Kemper's Reviews > Deadline

Deadline by Mira Grant
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Jul 29, 14

bookshelves: 2011, horror, thriller, zombies, germs-viruses, vast-conspiracy, get-the-scoop
Read from August 02 to 07, 2011

When I reviewed the previous book, Feed, I noted that that there were very few zombie attacks in it despite it being called a zombie book. Compared to Deadline, that one now looks like The Night of the Living Dead.

There’s an opening chapter here with our intrepid heroes escaping a pack of zombies that ends on page 18. We don’t get another actual zombie encounter until over 500 PAGES later. Not that there aren’t zombies around. The characters flee a major city right before it gets firebombed due a zombie outbreak. There’s another chapter where two of them are being chased through the halls of a government building, but they only HEAR the zombie behind them, never see it. So our first person narrator does not actually lay eyes on a zombie after the first chapter until almost the end of this overstuffed book.

If this was some kind of more serious suspense/character based-type horror novel based on the impact of a mostly unseen threat, this could be an interesting take on the genre. But it’s not. It is most definitely meant to be a fast paced action horror conspiracy thriller with everyone talking repeatedly about how dangerous it is to go outside because of all the zombies, and there’s all kinds of scenes about prepping weapons and talk, talk, talk, goddamn talk about the zombie threat. So spending over 500 pages in between incidents of where the narrator actually draws a gun and shoots at a zombie is freakin' ridiculous.

Mira Grant came up with a pretty nice twist on the zombie genre where a general outbreak was caused by a virus that now lies dormant in everyone’s system. Get bit by a zombie and you turn into one. Die from a heat attack and the virus goes active, and you still turn undead cannibal. 30 years after the initial outbreak, there is a stalemate between the living and the dead. Large areas are considered too dangerous to enter, and most people spend all their time living and working in fortified buildings with advanced technology used to screen and lock off the infected. A new breed of Internet journalists are the main characters who have gotten involved in a larger conspiracy that capitalizes on a world full of people afraid to go outside.

The parts of Feed and Deadline where Grant lays out how this fearful society functions are some of the most inventive and interesting parts of the story. Unfortunately, it’s become clear that Grant is far more interested in coming up with and describing all these changes and future security measures than she is in zombie fightin’ action. Despite the very few scenes of actual zombie encounters, we are repeatedly told how dangerous the outside world is and walked through the testing and security procedures that everyone goes through.

While she’ll go into detail over and over again describing the blood screening units and how they work, when we finally get a zombie attack, they’re just ‘zombies’. No descriptions of age or gender or how they’re clothed or how they‘ve decayed. I realize that it’d be overkill to try and describe every member of a zombie mob, but the fact that Grant doesn’t give a single detailed description shows where she ranks the zombie importance to this story.

In fact, I think Grant may have been better served if these books were about just a society cowering from a dangerous virus because that’s obviously what she has the most interest in. The only reason zombies are in these books is because it gives an easy excuse for everyone to be heavily armed and something to run from when she finally amps up the action.

There are some other big flaws with these books. Grant has a bad case of repeatshititis and we’re told variations on the same stuff over and over and over and over and over and over.. You get the picture. For example, our narrator loves coffee but has to drink Coke for reasons I won’t get into. We are told on every other page how he craves coffee but has to be content with drinking ‘syrupy sweet’ Coke. And someone is always handing him a Coke. I got it the first dozen times, Mira. Please put down that two-liter bottle you've been bashing me on the head with.

The unraveling of the conspiracy storyline is pretty stupid, too. Our intrepid heroes get secret medical research dropped on them. Their first reaction is to make the dangerous journey to a government facility to ask them about it. It doesn’t go well. They run and hide. Later they get yet more secret medical research dropped on them. And their plan is… to go to another government facility and demand answers. Yeah, guess how that goes.

The biggest frustration in this book comes from Feed so be aware that I’m giving up the ending of that book in this (view spoiler).

Despite all of this bitching, I still almost gave this book 3 stars. (It was a twist at the end that I saw coming from the early chapters that finally dropped this to a 2 star rating for me.) Grant has a very readable style and came up with some interesting ideas for the zombie genre. This is being marketed as a trilogy, and I’ll probably end up reading the final one when it comes out. But looking ahead, I see that it’s also over 500 pages, and I’ve got a sinking feeling I know what most of it’ll be about. Repeated blood screenings and lots and lots of talking about zombies, but precious few actual zombie encounters is my guess. It’s too bad because a little less repetition and a lot more blood splatter from some head shots could have made these some of my favorite zombie books.
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Comments (showing 1-25 of 25) (25 new)

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message 1: by Miriam (new)

Miriam WHAT YOU GOT AGAINST COKE MIRA GRANT?!


Kemper Miriam wrote: "WHAT YOU GOT AGAINST COKE MIRA GRANT?!"

Despite her descriptions of it, it didn't keep her from having the main character guzzle approximately 12,000 cold Cokes during this book. I think she was taking a product placement fee from Coca-Cola and Avon Skin So Soft for repeatedly bringing it up late in the book too.


message 3: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Could be. They do that so often in movies, I'm surprised authors aren't cashing in, too. They certainly need the extra money more than Hollywood does.


