Blackout

Quick bit of admin stuff: last Friday I talked about having a kind of review/discussion for Scott Adams’s novella God’s Debris posted today.  I’m going to delay that slightly and I’ll have my thoughts about the novella up either tomorrow or Sunday.  It’s been a long week adjusting to my new job and I haven’t had as much time as I’d like to think about the ideas, and I’d like to read it again before posting and talking about it.

Now that that’s over with.  Blackout is the third book in Mira Grant’s Newsflesh trilogy (after Feed and Deadline) and having just finished the book, I think it was a fitting close to the series.  Onward to the review.

Book Stats

632 pages

Science Fiction

3rd book in the series, sequel to Feed and Deadline

Setting

The book obviously continues with the same setting as the first two, and while I don’t remember if I said this in either of the previous two reviews, but the setting for these books is incredibly original and very well detailed.  Well worth looking into if you’re tired of the same old settings in books.

Characters

The first book focused primarily on Georgia, the second book primarily on Shaun.  Of course at the end of the second book we find out that Georgia is somehow alive, and this book takes after both previous books by having both of their viewpoints.  Shaun is largely the same character he was in the second book, quite possibly insane, still hearing his dead sister’s voice, and still out to avenge her death.  Georgia definitely has more character growth throughout this book, as she realizes how she was brought back to life and struggles with the necessary adjustments that will entail.  All in all the characters are very strong throughout all three books in the series.

Plot

Again the book picks up where the second one left off, with Shaun trying to avenge George and uncover the secret plots of the government as they’re trying to cover everything up.  Of course there are a lot of twists and turns, but the book is paced very quickly, and it’s a fun read.

Enjoyment

One of the biggest things that I enjoyed about this book took place in the opening chapters.  Grant does an excellent job of reminding you what happened in the previous books without taking a long time to do so.  I read Feed last October, and Deadline in January, almost immediately I was right back into the swing of the story after starting this book.  I read a lot of different series, and not many authors do as well as Grant in reminding you what happened in a previous book without bogging down the story.  For a lot of series, I’ll re-read the earlier books so that I know what’s happening (or I just wait till the series is complete and then read straight through it) but with this series you could easily go a couple of months between picking up the books and you won’t miss any major details.

I also have to applaud Grant for one thing with the ending (which I will discuss in very vague terms here so I won’t be spoiling exactly what happened).  With a lot of media – movies are the worst, but some books also do this – the writers try to give you the fairy tale ending where they all live “happily ever after.” But the truth is that those endings are almost impossible to come by.  The ending to this series isn’t the super happy ending, it’s just the right ending.  After all that Shaun and Georgia have been through, they weren’t going to to be able to.

Overall Grade

A very solid book, and a solid conclusion to a good series.

8/10

Series Thoughts

Here there may be spoilers for all three books, you’ve been warned.

This series does a lot of interesting things.  For one, it really changes tone between the three books.  The first book was a lot of political wrangling and setting up the conspiracy, but then it ended up with a chaotic and fast paced ending.  The second book kind of reversed that, being very quickly paced throughout until the ending got back to more of the conspiracy.  The third book does a good job of mixing the two, and for me the alternating viewpoints between the two characters helped to keep the pace going much faster than the beginning of the first book or the ending of the second book.

There was one part in the third book that I had a problem with when I first read it, and it still isn’t sitting that well with me.  When the cloned Georgia runs into Shaun (literally) they question her at first, and to verify that she’s the real deal (or 97% of the real deal) Shaun asks her what the one thing that they never wrote down was.  And what was this world-shattering secret?  That they were lovers as well as best friends.  Even though they explain that they were both adopted, and that they went so far as to get DNA testing to make sure they weren’t in any way related, it just didn’t seem like it worked for me.  Thinking back through the series – and again, it’s been quite a while since I read the first two books – I could only think of one thing that would have foreshadowed this twist.  In the end it wasn’t really that big of a deal for the story as a whole, but it just didn’t sit right with me.

All in all, I’m really glad that I read the series, it has an amazingly original premise, and then it backs up that idea with a solid story.  There’s not a whole lot more that you can ask for from a series.

Series Grade

8/10

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  1. August 2012 Month in Review « Reviews and Ramblings

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