Shaun Mason is a man without a mission. Not even running the news organization he built with his sister has the same urgency as it used to. Playing with dead things just doesn't seem as fun when you've lost as much as he has.
But when a CDC researcher fakes her own death and appears on his doorstep with a ravenous pack of zombies in tow, Shaun has a newfound interest in life. Because she brings news - he may have put down the monster who attacked them, but the conspiracy is far from dead.
Now, Shaun hits the road to find what truth can be found at the end of a shotgun.
Listen to more in the Newsflesh Trilogy.
©2011 Mira Grant (P)2011 Hachette
I'm still only in my first few months of audiobooking, but Deadline is in the higher tier. I've really liked the performances for the Newsflesh books, and I've liked the books themselves a lot, as well.
Oh, come now: Spoilers.
Okay, I can do this. I would have to say that one of the most memorable moments of Deadline was George Mason, in the van outside the lab, talking to himself.
That's pretty spoiler-free, I think.
Feed, the first book in this series, surprised the crap out of me. In my review, I explain how Feed is made up of a collection of tropes and plots and stuff that I strongly dislike, as a rule. And yet I loved the book. Seanan McGuire understands reader investment and she understands her genre, and everything about the book that I am naturally inclined to hate works fantastically because of it. Deadline is no different in this respect, picking up where Feed left off and going to interesting places with it. Some of those places are surprising in their freshness, and others are gleeful in their familiarity (see: the final scene), but all are interesting. My only complaint is that, unlike Feed, the exposition in this book does have a tendency to drag, with characters repeating known information one or two too many times, or with characters failing too often to understand information that is perfectly clear. This gets frustrating, but it does not undermine the text.
If you loved the first book so much and are happy with the formula that was established and you never want it to change, this is the book for you.
It's second in the series, but a long winded senseless recap of book one. So if you miss Georgia and Buffy, don't worry they will never be far from the narrative.I finished the book but by the time I got to the second half I was able to skip chapters seemingly without skipping a beat in the narrative. They kept repeating what had happened anyway, perhaps Grant was trying to prove their frantic actions had some kind of point.
Yes, but I felt he was, for the most part, reading it in the cadence that the author would want. Shaun is an obnoxious selfish bore; and it's his book, so perhaps it couldn't be helped.
Georgia's brother, Shaun. lol.
I hate it (especially) when a female author celebrates bullying and outright physical humiliation of a lone female character (Kelly) who enters the established group, while trying to depict it as part of the "coolness" of Shaun and the other characters. I don't think the author realizes she's written a book about a group of jerks. The fear that character must have been experiencing is all I took from that scene. And the moment was prolonged beyond any the faux 'necessity' that was claimed. It was really kind of gross and inexcusable.
I finished ‘Feed,’ the first of the Newsflesh series by Mira Grant, quickly, and did not wait at all to pick up ‘Deadline.’ Grant is a master of the cliff hanger. I simply had to know what happened next. ‘Deadline’ picks up right after ‘Feed’ and is narrated primarily by Shaun Mason, everyone’s favorite Irwin. He is a changed man. The events that took place after the end of the campaign left him and the staff of ‘After the End Times’ scarred. The events, however, left Shaun in worse shape than anyone else. He hears voices in his head and he answers them. Those closest to him deal with it, but it is unsettling to those outside of his insulated circle. Shaun is no longer a carefree, devil-may-care Irwin. He has changed his focus to helping Mahir with the administration of the site despite the general roar from the public wanting him to go back to poking dead things with sticks. It’s what they love him for.
The plot of this book surrounds the CDC and their involvement, scientific methods, and potential conspiracies with the Kellis-Amberly virus(what causes humanity to become zombies). One day Doctor Kelly, Doc, shows up at Shaun’s headquarters in Oakland with information that Irwin’s don’t understand and the Newsies only are getting a glimmer of understanding before a full outbreak takes out Oakland, and ‘After the End Times’ headquarter. The assumption – it could only relate to what Doc knows, the timing of her visit, and knowing who has the power to cause this kind of incident.
Shaun and his team go completely off grid in towns that have long since been abandoned by civilization and surrendered to the walking dead. There are several people who live this way, including scientists that work outside the rules of the CDC. Shaun and his team get to know the mad scientists as they unravel what is really going on.
My rating is really more of a 3.5. The tale is more disjointed than ‘Feed.’ It does not flow as well, but it will still suck you in. It’s an intriguing book, but at times you will feel bored and other times not understand character motivation and involvement. Shaun is very changed, as I mentioned above, and it can be hard to completely sympathize with his anger, desire to stay crazy, and his lack of compassion for those surrounding him. A problem I’ve always had with characters is when they start acting like petulant children. Let me fair, however, Shaun has reason to act out.
Mira Grant is great at providing some exceptional twists. Ones I refuse to give you and ruin the surprise. All I will say is George still has a part to play, and there is one deliciously large twist at the end that raised my evaluation of the book. If you loved ‘Feed’ continue to ‘Deadline’ accepting it will not be quite as good. If you were lukewarm on ‘Feed,’ I recommend stopping here.
This book lacked enough plot to justify its length. Nothing really happens, and nothing really engages the listener. The attempts at humorous quips were embarrassingly bad.
Maybe... I enjoyed the first book of the trilogy, but I have no interest in hearing the third.
The performer did his best with the clunky dialogue. The biggest problem was the fact that, although the narrator was male, most of the characters are female. It's much easier for female readers to perform male character than the other way around. (Sexist? Perhaps, but there it is.) For the female characters, the narrator employs either a breathy, faux-sexy voice which is beyond creepy or a clipped Valley Girl-sounding voice. (Except for the character with the last name "Garcia" which gets a squirm-inducing "Mexican" accent. The writer makes it clear she's an American born and raised, so why the accents???) Just bad.
