative It was kind of slow to start, but everything that contributed to the slowness was vital information. The narrative can come across a bit dry in spots between the action, however I believe this is due to the author staying true to the voice of her narrator. Georgia is such a 'let's get right down to business' sort of person that this style makes complete sense. One of the best aspects of this book is that nothing feels irrelevant. Not once did I say to myself, "Now that was definitely filler." Literally every scrap of information either helps you understand the world and the characters better or it sets up impending plot twists.
Georgia & Shaun This sibling duo is one of the best I've ever read. They offset each other perfectly with Shaun's mischievous, devil may care attitude balancing Georgia's more dry, goal oriented personality. Or does she balance him?? I truly believe they need each other to function properly. Shaun adds much needed comic relief to the story and often punches up a dry section of dialogue nicely.
I read a lot of reviews for this book before and during my read and noticed almost everyone makes a comment about an implied "relationship" between the two. While I did notice these implications, I didn't' find them as obvious or damning as others did. I felt the implications were fairly light rather than the "in-your-face" vibe I got from some of the reviews. I agree that it does appear there is something going on there, but I don't think everyone who reads this book will notice unless it is pointed out to them. There is never any confirmation of a romantic relationship between the two and readers going into the book expecting one will be greatly disappointed. The occurrences are so light and few that they could easily mean something completely different. The only reason I feel these claims are warranted is because of a statement made by Georgia at the end of the book. I won't get into this further in order to avoid spoilers.
The Twists My God the twists! There are quite a few with two really major ones that will completely throw you for a loop. I obviously can't go into them, however I will say they make this book one of the most shocking and fluid reads I've ever had. My warning to you all is under no circumstances should you read descriptions, summaries, reviews, or the backs of the other two books in the series. These WILL give away major plot points and HUGE spoilers for the first book.
The End A reviewer friend of mine here on Goodreads gave me the same warning that I just gave you all. Unfortunately I did not see it in time to save myself from my own curiosity. Curiosity really did kill the cat, or in this case, the ending for Feed for me. I was so mad at myself and now that I know how it all ends, I'm sad because I know this book would have been even better had I not seen it coming. Let me tell you, you do not want this epic ending spoiled for you so please stay away from the other books or anything about them until you finish this one!
Even with the spoiler, the end still hit me hard and I literally bawled. I had myself a good, soaking wet, snotty, hiccup inducing cry. Not just because of the shock of this plot twist, but because of the way the author handles it. The portrayal is perfect and heart-wrenching and felt so right in its context. Grant stays so true to her characters and I am just blown-away with the entire book.
The Final Verdict Feed truly lives up to the massive hype and deserves every nice thing that is said about it. I really couldn't find much fault anywhere. The writing is fluid and intelligent, the characters are well developed and maintained, and Grant's dedication to making this book absolutely brilliant shines through on every page. Personally, reading this book made me want to be a better writer, blogger, and media consumer.
Zombie skeptics and newbies will find this a nice transition book as it is more focused on the drama and the characters than the actual zombies and gore. Zombie veterans and developing fans will find it a fresh take on their favorite rotting fiends. Everyone will learn a thing or two about virology, politics, and just what it takes to bring us the news. I can not think of a better way to begin a series. ...more
I read The Hunger Games two years ago and have read it many more times since. It is the only book I can truly say I will never get tired of and by far, my favorite book ever. I've recommended this to fellow readers countless times and I'm going to do the same again now. Read this book. Now. Read it before you see the movie, which inevitably will change key elements in order to save on time and keep the rating PG-13. Now, if you've just read this last part and are wondering if this book is appropriate for your kids, I would say The Hunger Games is safe for your older teens to read. If your child under 15 wants to read it, I suggest reading it yourself and then formulating your opinion, and here's why.
The Hunger Games is set in the post-apocalyptic ruins of what used to be North America. In this dystopian future, the continent is split up into twelve districts, all controlled by the tyrannical Capitol. Each year, in order to display the Capitol's power, one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and thirteen are chosen from each district to participate in the Hunger Games on live television. The winner of the Hunger Games, and there can only be one, will be set for life! Vast wealth, fame, and an opulent home in their district's champion's circle are the prizes and all they have to do is be the last one standing. Yes, this is a fight to the death. A survival of the fittest and if one of their fellow tributes doesn't kill them, there is a good possibility they will die of starvation, dehydration, or exposure. Happy Hunger Games everyone, and may the odds be ever in your favor.
