Wendy Darling's Reviews > Deadline

Deadline by Mira Grant
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This review does not contain spoilers for either FEED or DEADLINE. One year has passed since Shaun and Georgia Mason found more than they bargained for as they investigated the truth behind the Kellis-Amberlee virus, a mutated cure for human disease that led to the uprising of the dead. The events that transpired then have an enormous impact now as the high-profile bloggers from After the End of Times uncover a conspiracy that is even bigger than they ever imagined. A CDC researcher fakes her own death in a spectacular fashion and shows up at their headquarters, and soon the whole team is battling zombies, mutant dogs, and the ever-present ghosts of their past.

When I finished this book late last night, my thoughts were "I have not a single criticism to offer. Not a single one." And this still holds true. Without exception, every question and doubt I raised with Feed is answered here. The action is incredibly intense, the story is densely and intricately plotted, and the book is exceptionally well-paced and exciting. Readers who are leery of zombies still shouldn't have much of a problem, because although there are more tense encounters with the undead, the violence is relatively contained and there are no gross or gratuitous scenes. Most of the terror comes from heart-pounding action and chase sequences, as well as the knowledge of the overwhelming consequences if the team fails in its quest for truth and justice.

Shaun, Georgia, and Buffy all loom large in this sequel, but we also get to know the other staffers better, including the elegant Mahir, the fiercely determined Becks, the quietly steady Alaric, and the sad, tragic Maggie. Most significantly, however, the narrator has shifted to Shaun, whose personality comes through loud and clear in his bitterly funny words, his decisive handling of his team, and his desperately emotional struggle to hang onto what he loves most. Mira Grant met and exceeded every expectation I had for this book, particularly in the devastating truth that comes to light about what might have been. I knew from Feed to expect an emotional reaction, but I could not have prepared myself for the terrible knowledge that these characters have to face. I was literally whimpering from the pain, and tears were streaming so hard that I couldn't see the page.

This is my third 5 star review for a 2011 book, and it is given with no reservations or qualifications. This is a searingly intelligent novel, with hard questions about medical ethics, government responsibility, and the nobility and folly of human nature. And just when you think the author has delivered everything she possibly could, there is a HUGE twist at the end that made me bolt upright and scream in the middle of the night. This twist has far-reaching consequences for both the characters and for society as a whole, and it also answered questions I had about the future in a crazy and unthinkable way.

It will be another year before the third book in this trilogy will be released, and I'll spend much of that time waiting in agony to find out what happens to the characters I've come to care about so much. But oh my stars, what a pleasure it is to be so incredibly excited and thrilled and moved by an author's work.

This review also appears in The Midnight Garden. An advance copy was provided by the publisher.

REMINDER: DO NOT read the synopsis for this book anywhere if you haven't already read FEED, as it contains potential spoilers for the first book. And please do be careful of reviews that may spoil this one.
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Reading Progress

05/31/2011 "I have no idea how this happened, but I just got a mass market copy of DEADLINE delivered to my door from Orbit. OMG! I must have been a very good girl indeed." 1 comment
38.0% "I am whimpering and crying so hard I can barely see the keyboard." 8 comments

Comments (showing 1-50 of 152) (152 new)

Ginny /sigh. Next week needs to hurry up!

Wendy Darling I just saw this comment! Yeah, I've pre-ordered for Kindle. But I'm kind of dreading it as well. :(

Cindy The fact that you're reading this the second it comes out makes me want to read Feed. Very. Badly...

Wendy Darling Do it, Cinnamon! It's so good. And ugh, I'm only on page 30 of this one and I am tearing up already. :(

Catie Ah, you're killing me!

I keep checking my ebook store like a pathetic junkie because sometimes they post books the night before.

message 6: by Wendy Darling (last edited May 31, 2011 07:08PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Wendy Darling Catie. Shaun is now drinking Coke. (view spoiler)

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Oh, God! I'm going to pretend I have the flu or something. I need to go home and read.

Catie Gah...to click or not to click?!!

Catie Phew...not a real spoiler.

I just bought it!!

Catie Five stars? Good grief. I was planning on finishing up another book first but now I might just dive in.

Wendy Darling I am blown away. I mean, I knew it was going to be good, but she exceeded every expectation I had for the story, the characters, and the future. Not to mention the zombie action and the emotional parts.

I'm so glad you bought it Catie!! I can't know all this alone. Maja, play hookey, play hookey. *she says coaxingly*

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Oh, sweetie, I would, but the Kindle edition isn't available in Europe. I hate them!

Wendy Darling Arrrgh! :( Is it available in stores at least? Or will you have to order it?

Isamlq five stars?!!! WANT!

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) No, I'll have to order it and wait about 20 days for it to arrive.

message 16: by Wendy Darling (last edited Jun 01, 2011 09:39AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Wendy Darling DO IT Islamlq--you won't regret it. This is my third 5 star for a 2011 book. (FEED being 2010 and technically a 4.5 star review from me.)

I'm sorry, Maja. I hope you'll find a way. :(

Catie That makes me sad. I wish there was some way that I could send email you a copy. It's ridiculous!

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Ha! A friend found me an illegal copy and I don't even feel guilty about it. Firstly, I wanted to pay for it and they wouldn't let me. Secondly, I already ordered the paperback. This way I'll just read it sooner.

Wendy Darling It's disappointing that the international rights weren't straightened out before the book's release date. I know what you mean, though, I got a mm copy unexpectedly delivered to me yesterday so I cancelled my Kindle order. But I am going to be buying even more copies of FEED (already bought a couple) for friends. People need to read it.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Why should I feel guilty if I'm going to pay for it in the end anyway? :P

Oh, that reminds me, I need to buy a copy for my brother. He would love it, I'm sure!

