I am finally, finally posting a review of Blackout by Mira Grant. To borrow a phrase from the website that got me hooked on this series, Mark Reads, I was so not prepared for these books! They are chilling, gripping, and completely different from anything I expected from a zombie apocalypse series. The problem with this is that it is virtually impossible to review Blackout, which is the third and final book, without giving away major spoilers for the first two. So it is up to you if you continue on at this point. If you don’t mind being spoiled, or have read this series already, read on after the cover art. If you don’t want to be spoiled, please please PLEASE go read these books and then come back to read the review. They really are that good.
Anyone still with me? Good! On with the review.
This book picks up right where Deadline left off, and let me tell you, that was one of the worst cliffhangers EVER! I don’t know how people survived waiting for Blackout to be published and I was so glad I could dive right into it as soon as I finished book two. What else am I supposed to say when you find out that Georgia, the narrator of book one who was injected with a dart full of zombie virus and and then shot in the neck by her brother so she wouldn’t become a zombie and hurt anyone, IS SOMEHOW STILL ALIVE! How do you get away with that??!!?? I’ll tell you how. Georgia is not really Georgia. She’s a clone imprisoned at the CDC in Seattle. They have tried several test runs and found that this model is 97% accurate to the original. The problem? Clone-Georgia has been implanted with the memories of her original counterpart – as far as she’s concerned, she IS Georgia, even though she remembers all the details surrounding how she died.
And then there’s Georgia’s brother Shaun (who’s a lot more than that, but I’m not breaking out that spoiler). He’s still reeling from Georgia’s death, still hearing her voice in his head, and occasionally seeing her in hallucinations. Unaware of her clone’s existence, he leads the rest of the surviving After the End Times team as they help out a rogue scientist trying to find a cure for the zombie virus, Kellis-Amberlee. Shaun found out at the end of the last book that he is somehow immune to the virus, which doesn’t help his reckless, self-destructive behavior at all. They are all concerned with the fact that a new strain of mosquitoes can now carry the virus and is causing a Second Rising down in Florida. They all have suspicions that the CDC is behind it, especially when they know that the CDC is doing everything they can to block research on a known way that some people can survive the virus altogether.
Of course, the whole book builds up to when Georgia and Shaun meet again. As soon as it starts, you know that their paths will somehow cross, and when it does, it is as joyful as it is heartbreaking. They aren’t the same people they were back in Feed – literally, in Georgia’s case. And there’s a lot more government conspiracy going on that I can’t even begin to get into here. I will say this – you remember Ryman, that nice guy that the ATET team helped get elected president? Yeah, he’s involved too.
These books are an intense, emotional roller coaster ride from beginning to end. I said it before, and I’ll say it again – I did not expect to enjoy zombie books as much as I enjoyed these, mostly because the zombies are just window dressing. It’s the post zombie world that Grant creates that is just amazing and is dropped into the story in little tidbits, showing just how much times have changed between now and this frightening future. And it’s not a happy ending necessarily. It’s a complicated ending, probably the best that these characters could hope for, but it’s also very real. That’s one of the things I like best about these books.
So go check them out, right now. They are definitely worth it.