Deadline (Mira Grant)

Deadline is the second book in the Newsflesh series by Mira Grant, aka Seanan McGuire.
Finished on: 25.3.2023
[Here’s my review of the first novel.]

Plot [spoilers for the first novel from here on]:
After the death of Georgia, Shaun has been keeping it together, if only barely. Fueled by his desire to find the really culpable parties, he has been running their news blog while doing some digging, although he hasn’t gotten very far. Neither has Georgia, by the way, who is still a regular talking partner for Shaun despite being dead. Then one day, Dr Kelly Connolly shows up in their blogging HQ. Not only does she bring news of a conspiracy within the CDC that tries to cover up something with the reservoir conditions, but she herself is basically a conspiracy, being presumed dead in a lab accident. When a sudden zombie outbreak around the HQ hits, Shaun, Kelly, and Shaun’s fellow reporters Becks, David and Alaric find themselves on the run while trying to figure out what is happening.

Deadline is a strong sequel to Feed that explores a new angle to the world and story – this means that things stay fresh and exciting, and yet fit the overall themes of the first novel very well. I’m very much looking forward to the final novel now.

The book cover showing a cardiac line and the book title as if written in blood on a dirty blue wall.

Feed has a strong West Wing vibe as Georgia and Shaun are in the middle of a presidential campaign and the novel is preoccupied with exploring the political implications of the zombies. Deadline is no less political, but it is much more in the vein of investigative journalism storytelling with the dogged reporters being hunted by government organisations that try to hide their nefarious plans. I was maybe a little more into the political framework of the first novel, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy Deadline.

With Georgia’s death at the end of the first novel, Shaun became the narrator. I was a little worried whether that would work for me in the long run because I really loved Georgia’s voice. But Grant makes it work as we get to know Shaun – and his colleagues – better, and we get to feel his pain and struggling at Georgia’s loss, the book manages to uncover new depths in its characters. That Georgia is not quite as gone as one might assume with her constant presence in Shaun’s head was an interesting touch that was maybe a little overused, but I also loved that we could hang on to Georgia a little longer that way – just like Shaun. And again, the ending of this one gives us a sharp twist that has me very excited for the final novel in the trilogy.

The book focused much more on the medical side of things, including not only virology, but also medical ethics in general and the (ab)use of scientific research for political purposes. I’m not sure whether I followed the virological elements down to the last detail but that wasn’t necessary anyway to enjoy the story and intrigue that gets spun with it.

In short, Deadline is a very satisfying sequel. I hope the third novel can keep the promises set up here – I will find out soon for sure.

Summarizing: excellent.

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