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.
Deadline is the follow-up to the first book in the Newsflesh trilogy, Feed. Let me tell you, it lives up to everything its predecessor put forth. Shaun Mason returns as the leading protagonist as he tries to keep things with the blogging network running smoothly while the government conspiracy first uncovered in Feed grows in both size and scope.
Interestingly, Deadline dials back the action (just a tiny bit) to make room for a little more intellectual prose regarding exactly what the Kellis-Amberlee virus is, how it came about, and what is being done to stop it. I found it rather refreshing to have the second book of a trilogy still working so hard to engage me as a reader with plot action and character development while taking the time to make sure that the lingering questions I had from the first book were finding answers that I could understand and get behind.
So often I read trilogies where the first two books keep filling my head with questions and nothing gets answered until the final pages of the last book. Mira Grant does not follow that recipe and her books are all that much better because of it.
Granted, I still have questions about how this entire story is going to end, but I feel like I’ve been led to them in a way that very few authors have ever managed to pull off.
Following the events of Feed I wondered how Grant was going to keep things interesting for Shaun, especially since his character is tied so incredibly closely to his sister, Georgia. Turns out I had no reason to be worried. Shaun spends almost the entirety of Deadline in a sort of back-and-forth battle with insanity and Grant weaves it into the dialogue, action, and character interactions so well it seems perfectly seamless. I found myself wishing very hard that Shaun would be able to get past the brink of insanity and do what he needed to do. Just like while reading Feed, I found myself very, very invested in the characters, Shaun especially.
Deadline also gives the reader a chance to learn a little more about some of the sideline characters from the first book. We learn a lot more about the head of the Fictionals department, Maggie, and we learn an awful lot more about Becks and Mahir, two very important characters that took a back seat in the first book.
If that doesn’t disturb you, consider this: The average crocodile is well over the amplification threshold.
“We’re all hauntings waiting to happen, Shaun. The sooner you realize that, the sooner you’ll get past wondering when our normal lives will be starting up again.”
Overall, Deadline keeps the story moving in fantastic fashion with little to no drop-off in intensity from the first book. Not to mention, the cliffhanger at the end is absolutely mind-blowing. If you find the time to read Feed at some point, make sure you don’t delay in reading this sequel.
Length: 570 pages