Obviously, I have to compare it to Feed, the first book in the series. Feed comes out ahead simply because the character Georgia is more compelling than her brother. Buffey is also a very strong character, so the second book loses a bit in having to make up for their loss.
I think they did a great job with accents and also with injecting emotion into the characters.
In dealing with reactions to death of loved ones there were some emotional moments. I think those were handled well; they were powerful but not overdone.
It was a fun adventure that kept moving at a good pace. Compelling characters and an interesting story.
There is a smooth transition into this book from the end of the first, good action and high tension
Post apocalyptic listener with some thrillers mixed in. Follow me on twitter at @drewsant
Deadline is a solid continuation of the Newsflesh trilogy. It picks up in the not too distant future after “Feed” and has plenty of zombie action as well as the overarching conspiracy of the trilogy, and leaves you with a “WTF” moment at the end. The main character shifts between stories for obvious reasons, and despite Shaun’s partial mental break and short temper, I find myself still liking him, or at least rooting for him. Even in a series I like books that can stand on its own as a story, rather than a way to get you to buy the next book. The first one was like that, but with the way this ended I really feel as if I’m missing out if I don’t read the third book, but other than that I can’t really complain.
The performance by Chris Patton was great, he really brought the characters to life.
Warning: This review contains spoilers for "Feed," the first book in the series.
The second book in the Newsflesh trilogy picks up where Feed left off. Feed introduced us to George (Georgia) and Shaun Mason, two bloggers in a post-Rising world in which the Kellis-Amberlee virus means zombies are now an everyday part of life, and have reshaped society accordingly. People huddle in enclaves, road trips are for heavily-armed truckers and the borderline suicidal, and you can't go from point A to point B anywhere without sticking your hand in half a dozen blood testing units, and people are always standing by to shoot you in the head if any of those tests indicates you are positive for infection. Much of book one was a commentary on this post-Rising world in which people have allowed fear of the walking dead to take over their lives, curtailing their freedom of movement, autonomy, and privacy.
Now, while I think that was a valid point to make, I also think the author and her characters really failed to offer any alternatives. I mean, if the entire world now has to live with this highly-contagious virus that in minutes can turn anyone into a mindless flesh-eating zombie, and any large gathering of people is a potential bloodbath if just one thing goes wrong, of course everyone's life is going to change and heavy security measures are going to make them a lot less free than we are in our zombie-free world. That's kind of unavoidable.
But in book two, Mira Grant expands the scope of this zombie apocalypse, and addresses one of the other weaknesses of book one, the cartoonish villainy of Vice Presidential candidate Tate, who was apparently evil for the sake of evil. In Deadline, we learn the conspiracy was much bigger than him, and there are people who want the virus to keep people living in fear, with the government telling them what to do.
Which is a metaplot that, again, the author delivers with not a lot of subtlety, and maybe the logic holes were a little more noticeable to me this time around. That said, I really liked Deadline, just as I liked Feed, because what it has, and a lot of it, is Plot and Pacing. Something horrible is always just around the corner. A new twist, a serious complication, or another near-death experience. And as is par for the course in any zombie story, you know not all the characters are going to make it to the end and you're kind of laying mental odds on who survives and who doesn't.
At the end of the last book, George died. The author gets around this by having Shaun be "insane" in this book; George is constantly talking to him, and sometimes he even sees her. His friends are used to him talking to his dead sister, albeit a little disturbed by it. George's voice sometimes even tells him things that supposedly he shouldn't even know, which made me wonder if there was going to be some bizarre twist in which it turns out that George somehow really is inside his head.
I did get kind of tired of Shaun and his angst over his dead sister. I mean, yeah, it's tragic, she was his sister and best friend, but seriously the degree of closeness and his inability to live without her started skeeving me out a little. When, for the first time in two books Shaun actually shows interest in another female (I was wondering until then if he was a virgin), he ruins it by... saying George's name at a very inappropriate time. Now that was creepy. Seriously? This guy has problems, and hearing his dead sister's voice in his head is not the worst of them.
Notwithstanding the one-dimensional Shaun "I can't get over my dead sister" Mason and his deathwish vengeance crusade, this book did cook along, a little improbably at times, but with so many thrills and twists that it was never boring and I had to know what would happen next. Mira Grant even makes all the virology infodumps interesting. In Deadline, we learn that even in the wake of a zombie apocalypse, things can indeed always get worse.
That said, the BIG twist at the end? I totally saw it coming. But nonetheless, I have to read book three, and soon.
Normally, second books in trilogies tend to fall flat. We already know the characters, we have an idea of where the overall story is heading, and the middle sort of sags. Well, not this one. This second novel is told from a different character's point of view, and has it's own wonderful story arc that stands well on its own. I would recommend reading Feed first, but this one is quite good.
I really enjoyed seeing Shaun Mason's point-of-view and his breakdown associated with a loss he faced in the first book. The way his friends helped him continue to function despite his obvious mental problems was fascinating.
My only disappointment has to do with the villain. The bad guys, in general, could have been more well-rounded and less two-dimensional. I have a hard time accepting the moral compromises that so many people were willing to make, but I think I could have accepted them more easily if they'd been explained better by more "fleshed-out" (zombie humor... sorry) villains.
I really enjoyed Chris Patton's "Shaun Mason" character. The voice actors in this audio book were excellent and very well chosen.
(Spoiler) I particularly liked the part where Shaun first sees his sister. His response was what one would have expected from a man who has been hallucinating for a while, and very memorable.
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