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Dirty Little Fingers in Everybody’s Pie

Erin finishes up Mira Grant's post-apocalyptic zombie trilogy with her review of Deadline. Warning: V. C. Andrews meets Max Brooks, y'all.

Dirty Little Fingers in Everybody’s Pie

Editor's Note: This review is actually for the second book in the Newsflesh trilogy instead of the third book. Beware spoilers, and we apologize for the confusion.

BOOK REPORT for Deadline by Mira Grant

Cover Story: A Prolonged QT
BFF Charm: Yay!
Swoonworthy Scale: Sigh
Talky Talk: Too Many Conspiracies; Too Little Time
Bonus Factors: Mozzie the Mosquito, Fanfic
Relationship Status: I Wish We'd Had More Time.  Or Less Time.

Cover Story: A Prolonged QT

Look, there's a heartbeat on the cover!  I have learned recently that EKGs can show a prolonged QT interval (there isn't one on the cover, though) and that means you have a heart arrythmia.  It's not as bad as it sounds, though.  I know this because I have one and I haven't died yet.

Anyway, I have really liked the covers of these books.  They're bold and they catch the eye, with just enough casual flair to let readers know that they're in for a turn-the-page-and-stay-up-late kind of read.  

The Deal:

Again!  This will contain spoilers for the first two books, Feed and Blackout.  So don't read further if you haven't read those two books!

George is dead.  But Georgia Mason is alive.

Georgia Mason wakes up in a CDC holding cell, her memory intact.  She remembers being infected.  She remembers Shaun killing her.  But though she looks like herself, she knows that she isn't quite right - soft muscles where there used to be firm, long hair that is easy for a zombie to grab.  It isn't long before she realizes the truth - that she's a clone.  But the fate of Subject 7c - and the clones who have come after her - is up to this Georgia Mason to save.

Meanwhile, Shaun and his crew are still traveling America, trying to find the truth.  When a hurricane hits the Florida coast, bringing with it Kellis-Amberlee carried by mosquitos, they know the shit has officially hit the fan.

Can the After the End Times staff uncover the truth?  Will Shaun and George ever find each other?  And what will happen if they do?

BFF Charm: Yay!

I enjoyed Cloned Georgia Mason as much, if not more, as I did Georgia Mason, original flavor.  She had all of George's memories, but was a bit softer - not just physically, but emotionally too.  Cloned George Mason had to learn to trust more than just Shaun and herself, and that vulnerability makes her more likeable.  

That said, she's still TRUBS, and like, everyone she knows ends up dying or being infected and turning into a zombie, so I'm not exactly jonesing to ask her to sit with me in the caf, you know?

Swoonworthy Scale: Sigh

Oh, incest.  WHY?  WHY DO YOU EXIST?  And yeah, okay, so Shaun and George aren't technically related to one another, but they were RAISED as siblings, and bleh, I JUST CAN'T DEAL WITH INCEST, okay?  I just cannot actually deal!

Talky Talk:  Too Many Conspiracies; Too Little Time

Much like with the second book, Blackout, I found that this book tried to shove too many conspiracies within the pages of the book.  Insect vectors, kidnapping, cloning, murder, research tampering . . .  After a while, I was exhausted just reading about all the conspiracies.  I can only imagine how the actual characters felt.

In a complex mystery with medical undertones, I think an author has to be careful how many different problems or hurdles she or he introduces.  Because with each new "discovery," there is about ten pages of didactic explanation.  And that's just a little too Dan Brown for my taste.

Bonus Factor: Mozzie the Mosquito

The former filmer of Lee's Cooking TragicLee videos, and one of my favorite people, Anna Marie, recently told me a tale about how she was SUPPOSED to dress up as Mozzie the Mosquito (who is one of the mascots of, I believe, the UN.  You know, to spread malaria awareness much like mosquitos spread the malaria itself) at the New York Marathon.  Of course, stupid Hurricane Sandy ruined her plans, so beyond putting people out of their homes and killing power for weeks, Hurricane Sandy ALSO prevented us from seeing Anna Marie dressed up as a mosquito.  FUCKING NATURE.

Anyway, the idea of a virus that can now be transferred by insect vector rather than just person-by-person is KIND OF SCARY, y'all.

Bonus Factor: Fanfic

I haven't mentioned it in the previous reviews, but a hilarious facet of this trilogy is that fanfic writers are now also known as Legitimate Journalists, in a way.  Magda, After the End Times' super-rich and super-eccentric leader of the Fictionals, posts poetry and stories to the site while maintaining, seemingly, a crush on every human of her casual acquaintance.  From what I know, Mira Grant was a big user of LiveJournal back in the day (does anyone still hang out on LiveJournal?), and it made me chuckle a bit to think of LJ as part of a legitimate news source.  (Quelle horror!)

Casting Call:

I've cast most of the AtET staff, and all that are left are Magda and Alaric:

Aimee Garcia as Magda

Aimee Garcia is Puerto Rican, not Mexican, but she's also literally the only person on Dexter who I didn't want to kill this season.

John Cho as Alaric

Who doesn't love John Cho?  COMMUNISTS, THAT'S WHO.  

Relationship Status: I Wish We'd Had More Time.  Or Less Time.

The thing about you, book, is that you tried a little too hard and threw a little too much out in our third date.  It's like going out on a third date with a guy you met, and even though you are pretty sure you're going to sleep with him, he starts telling you ALL about his weird family history, and former relationships, and his Birther theories.  And, it's like, Too Much Too Soon, you know?  If we'd just settled down a bit, gotten into a real relationship BEFORE you hit me with all this stuff, we might still be together.  (Well, until I found out you were a Birther, that is.  Some things can't be forgiven, even if the sex is great.)  That said, I'll remember our dates fondly, Book, and will totally talk about you with whomever I date next.

Erin Callahan's photo About the Author: Erin is loud, foul-mouthed, an unrepentant lover of trashy movies and believes that champagne should be an every day drink. When she isn't drowning in a sea of engineers for whom Dilbert is still uproariously funny, she's writing about books, tv, the cult of VC Andrews and more.