Deadline by Mira Grant

Source: Public Library
Paperback, 581 pgs
On Amazon and on Kobo

Deadline by Mira Grant is the second in the NewsFlesh series; see my review of Feed and be aware that could be spoilers in this review.  Following the presidential campaign of Peter Ryman, the news blog After the End Times has grown exponentially, and Shaun Mason hardly keeps track of the day to day administration of the site or who actually works for the business.  He’s still in mourning, but he knows that he has a team to lead, and he does it as best he can, while being mentally haunted by the dead.  No longer an Irwin who pokes zombies for ratings, Shaun has jumped to lead the Newsies and has no desire to return to the field.  Unfortunately, stumbling upon a larger-than-life conspiracy significantly changes his plans to hide in the background, pushing him and his team out into the field and on the run.

“‘Mahir, my main man! You sound a little harried.  Did I wake you?’
‘No, but I really do wish you’d stop calling so late at night.  You know Nandini gets upset when you do.’
‘There you go again, assuming that I’m not actually trying to piss of your wife.  I’m really a much nicer person inside your head, aren’t I? Do I give money to charity and help old-lady zombies across streets so that they can bite babies?’
Mahir sighed.  ‘My, you are in a mood today, aren’t you?'” (page 25)

Combining zombie infestations, anxiety, and conspiracy theories with humor, Mira Grant has built a world in which bloggers have replaced traditional news mediums and surviving zombie infestations is an everyday battle.  Kellis-Amberlee is the result of two bio-engineered viruses combining into something unexpected, and it it causes amplification in any mammal of 40 lbs or more to transform them into zombies.  Shaun and his team report on infestations, outbreaks, and other newsworthy items, as well as post fiction poems, stories, etc. on zombies and other things in their lives.  Generating ratings is a tough business following a successful president election.  Grant includes enough background in her second novel that it could be picked up without reading the first, but there could have been additional editing, as there was too much backstory included from the previous novel.

Deadline by Mira Grant is a fun romp in zombie infested waters, and will be a delight for those who love novels with government conspiracies.  While there is little that is resolved in this book, as there is a third book in the series, there is enough here to whet readers’ appetites for more.  Grant’s world is a unique post-apocalyptic rendering in which not only is surviving essential, but the world has irrecoverably changed from politics and media to how families cope and communities interact.

About the Author:

Born and raised in Northern California, Mira Grant has made a lifelong study of horror movies, horrible viruses, and the inevitable threat of the living dead. In college, she was voted Most Likely to Summon Something Horrible in the Cornfield, and was a founding member of the Horror Movie Sleep-Away Survival Camp, where her record for time survived in the Swamp Cannibals scenario remains unchallenged.

Mira lives in a crumbling farmhouse with an assortment of cats, horror movies, comics, and books about horrible diseases. When not writing, she splits her time between travel, auditing college virology courses, and watching more horror movies than is strictly good for you. Favorite vacation spots include Seattle, London, and a large haunted corn maze just outside of Huntsville, Alabama.

Mira sleeps with a machete under her bed, and highly suggests that you do the same.