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 101-150 of 152) (152 new)

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Wendy, I agree with you on Shaun/George. When it all became clear (or should I say undeniable - I suspected it in book 1) I didn't want to know, but not because I had a problem with it, but because it made things much worse for him. I felt so incredibly sorry for both of them.

Feed was better for me, though. :)

Wendy Darling Just one bit of advice, Jena: don't read this in public. Lots and lots of tears.

I feel sorry for everyone, Maja. Perhaps for us most of all. :D

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Definitely us! I still can't stop thinking about it.

message 104: by Ginny (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ginny Well hows about that. I think my question has been answered! (view spoiler)

Amanda (Good Choice Reading) I want this so bad! afakldsfjka **flails legs and throws the remote at book buying ban** Feed is one of my faves. The wait for this is killing me, and I don't think I can hold out much longer. haha.

message 106: by Jena (new) - added it

Jena Wendy Darling wrote: "Just one bit of advice, Jena: don't read this in public. Lots and lots of tears.

I feel sorry for everyone, Maja. Perhaps for us most of all. :D"

hahah I'm not a cryer at all. I think maybe three books have ever made me cry... and actually FEED was one of them... so I'ma take your advice with that one! hahah. I just bought deadline... so hopefully i'll be able to get to it soon! HUGE TBR pile =/

Wendy Darling Amanda...I would seriously buy this one now if I were in your shoes! There is stuff you just have to know. DO NOT read the spoiler tags on this thread, though--they'll ruin the reading experience for you.

Jena, I'm so glad you actually did buy the book! I look forward to reading your status updates and your review. If FEED made you cry...oh my god, just wait until you get to this one.

Ginny: I vaguely remember reading that--could you tell me where it is in the book so I can have another look? I'm re-reading this again at some point anyway, but I'd like to see that first. So we can further satisfy ourselves. :)

message 108: by Ginny (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ginny (view spoiler)

Michael Top-notch review, didn't need to convince me to read the sequel, but this assured me of Bigger Things! I am really hoping she wins the Hugo Award!

Wendy Darling Thanks Michael! DEADLINE is a thrill of a ride and it'd be amazing if she receives the attention she deserves. A Hugo would be the icing on the cake.

Katie(babs) Shaun really came into his own in this book. I didn't want to smack him like I did in Feed.

And the last sentence of the book. OMG.

Wendy Darling "What the f*ck is going on here?" pretty much sums it up! Plus the mind bender of the part preceding that sentence, of course.

And yeah, my love for Shaun grew leaps and bounds in this one, too. I've seen some criticisms about his feelings and recklessness in this book, but (view spoiler) that I understood. Everybody became that much more interesting and dear, really.

Katie(babs) Wendy Darling wrote: ""What the f*ck is going on here?" pretty much sums it up! Plus the mind bender of the part preceding that sentence, of course.

And yeah, my love for Shaun grew leaps and bounds in this one, too. ..."

I so need to read Blackout and want you know who and the other you know who to come in contact again.

Wendy Darling Ugh, I know! Dying to find out. Did you happen to read Elena's hilarious projected contact scene in comment 47 on this thread? Hilarious.

Katie(babs) Wendy Darling wrote: "Ugh, I know! Dying to find out. Did you happen to read Elena's hilarious projected contact scene in comment 47 on this thread? Hilarious."

Oh yea. Poor Mahir.

I really want a happy ending for everyone concerned. If not... :(

Wendy Darling I know. I suppose it's naive to hope for happiness all around in this war zone, but I can't help it either. I'll settle for happiness with the main peeps. :)

The next one is going to be agonizing, though. All the potential complications. I have no idea how some of this will work, but I am chomping a the bit to find out!

message 117: by Tina (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tina Now that I'm done with the book, I can read all the comments in this review (because even if I wasn't done yet, I was itching to click the spoiler tags. And that's not fun when you're not done). But first:


That ending! That preview! Gah. I was a careless at one point and thought of reading the preview for Blackout while I was halfway through the book so I was kind of spoiled with the (view spoiler) thing. Pfft. My main question for that is (view spoiler)