So, right now you're probably thinking, "That's terrible! How barbaric! Why would I want to read this?" Well dear reader, because it is exciting. The action is engrossing and the deep emotional pull you will feel while reading not only draws you closer to the characters, but also makes you consider the themes on a deeper level. Sure, it's a disturbing concept, however much of popular literature and film are based around the concepts of overcoming disturbing situations and hardships. Think Gladiator, Independence Day, and The Dark Knight. These situations make us band together as humans in a fight for our most basic rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I dare you to look over the reading for any high school English class and find one book or play that doesn't include disturbingly cathartic themes. Romeo and Juliet, Lord of the Flies, The Odyssey, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, and Animal Farm all of these books are being read across the nation by our teenagers and all have arguably more disturbing concepts than The Hunger Games. So I challenge you dear reader to open up your mind to something that is so much more than much of today's brand of superficial young adult literature. This book will force you to think, to grieve, to love, to pity, and to cry out in triumph for humanity.
Update Pre-Movie Release
The gargantuan fan base of the Hunger Games trilogy has been waiting a long time for this! We are finally getting a movie! This series was made to be a movie with its action and palpable characters. We can only hope that director Gary Ross will do the gritty tone of the book justice. So far, we have a teaser trailer, released at the VMAs on August 28th, 2011 a great cast, and the release date!
Hunger Games the movie premieres March 23, 2012.
Jennifer Lawrence will play our leading lady Katniss Everdeen. I was a bit worried about this at first as we are so used to seeing Jennifer blonde and fair skinned, but I think they did a nice job with darkening her hair and bronzing up her skin. We are sure to get an amazing performance from her based off her shining achievements with Winter's Bone and X-Men First Class.
Josh Hutcherson will play Peeta Mellark Katniss' fellow District 12 tribute. Not too sure about this Peeta. Sure, he's cute, but as a fan of the books, he's just not enough of the golden boy Peeta is portrayed as. I was thinking someone more like Alex Pettyfer. All I can say is I challenge Josh to make me see Peeta through his talent!
Liam Hemsworth will portray Gale Hawthrone Katniss' best friend. Now this is some good casting! Not only does he have the look, but that boy can take me hunting any time!
Only a few more weeks until the movie's release and I just can't wait! I have great hopes that the movie will be true to the book and it won't be the absolute disaster that the movie adaptation of The Lightning Thief turned out to be. ...more
Not bad. I enjoy reading this author when she writes under Nora Roberts and decided to give her sci-fi "In Death" series. The first has caught my inteNot bad. I enjoy reading this author when she writes under Nora Roberts and decided to give her sci-fi "In Death" series. The first has caught my interest. Usually, when writing as Roberts, she tends to follow a specific formula, especially in her trilogies. However, I found that although a new formula seems to be introduced, it is very fresh and fun. These for serious novels lean towards the flavor of an episode of Law and Order SVU with a generous helping of romance. The male lead is an interesting twist on her usual sweet natured prince charming archetype. Roarke is strong, sexy, and in charge. The kind of dark hero we ladies crave. Great kick-off, great lead-up and great ending. I will definitely give the next installment a go. ...more
An entirely different experience than the movie. In fact, the only thing that correlated was the main character's name and location. The plot, the vamAn entirely different experience than the movie. In fact, the only thing that correlated was the main character's name and location. The plot, the vampires, and Robert Neville himself are completely other beings from their movie counterparts.
For a vampire enthusiast like me, this was preferable. The book explores traditional vampire mythos using contemporary science to explain not only how they come to be, but also how, in modern times, how our world could be devastatingly overrun by them. It satisfied the purist in me and excited the part that is always looking for logical and rational explanations for the extraordinary.
While I enjoyed it immensely, I will admit portions dragged on and on, lacking meaningful story and plot progression. The momentary monotony however, was vastly overshadowed by the grounding conclusion. The point this entire novella is leading up to was both unexpected and hugely thought provoking.
This "moral of the story" will stick with me for quite some time. ...more
The Becoming, the first book in a new trilogy and Meigs' first novel follows three main characters as they experience the initial outbreak of the zombie virus Michaluk and fight to survive. Cade, Ethan, and Brandt pick up other survivors along the way, but when Ethan insists on returning to Memphis to find closure with the loss of his wife, Cade and Brandt forge on to find a safe place for their group.
Finally! A strong female lead character in a zombie series other than the Newsflesh Trilogy! I've been reading a lot of zombie fiction lately and I have to say I'm sickened with the amount of wimpy, whiny, practically useless female lead characters. The Becoming was a breath of fresh air for me and certainly for the genre itself. Finally a woman who can hold her own and is just as gritty as the boys. While there were still times I was frustrated with Cade's often overly dramatic actions, I still enjoyed her character.
Really each character Meigs has crafted for this novel is well developed and relatable. For me, there is nothing better than well written, character driven apocalypse fiction and this novel delivers it in droves!
One other thing that really stuck out to me was how much more cinematic this novel felt to me than others I've read of the genre. In the first chapters of the book, the tension is slowly and carefully built, setting the reader up for horror moviesque anticipation for the action to kick off. The tension had me biting my nails as I waited for the first zombie to rear its ugly head. This is one of the first zombie novels that truly made me experience horror rather than simulating it with over the top gore and action. Meigs played on my worst fears from the very beginning, sucking me into her world completely.
