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on 31 October 2016
I cannot decide if this is my favourite in the trilogy or not. Part of me believes so, yet another part of me is of the belief that the first one is my favourite. Whatever the case, it’s a great ending to the series.

I’ll start with my problem with the entire series – the lack of zombies! I’d been hoping this one would redeem that… but nope. Throughout I’ve been disappointed by how much the zombies were brushed to the side so that we could focus upon the conspiracies taking place. We’re given one or two zombie scenes in each book, but never enough to satisfy me. It’s almost false promotion to call these zombie books.

Another thing I’ve been curious about is how they managed to get the name ‘After the End Times’. Come on, you cannot tell me that after twenty years of living on a zombie infested planet they were the first journalists to think such would be a great name for their website. I know it’s not a major part of the plot but I’ve been curious throughout.

Back to the book at hand, though, as that is what we all care about.

I really enjoyed the speed of this one. Events moved at a much greater rate, the ball rolling from the get go. I was much happier with the speed of this one. Moreover, the story was wonderful. The two stories being told and the way in which they merged was wonderful. It was more than I had bargained for. I also enjoyed the reappearance of characters from the first book that I’d missed in the second… I was, however, disappointed by their storyline. It was great the way everything tied together, but I really wanted more from those characters.

What annoyed me more, though, was the way in which relationships played out. The book was full of martyrs and people happily moving on with their lives to other people. It just didn’t fit right with me. Even in a zombie infested world you would mourn more than the characters did. There was also another major relationship which came to light that I was unsure about… but I’ll leave that for people to make their own decision about. I’m just not sure.

As a whole, I enjoyed the trilogy but I wanted more zombie action!
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VINE VOICEon 4 November 2013
It's several weeks after DEADLINE. Shaun and his team are hiding out with Dr Abbey but when word reaches them that the government's planning to abandon Florida to the zombies created by the CDC's new vector, the team decide to get Alaric's younger sister out of a refugee centre there and bust the conspiracy right open. Doing so means seeking help from old friends and some people Shaun would rather never see again and a trip to Seattle to find The Monkey, a legendary ID and document forger with both the CDC and the legions of the dead dogging their every step.

Meanwhile Georgia's woken up in a CDC facility. She knows she's a clone and she knows that the CDC is involved. What she doesn't know is how. Or why. But she's determined that she won't be their pawn for long ...

The conclusion to Mira Grant's zombie horror trilogy is a fast-paced, roller-coaster ride that draws together the various plot strands into a satisfying conclusion. Some of the twists weren't that surprising, the bad guys are cardboard cut-outs, Grant overwrites at times (I lost count of the number of times Shaun reminds us of his Georgia hallucinations) and the blog team are somewhat samey character-wise, but the book nevertheless held my attention from beginning to end, there are some great one-liners, one very emotional character death and there were enough zombie action scenes to keep me interested.

Central to the trilogy has always been the relationship between Georgia and Shaun, which I found compelling although so much attention is given to this that every other relationship suffers by default (especially that between Becks and Shaun, which I felt could have been explored in more depth given the events in DEADLINE. I believed in the reaction of the other bloggers to Shaun's increasingly powerful hallucinations and tendency to speak to himself but would have liked more scenes between Shaun and Dr Abbey to explore the medical effects of what happened to him. Georgia's scenes are tense, I loved the explanation for her return but wished the CDC characters hadn't been so thinly drawn.

There was enough zombie action to keep me interested and I loved the return of some characters from the previous books. All in all, the book ties together the loose ends into a satisfying conclusion and I will definitely read Grant's next series.
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Please note Blackout is the final book of the Newflesh trilogy and there is good chance that there will be potential spoilers in this review if you haven't read books one and two, don't say I didn't warn you. With that said lets unleash the undead one more time...