I kind of had a hard time following the medical jargon (and it wasn't even jargon anymore). The discussions on (view spoiler) kind of got me dizzy, and I had to reread some parts of it over and over again to make sense. I loved the blogging aspect in FEED, so the medical aspect here kind of got me confused. BUT I love that there was more video-game like feel in the action scenes here. (view spoiler) was so much like the zombie games I used to play, it's awesome. =D

I have more thoughts, but I'm honestly still reeling after finishing it early this morning. ONE YEAR TILL BLACKOUT. The agony. :o

message 118: by Catie (new) - rated it 4 stars

Catie You're right Tina - (view spoiler)

Wendy Darling Yes, that was really confusing to me as well. I want to know when and how this all happened, and if there is a good explanation for why (view spoiler)

I actually like medical jargon like this, so that part was super fun for me! And I enjoyed all the action sequences, too. "Video game" is such a good way to describe them, Tina. But I can't believe you read the preview chapter before you finished!! :( Naughty! I feel bad that that part was spoiled for you, it's such a huge thing.

message 120: by Catie (new) - rated it 4 stars

Catie (view spoiler)

message 121: by Wendy Darling (last edited Jun 11, 2011 07:55PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Wendy Darling But wasn't it all a big, bloody, bio-hazardous mess? I need to go back and re-read all those scenes again! And you know, for some reason the fact that (view spoiler) It left me really shaken and really sad.

message 122: by Tina (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tina Wendy: I know, it was bad of me. I read the first line of the preview and then stopped, shocked, and tried to wipe it out my brain. But I was already considering the possibility of a (view spoiler). Interesting stuff.

Catie: Hey, that could be possible. :) From the author's LJ, she's saying that (view spoiler) I found it really smart for (view spoiler) It's like a big can of worms. :))

Wendy Darling It's always more interesting when they're self-aware. :)

message 124: by Brandi (new) - rated it 3 stars

Brandi So while reading this I kept getting messages in my home feed about Catie making comments here filled with spoiler tags, and when I popped over to spoil myself I ws overwhelmed lol. Three pages with most posts spoiled and as I opened a few I decided I should just finish reading first. Then I got to the end and wanted to throw the book, but I didnt have the book I was reading it on my phone, and so I just seethed for a while. Now I have finally let myself read all of these tempting spoiner tags, but I only have one question right now.....where is the preview of Blackout? I have the Kindle for PC software and I couldn't find it. :( Is there another way to find it do I can read it? (view spoiler)

Wendy Darling Hi Brandi--Catie read hers on Kindle and I know she read the chapter, so it must be on the ebook. Silly question, but did you keep clicking after the final chapter? (Catie, you didn't have to read the chapter elsewhere, did you?) It'll help with the WTF moment!

And I understand what you're saying about the other thing. And I agree that under normal circumstances (view spoiler) But with the way the author set it up here, I'm okay with it. I totally get where you guys are coming from who disagree with it, though. It's a tricky topic and I hope it's handled in a satisfying way in the next book.

message 126: by Catie (new) - rated it 4 stars

Catie I have the ebook version for my sony ereader, and it was at the end, after the acknowledgements and everything.

I think that there's a part in Feed where (view spoiler)

message 127: by Brandi (new) - rated it 3 stars

Brandi I kept scrolling through after I got to that last scene just to see if it was some mean joke of my computer's, but I didn't get anything else. I re-checked after I finally read these comments, but I still didn't see it. I did come up with an idea to go to my local bookstore and just pick up the book and read the preview right there. I'll probably do that lol! (view spoiler)

message 128: by Brandi (new) - rated it 3 stars

Brandi Eeeek! I found it!!!!! Going to read it now! I dont know HOW I missed it before?! It was right where previews usually are lol! Maybe I was too focused on my anger over the end of Deadline to see it haha!

message 129: by Brandi (new) - rated it 3 stars

Brandi Brandi wrote: "Eeeek! I found it!!!!! Going to read it now! I dont know HOW I missed it before?! It was right where previews usually are lol! Maybe I was too focused on my anger over the end of Deadline to s..."

