Erin (PT)'s Reviews > Deadline

Deadline by Mira Grant
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Jul 14, 11

bookshelves: dystopia, horror, apoc-post-apoc, series, thriller, zombies
Read from June 01 to July 14, 2011 — I own a copy, read count: 1

[This review contains spoilers for Feed] I feel as though, if Deadline were any other book, if it weren't the follow up to Feed, I probably would've liked it a lot more. That is, to my mind, Feed was such a delightful and extraordinary book, that it overshadows most of what's awesome in Deadline. So if you take nothing else away from this, take this: Deadline is still a pretty awesome book.

There are a few things that go into why I didn't feel Deadline was as epically wonderful as its predecessor.

It's not you, it's me. The first part is 'me' stuff; I was in the middle of reading another book/series when Deadline came out and I dropped it in the middle to pick up Deadline, but I'd been really enjoying it and my mind kept straying back to it. I should've finished the other book first, and read Deadline clean, I think. Also, it's summer, which means my reading time has been slashed by real world activities and I wasn't able to read it in concentrated doses, but strung out in dribs and drabs across weeks…which, imo, is never a good way to get a grasp on a book. On the other hand, I also didn't feel the normal burning desire to get back to it or to make more time for it, which says something about how galvanized or enraptured I was by the story.

You made your bed, now you have to lie in it. Too, in Feed, I was deeply invested in Georgia Mason as the protagonist. I adored her and her death hit me hard. My attachment to Shaun came mostly through his relationship with George and I found him both less interesting as a character and less interesting as a narrator…especially since most of his arc had to do with how much he was missing George and how that grief manifested. And, on the one hand, I did come to feel for Shaun a lot more than I had initially, seeing in his chasm of grief an echo of what my own would be if my beloved sibling (brother) died. On the other hand, as a result of George's death and the way things went down in Feed, a lot of Deadline was really a protracted coda, dealing with the aftermath of those events and setting up for the events of the final book. That is, Deadline suffers from the flaws and limitations of many/most "middle" of a trilogy in that it's largely a transition from and to something else, rather than something that stands on its own.

I'll have the same as last time. Two things set Feed apart from other books for me: 1) though I'm a long time fan of zombie media, I'd never encountered another story (with the tangential possibility of World War Z ) that took place in a functional zombie infested society and 2) I'd never read another story that tapped so deeply, accurately and lovingly into the online world I know and love. When I recced the books to my friends, that's how I pitched it to them: zombies, blogging, politics, a pair of codependent siblings and more pop culture references than you could shake a stick at. And while Deadline expands (a little) on the world Grant has built, and though I think it would've been unfeasible/unwise/impossible for Deadline to follow along the same track as Feed, it doesn't change the fact that, in many ways, Deadline took away all the things I really cared about in Feed.

We're on a road to nowhere, come on inside. I lived in (Northern) California for a number of years and learned one main thing about it: it is a collection of small townships that are really only connected by highway. I mention this because it seems like a good metaphor for Deadline's plot: small moments of action and (plot) movement connected by, almost literally (at least in-text), highway. As I said above, Deadline suffers from middle book syndrome, wrapping up certain plot points from Feed and setting up plot points for Blackout, the third book in the trilogy. And, though it sets up some pretty interesting things for Blackout, it remains that not a lot happens and, as a standalone novel, Deadline (to me, at least) fails.

I was talking with a friend about it and we noted that, in some ways, Grant set herself up to fail. (view spoiler)

Having said all that and pretty thoroughly trashed the book, it may seem surprising for me to say that I still enjoyed it. It suffers in comparison to Feed, but Grant had set herself a monumental act to follow and a world/story that has a lot of sprawl. Set your expectations lower than I did and it's possible you'll have a much better time with Deadline than I did.
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Andre I ended up liking it a whole lot more than you did.


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