Sunday, June 3, 2012

Review: Blackout (Newsflesh Trilogy #3) by Mira Grant

Blackout by Mira Grant

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Before I start my review for the conclusion to the NewsFlesh trilogy, I need to disclose a couple of points for fairness. First, Seanan McGuire (whose pseudonym is Mira Grant) is my favorite writer. Second, I couldn't possibly dislike a book that has one of my favorite people as an awesomeness-personified Shantytown resident. Indy is recognizably Indigo, a friend I met online, got to meet one year at Dragon*Con, and who I hold in high regard. Indy's appearance in Blackout so excited me that I poked my husband awake to tell him. That's what he gets for reading it before I could.

As I mentioned above, Blackout is the third book in the NewsFlesh trilogy, about a post-apocalyptic America where we've adjusted to zombies in our midst. Life is unrecognizable in many ways, and yet it goes on. People still travel, still work and socialize and have leisure time. Most interaction happens online, though, because gatherings of people may turn into a death trap should someone spontaneously amplify.

Book one followed a group of bloggers at After the End Times, covering a presidential campaign. During the campaign, they uncover a conspiracy, and a weaponized form of the virus that zombified a large portion of the world. Book two is the continuation of that investigation, which leads deeper than anyone might have suspected. Book three brings us to the source, resolves the mystery at last, and gives us some bittersweet moments along the way. Not everyone makes it to the end, but, prevalent as death is in the post-Rising world, it's never treated trivially. Every death has an impact, and means something, in the end.

I liked how this book wrapped up the conflict. It was as tightly-plotted as the previous two books, and the conclusion was well worth some 1800 pages of build-up. It was a real page-turner. The alternating viewpoints dialed up the tension significantly; I kept wanting to know what had happened in the other viewpoint, until I got to the end of the one I was reading. Then I wanted to continue that one. More than two viewpoints would've annoyed me, but bouncing back and forth did a lot to keep me reading.

I think this book keeps all the promises made at the start of Feed. It fleshes out (no pun intended) a world that's alien to our own, and yet comes as a logical conclusion to what leads up to it.

Seanan McGuire has written on her blog that there will be more stories in the NewsFlesh world, just not about the Masons. That story has been told.

I'm looking forward to those stories. I'm also looking forward to rereading this series to spot all the breadcrumbs that showed us what was going to happen.

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  1. Yes, I'd like to do a series reread at some stage, too.

  2. Oh yeah, Feed hit me so hard when I first read it.

    1. Having read all the books (and Fed), I have to say, that was the right ending for Feed.