Ah, bummer. I thought there would be more re Shaun and George. Glad I got to read it though! I cant wait to find out what the f*uck was going on there too! lol

message 130: by Catie (new) - rated it 4 stars

Catie Haha! (view spoiler)

Wendy Darling Brandi, I'm with you on that point--(view spoiler) would have helped. I'm glad you got to read the preview chapter at least!

Catie, thanks for copying that. It makes me laugh that she's asking questions and then answering in character, hah.

message 132: by Flail (new) - rated it 3 stars

Flail Around Zomg, your review totally got me hyped for this book! Mahir! I wanted to know more about him from Feed. *squees a lil*

Ahem. Great review :-D

Wendy Darling Hurry up and read it, Flail! We can't bear the burden of this knowledge alone. :) Can't wait to imagine the dumbfounded look on your face hear what you think!

message 134: by [deleted user] (new)

It sounds like you were satisfied with DEADLINE because it answered a lot of questions you'd carried over from FEED...but I was satisfied with the ending of FEED and DEADLINE opened up new questions that I still don't have answers for.

Mostly, I'm really leery of what George's disembodied voice in Shaun's head means in terms of worldbuilding.

(view spoiler)

Can't wait to find out what happens next, in any case.

Natalie Live the review, thankfully there weren't any spoilers! haha. On my copy of Deadline is says that Mira Grant is a pseudonym for Seanan McGuire.

message 136: by [deleted user] (new)

What? Is this true? Because I have read a few of the October Daye books by Seanan McGuire and I have been SO frustrated with them!

Wendy Darling Thanks Natalie! I enjoy the challenge of writing spoiler-free reviews. :D

Yep, it's true--Mira Grant is Seanan McGuire. I haven't read her October Daye books yet, I'll have to check out your reviews.

There are certainly unanswered questions in Deadline, Mlle, but they're the kind that make me super excited, rather than ones that make me ill with anger or frustration. I trust that the author will write a third book that provides answers as well as an awesome read.

message 138: by Liz (new) - rated it 5 stars

Liz I read Feed and Deadline due, in part, to your rave reviews. I am sitting here slack jawed..no words except for o.m.gggggg! So, thank you? LOL :)

Wendy Darling Yay, another Newsflesh convert! I saw your "If you heard someone screaming, that'll be me" status update, hah. So glad this knocked your socks off. :)

message 140: by Liz (new) - rated it 5 stars

Liz you haven't steered me wrong so far..i've been a shameless stalker :) is it June yet?!

Wendy Darling Hah, well--I hope you will forgive me the day that you end up disagreeing with me, Lizf22. :) I'm happy to have a new friend who is as obsessed with this series as I am. Look forward to your review!

message 142: by Liz (new) - rated it 5 stars

Liz Wendy! You were the first person I thought of when I saw this!! First chapter of BLACKOUT!! http://m.io9.com/5904737/read-the-fir...

message 143: by Liz (new) - rated it 5 stars

Liz Aw, rats..it was the same as the excerpt at the end of Deadline..oh well :)

Wendy Darling Aw, thanks Liz! I was really excited when I saw it too, and I tweeted it and posted it on Facebook. But I refused to read it because I didn't want to whip up my frenzy of longing any further, hah. Oh well, it's not TOO much longer to wait--we've made it this far!

Amanda Pearl I just finished Deadline (finally after almost 6 months of an on again off again relationship), and while I wasn't a huge fan (I think I just don't like Shaun as much as I like George) I am super excited for Blackout. Only a few more weeks!

message 146: by Liyana (new)

Liyana Excellent, excellent review.

Wendy Darling Thanks Liyana! This series certainly isn't for everybody, but it's one of my absolute favorites. I never would have thought I'd cry so much over zombie books, but there you have it. They pack a pretty powerful punch.

Amanda, I'm really curious what you'll think of the new book. Things obviously change quite a bit for everyone concerned.

Melanie Love you review! happy to find another feed zombie lover :)

Wendy Darling Oh Newsflesh has my heart. (view spoiler) Always great to meet another fan of this trilogy, too! Thanks for stopping by. :)

Melanie I love a well thought out zombie book the wait for the third is killing me

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