The standout character in Blackout, and probably the series as a whole if I think about it, is Shaun Mason. By book three, he has reached the stage where his grasp of sanity is teetering on the brink. The events recounted in Feed and Deadline have just about managed to push him over the edge. I do like when an author is willing to put a character through the emotional wringer. Each time you think Shaun is going to get some small respite, something else terrible happens and he has to deal with the consequences. His instability makes him a particularly interesting read as you have no idea what he is going to do next. He is truly capable of anything, rational argument one moment and then threatening to shot someone in the face the next.

I've heard the criticism from others that the politics and blogging references in this series are a trifle unrealistic. Now I'll admit that my knowledge of the American political system is limited to watching The West Wing, but the entire trilogy certainly seemed to be pitched at about the right level for me, so any inaccuracies are unimportant. I enjoy nothing better than a shadowy government conspiracy, and Grant keeps things ticking over nicely in that regard. The intrigue that runs through the entire series, and the political elements mixed together lifted the plot above the norm.

One thing I would have liked a bit more of is the zombies themselves. When I reviewed the second novel, Deadline, I did mention that the undead were a bit thin on the ground. In fairness, I should point out that the direction of the story made that a sensible decision at the time. For the final book, I think I expected the focus to move back towards the zombies. Don't get me wrong, overall I think that Blackout succeeds in bringing the story of Georgia and Shaun Mason to suitably satisfying conclusion. There just weren't enough zombies to warrant the `horror' label. I'm pretty bloodthirsty when it comes to horror, and I like my zombie novels to have as grim an outlook as possible. I've watched these characters develop over the course of the three books and I've grown to like some of them, and hope for a nasty death for others. I think I just wanted a bit more peril, perhaps a few more character deaths? I don't know, I guess I'm just evil.
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on 5 February 2015
The first book in the series was really strong. The second suffered a bit from missing one of the protagonists, but showed the other characters reacting to her death meaningfully.
Here though everything has to come together and dear me, the characters get to serve The Plot, and acting like human beings gets forgotten. There's a huge freaking Deus Ex Machina at the heart of the book, something not even hinted at as far as I can remember in the previous volumes. That's a tad annoying, but it's not by any stretch of the imagination the worst thing here. There's a massive relationship redefinition, the kind of thing you'd not find except in the very dodgy bits of the internet, and even that's not the things that annoyed me most.
The thing that really caused me to lose patience with it was that suddenly all the supporting cast seemed to know that they were supporting cast. That they didn't matter. That getting the protagonists to the last page was their lot in life. In the first couple of books we had quite a good depiction of a society finding a new normal in face of a horrifying challenge. The people felt real. They lived, they loved, they looked to the future. Here we keep having points where people decide that they might as well abandon that struggle for normality so that their deaths can help out the stars. At least three times that happens, and every time it's like they're holding up a big sign saying "We Know Our Place".
The Big Villain at the end similarly knows that he is a Big Villain, and so doesn't need to have any real justification for his actions. He's cardboard. Just like all those people prepared to lay down their lives for protagonists they'd only just met.
Which is a real shame. The series deserved a better ending.
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on 6 August 2012
This trilogy of books, (Feed, Deadline and Blackout,) is absolutely amazing! I'm not going to go into the storyline, other reviewers do that better than I can, but this is the best trilogy I have read in a very long time. I bought the first in the series because I love zombie books but I have to say that even though there isn't much zombie action I hardly noticed because the story is that good! I have a policy that if I buy a book which is part of a series I wait until I have them all before I read them. In this case I am very glad I did because I think I would've been tearing my hair out between books! (especially with the jaw dropping conclusion to Deadline. Don't know about anyone else but I sooo didn't see that coming!!)
All I can say is that if you're a fan of zombies, conspiracies or thrillers you should get this trilogy. I'm keeping these books so I can read them again and I'm very selective in what I will read more than once!!
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VINE VOICEon 16 July 2012
Blackout brings Mira Grant's superb Newsflesh trilogy to a thrilling conclusion. Its a brave author who kills off one of the main characters at the end of book one but keeping her spirit alive as a voice in her brother's head then bringing her back as a clone in this book was just brilliant.
My teenaged son complained that there wasn't enough gory zombie action in this book as did another reviewer but this trilogy was never meant to be a zombie gorefest. It was always a well written science fiction based conspiracy tale that happened to feature zombies and as such it succeeded on every level.
The characters were all believable and well drawn and drew the reader in, the world was imaginative and realistic and the story kept you gripped as it twisted and turned with nary a clue as to what would happen next.
I for one couldn't put this book down and am sad that the trilogy had to end but certainly looking forward to what she writes next.
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VINE VOICEon 23 July 2012
I've really enjoyed this series, and had waited a long time for the conclusion.