Catie I wouldn't feel guilty Maja - I bet your gushing review will probably lead many others to try the series.

You already paid for it; you're just getting it a bit early is all.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Evil Amazon people, putting me through all this. They should be shot. Twice. :P

Wendy Darling I finally got my thoughts together for my review. There shouldn't be any spoilers in it, for anyone who hasn't read either this book or FEED.

message 24: by Lucy (new) - added it

Lucy This sounds fantastic! I picked up FEED recently and I will have to read these back to back.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) And you managed to write all that without a single spoiler. Wow.

message 26: by Wendy Darling (last edited Jun 01, 2011 07:12PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Wendy Darling I did my best. I really hope people will find the book and read it, so I tried to make the review as non-spoilery as possible.

Lucy, I can't wait to hear what you think! You're in for a fantastic ride.

Ginny woo more about Mahir? Even though we only had a little interaction from him, I adored Mahir!

Flannery *sigh* I need to finish the first one.

message 29: by Wendy Darling (last edited Jun 01, 2011 02:44PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Wendy Darling Yes Flann, you do! And there are some nice Mahir scenes in this one, Ginny.

I hope I haven't turned any men off from reading these books with constant talk of bawling. They're written in a very clean, almost dispassionate way--the things that happen are just devastating.

Catie Wow, I can't believe you didn't include any spoilers for either book...I was assuming that would be impossible. You've set a high standard!

I am about 40 pages in (I took the girlies to the library and the play place so that I could read a bit). Who knew that she had such a wonderful character in the wings for almost all of Feed?

Wendy Darling Catie wrote: "Wow, I can't believe you didn't include any spoilers for either book...I was assuming that would be impossible. You've set a high standard!"

Thanks Catie! I had to tinker with the review a little, but I'm pretty pleased that I managed it. I love getting to know the other characters, too. They're given just enough page time without overdoing it.

Catie Okay Wendy, I have an extremely pressing and nerdy question for you:

(view spoiler)

Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead WENNNNNNNNNNDDDDYYY! This book is killing me! That's all. Oh yeah, great review!

message 34: by Wendy Darling (last edited Jun 01, 2011 06:37PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Wendy Darling Huh. Catie, could you give me more detail on the passages where you're finding the references to the time frame? The numbering is different in the paperback, but that makes me curious--I'll recheck. And yeah, (view spoiler)

MIIICHELLLLE, IIII know! It get tougher and tougher, in a way I could never have imagined. (and thanks!)

message 35: by Catie (last edited Jun 01, 2011 06:44PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Catie Blarg, GR is broken again.

Anywho - (view spoiler)

message 36: by Wendy Darling (last edited Jun 01, 2011 07:00PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Wendy Darling Okay, I just looked at page 40, where that blurb is. And you're right! (view spoiler) Good eye, Catie! Though I'm not thrilled at having to do math. As for the other matter, clearly you know more about that than I do. ;) (view spoiler)

The one thing I will say that bothered me is an issue which pops up in a lot of books with zombies, werewolves, and vampires: people saying "bit" when they mean "bitten." It only happens a couple of times here, though.

Chichipio Ouch. I have to get on with things. Two potential five stars books released the same day and I haven't started either one yet. I'm flipping a coin between this one and the new Kate Daniels.

Great review. I like how it makes you want to read the book so badly without giving anything away.

message 38: by Catie (last edited Jun 01, 2011 08:26PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Catie (view spoiler)

Ah well about the typo; I don't really care - I just wondered if it was ebook specific or if it had made it into the paperback as well.

Wendy Darling Ohhh Catie! Spoiler tags, please! LOOK AWAY Peeps.

message 40: by Wendy Darling (last edited Jun 01, 2011 11:50PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Wendy Darling Thanks Chichipio! And I haven't read that other series yet, but somehow I think Shaun and Georgia could probably kick Kate Daniels' butt.

Catie Contained. Phew.

Wendy Darling Hah, thanks Catie. Close call. :) I can't wait for you guys to finish so we can discuss things further.

Ginny Okay, I have decided. After I finish the Dark and Hollow Places, the only reasonable thing to do is to read Deadline. ALl of these "view spoiler"s are KILLING me! I NEED TO KNOW!

Wendy Darling Ginnnnny, I want you to read it and to know, too! It kills me not to be able to talk about it.

Elena I had the same reactions to you. I read p. ~200 in public, and I had to throw the book down and take a brisk walk and some deep breaths to keep from bursting into tears. And when I read the ending at one o'clock in the morning, I had to hold a pillow in front of my face to avoid having my screams wake the rest of the house. Just...Gah.

Wendy Darling Oh, Elena...I know what you mean. It's incredible that the author writes in such a matter-of-fact manner, but those scenes just hit you like a freight train. I tear up again just thinking about it.

What did you think of the ending, by the way? My friend (view spoiler) I am so excited about where this story will go next!

Elena (view spoiler)

Catie Ha! I love your (view spoiler)

Sheesh. It's hard to be so cloak and dagger about this whole thing.

Wendy Darling Hah, oh my god Elena--I spit out my drink when I saw your imaginary scene! (DO NOT LOOK AT SPOILERS on this thread if you haven't read these books--it will ruin the experience for you.)

I kept thinking throughout the book that it was pure torture (view spoiler) I literally had to flip back and re-read the final chapter again immediately--and thank god there was a preview chapter of BLACKOUT there so that I could reassure myself that I was, in fact, not misinterpreting what I'd read.

I am in awe.

Catie OMG!! I didn't realize there was a preview chapter. I am really scared to read it.

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