Kemper Miriam wrote: "Could be. They do that so often in movies, I'm surprised authors aren't cashing in, too. They certainly need the extra money more than Hollywood does."

That'd be hilarious. "Hey, you wrote a book about a society living in constant fear from a zombie threat. If you can work some Avon products into that, we'll give you a nice check."


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

You've got to keep your undead flesh supple somehow, eh?


Kemper Ceridwen wrote: "You've got to keep your undead flesh supple somehow, eh?"

"Hi, I'm Brittany Murphy. I know that being one of the newly undead is a big change, but one thing you want to do is make sure to take care of your skin. A few weeks shambling around looking for brains to feast on will leave your skin like leather since you're no longer self-moisturizing. So be sure to use Avon Skin-So-Soft regularly."

Too soon?


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Awww....


message 8: by Dan (new)

Dan Schwent Kemper wrote: "Ceridwen wrote: "You've got to keep your undead flesh supple somehow, eh?"

"Hi, I'm Brittany Murphy. I know that being one of the newly undead is a big change, but one thing you want to do is m..."


Not soon enough. Take out Brittany Murphy and put in Amy Winehouse and you're good.


Kemper Ceridwen wrote: "Awww...."

I know. I couldn't help myself. Dead celebrity mocking is a weakness.


Kemper Dan wrote: "Not soon enough. Take out Brittany Murphy and put in Amy Winehouse and you're good.

I figured you got the Winehouse mocking accomplished in your Harry Dresden review...


message 11: by Dan (new)

Dan Schwent Kemper wrote: "Dan wrote: "Not soon enough. Take out Brittany Murphy and put in Amy Winehouse and you're good.

I figured you got the Winehouse mocking accomplished in your Harry Dresden review..."


That was just the tip of the iceberg.


message 12: by Lou (new) - added it

Lou repeatshititis thats what i felt with fEED


message 13: by Kemper (last edited Aug 11, 2011 06:40AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kemper Lou wrote: "repeatshititis thats what i felt with fEED"

You mean like Georgia's eye problems? - Did you know that Georgia had an eye condition? - "Please remove your sunglasses, Miss.""I can't because I have an eye condition." - "These lights are giving me a headache because of my eye condition." - Did you know that Georgia had problems with her eyes?

It's much, much worse in this one. Have a Coke and a smile!


message 14: by Lou (new) - added it

Lou lol


message 15: by Jpav (new) - rated it 1 star

Jpav Everything you wrote Kemper is why I could not get past 170 pages. Shaun was such a terrible character in Feed that I already knew I would end up putting this book down.
And what's his excuse for punching his female emploees in the face?
"If you grew up with my sister, you wouldnt have any quams about punching women in the face"


Kemper Jpav wrote: "And what's his excuse for punching his female emploees in the face?
"If you grew up with my sister, you wouldnt have any quams about punching women in the face"


Exactly. My sister was a raging bitch from about age 13 - 17 but I don't think I could use that as a valid excuse in court if I went around punching females or coworkers in the face.


message 17: by Trudi (new)

Trudi LOL Awesome. You've definitely made me feel much better about my decision to stop reading this series after the first book. And I see from your Book 3 update, the whole thing with the Coke is still ongoing :)


Kemper Trudi wrote: "LOL Awesome. You've definitely made me feel much better about my decision to stop reading this series after the first book. And I see from your Book 3 update, the whole thing with the Coke is still..."

I liked the first book despite its problems, but the second one wore on me. And the first 50 pages of the third one aren't boding well. Apparently she still thinks that no one else on earth knows what a Coke tastes like so it requires multiple descriptions of how sweet it is.


message 19: by Trudi (new)

Trudi Kemper wrote: "Apparently she still thinks that no one else on earth knows what a Coke tastes like so it requires multiple descriptions of how sweet it is..."

hehe...maybe it's the book equivalent to product placement!


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways And someone is always handing him a Coke. I got it the first dozen times, Mira. Please put down that two-liter bottle you've been bashing me on the head with.

You poor thing. You must be exhausted.

Here, have a Coke.

(more of the GRP.)


Kemper Richard wrote: "And someone is always handing him a Coke. I got it the first dozen times, Mira. Please put down that two-liter bottle you've been bashing me on the head with.

You poor thing. You must be exhausted..."


Please, just a bottle of water..... No. More. Coke.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways I think we've found the new waterboarding! Coke abuse.


Kemper Richard wrote: "I think we've found the new waterboarding! Coke abuse."

Or even worse just reading Mira Grant writing characters drinking Coke after Coke.


message 24: by Elley (new) - added it

Elley Murray Thanks for this review. I like the first book, but am hesitant to read the 2nd one. Now I think I'll just skip it and read something else (without any Coke in it). Why can't Shaun have coffee now??


Kemper Elley wrote: "Thanks for this review. I like the first book, but am hesitant to read the 2nd one. Now I think I'll just skip it and read something else (without any Coke in it). Why can't Shaun have coffee now??"

Thanks. I gotta do a bit of a spoiler to explain the Coke thing so beware. (view spoiler) And the Coke thing was even worse in the final book Blackout.


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