This continues the excellent story telling and rounds the story off nicely, with options for further instalments left open.

There's not much I can tell you about this book that wouldn't give stuff away, but then if you're looking at buying this book then it means you've already read and loved Feed and Deadline: The Newsflesh Trilogy: Book 2, so I doubt there's much I need to say anyway - this book is a must for those who loved the first two.

I'm hoping Mira Grant does something else after this, as I'm a big fan of her work. I know she also writes as Seanan McGuire (Rosemary and Rue), so perhaps I'll have to try those books out soon.

For today though, I'll be sinking my teeth into the short story Countdown for the story of the Kellis-Amberlee outbreak.
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on 7 June 2012
After her last book I had to wait a full year for the conclusion to the best trilogy I have ever read. All I can say is TOTALLY WORTH IT. All the loose ends are tied up nicely and a couple of threads that I was worried would go wrong were explained in a believable and plausible way.
The story picks up with GEORGE waking up as a clone and it rattles along nicely from there. This is a book were you have to have read the series in order, or you will not get the full benefit of this trilogy .
I am not going to give away any of the story in my review, its too good for that, suffice to say my daughter and I were fighting over this to get first read, and currently she has not came out of her room for two days now, she is that engrossed.
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VINE VOICEon 24 June 2012
This is the 3rd and final installment of Mira Grant's Newsflesh trilogy. After the cliffhanger from the last book Deadline: The Newsflesh Trilogy: Book 2 we're back with the Mason's and their team of reporters from After The End Times. Shaun Mason is still hearing the voice of his dead sister in his head and trying to keep control of the rest of his team; Becks, Alaric, Maggie and Mahir, whilst staying with a self professed mad scientist. Meanwhile Georgia has woken up and is being detained in a CDC laboratory. We hear the story for the first time through both siblings point of view as they come to the end of their journey. Expect the usual amount of shady business involving various government officials and organizations. But unfortunately not too much zombie action.

If you've been following the series i'd recommend this one as it does tie it all up nicely. If you haven't been following the series though, I doubt you'd find much fun here. I'll give this one 3 stars as it's sadly just not as enjoyable as its predecessors, unfortunately all of the characters have become; at worst unlike-able and at best just plain boring. Mira, It's been good fun while it lasted, but 3 is most certainly enough for this series.
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on 17 June 2012
Feed made me burst into tears in public place. Deadline was emotionally exhausting. Blackout is...hard to judge.

What did I love? The pacing, which is superb. The final showdown and George's speech intermixed with the blog entries.

What I found disappointing? The ease of Shaun and George's meet up, very very few zombie threats, lack of showing of the intensity of emotional attachment between Shaun and George when they get reunited... Overall, the intensity of the series got toned down a lot.

You remember Buffy's getting infected in Feed or Dave staying to die in the airstrike just so the rest of the team could get out of the city in Deadline? There was this gut-wrenching anguish, which I couldn't see in Blackout. I also missed the blog posts that interacted and made their impact on people all over the world.

Despite my misgivings, Newsflesh trilogy is still miles away from any post-apocalyptic fiction you'll ever read. It's profound, thought-provoking and really really intense. Zombies here serve as a background to a world of political intrigues and terrifying global conspiracies. An absolute MUST READ!


Anyone coming within a hundred yards of my happy ending had better pray that they're immune to bullets. - Shaun Mason
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