I think the only thing that rubbed me the wrong way about this book was the fact that the main characters took forever to catch on to what was happening. As this book is set in our world, which has been saturated with zombie movies, books, and pop culture for decades, I would have expected the main characters to have caught on right away. Instead, they spend the first quarter of the novel going, "This is so weird! I wonder what could be happening?" Umm... duh... A real world example would be the incident in Miami recently where a naked man was gunned down by police as he ate the face of another naked man. Although it has been ruled that the man was incredibly high on an illegal narcotic that caused him to act this way, many people associated the actions with zombie like behavior. No, I'm not insane, I don't think the zombie apocalypse is upon us, my point is, people are smarter than you think. It doesn't take an erstwhile Marine you randomly meet to tell you its freaking zombies chapters later. I really felt this dumbed down her otherwise impressive and capable heroes for me. Really, this may not make much of a difference for other readers, but it is kind of a sore spot for me when it comes to zombie fiction in general.
The Final Verdict
Regardless this was an amazing read for me full of action, true horror, and visceral emotion. Well written and superbly edited, The Becoming is a zombie novel you don't want to miss. Looking forward to the rest of the series!
I was provided a copy of this book by the author and IO Tours in exchange for an honest review. I received no compensation for the views stated. All opinions are my own....more
The final book in the Newsflesh trilogy played out like the last 45 minutes of an action packed thriller. Well... that is, an action packed thriller wThe final book in the Newsflesh trilogy played out like the last 45 minutes of an action packed thriller. Well... that is, an action packed thriller with an anti-climatic ending so disappointing, it had me shaking my head and mourning the unfulfilled potential. It wouldn't have been so bad had the first two books in the series not finished with such heart-stopping, epic conclusions! With the bar raised like that, one could only expect the final book, the book Grant promised would reveal all, would eclipse the other two in the shadow of its behemoth of a finale.
No. This was not the case at all.
While I enjoyed the majority of the book, the "endgame" as it was called, was left until the last 100 pages and didn't offer much more in explanation that readers didn't already know. Oh, and a very key plot point was almost completely skimmed over!. Please only read the following spoiler if you have finished this series in its entirety.
(view spoiler)[The evil doctor from the CDC tells them there can never be a cure for the virus without destroying peoples' immune systems and that individuals with reservoir conditions must be eliminated in order to prevent people dying needlessly from second-guessing themselves. I get that, I really do, but once the good old doc is dealt with and it is revealed to the actual fucking scientists that Shaun is immune from his prolonged exposure to Georgia and her reservoir condition, it is completely overlooked as far as future cure research is concerned. Sure they must immediately make a run for their lives and don't have time to really think it over, but in the epilogue, which is over nine months later, Mahir reiterates that there can never be a cure! Ummm... so the EIS decided to completely disregard immunity via sexy time with reservoir conditioned lovers? Not even gonna look into it? No? Too much of a hassle for you? Ok, sure! We're cool with Zombieland USA anyways. (hide spoiler)]
After all the build-up, the fantastic world building, the endearing characters, the insane plot-twists, and the BALLS Grant had to posses to take the risks she did, this ending felt sloppy and rushed in comparison. Why bother putting in all that hard work? Why bother with the extensive research? Why bother developing the science when you are going to end it all like THAT? As you can see, I'm pissed, and for good reason too. I had so much invested in this series. I cried, laughed, and sweated bullets with these characters for nearly 2,000 pages total for all three books. I grieved at the losses, raged over the injustices, and rejoiced in their triumphs, only for it all to come down to such a baffling conclusion.
I am disillusioned
I am disheartened
I am utterly disappointed with a series that had begun to define me as a reader and shift my standards for what makes great fiction.
I bet you've gotten to this point in the review and are wondering, "What the hell, Jess? If you're so pissed, why give it 4 stars?"
Well my Wicked Darling, while I am obviously upset over the ending, I did mention earlier that I enjoyed the majority of this book. The shifting view points from chapter to chapter was a nice change from the usual stagnant single narrator POV from the previous two books.
Each new revelation presented on page made for perpetually increasing possibilities. I don't know how many times Wigs and I said to each other, "There are so many ways this could go horribly wrong! And we love it!" The level of excitement that was built up over 3/4 of the book had me frantic to get to the climax. Only to have it wind down rather than explode in a blaze of glory. (Yes that innuendo was intentional.)
Regardless of my sadness over how it all went down, this still remains a series I will keep close to my heart. I can't say the same for Wigs, who wasn't nearly as attached as I was in the first place and was still disappointed. Wigs, at least we'll always have THE FOX.
Adorable Frightening Bat-shit I am The Fox["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more