Feed, the first book in this trilogy, was one of my favorite audiobooks that I listened to in 2016. Feed set a great political thriller with a zombie outbreak background that was very unique. Instead of the zombie outbreak being an apocalypse it was contained to certain areas of the country. This created a political environment within the book that revolved on how to deal with the zombies that connected to current day politics and terrorism. Along with that, Feed gave me one of my favorite female point of view characters I’ve read in a long time, Georgia, because of how intelligent and focused her character was. With Deadline, Mira Grant decides to change a lot of what worked in Feed, and in the end, I was really disappointed.
The first thing that Grant changed was the point of view character. Deadline’s point of view character is Shaun, Georgia’s sister. Shaun is an impulsive and somewhat violent character that has control issues. Shaun’s personality is where I struggled with this book right away. Within the first half of Deadline, we are reminded multiple times that Shaun has no problem hitting women. It was talked about so much that I can’t help but think that Mira Grant purposely created a character for the reader to dislike. Shaun is also rather mentally unstable throughout most of the book and I felt it detracted from my enjoyment of this book. There is a spoiler reason why Shaun acts the way he does but I keep coming back to the idea that Grant purposely wanted the reader to dislike Shaun and very rarely does that work in such a tight point of view instance.
Deadline focuses much more on the zombies than Feed did. Where Feed was more of a political thriller, Deadline was more of a zombie thriller, and I was disappointed in this aspect. There is a thriller aspect dealing with the CDC and exposing the truth about the virus but I was never captivated by the plot in this story like I was with Feed. The science aspect of Deadline seemed really hit or miss too. I am not a huge science person but some of the logic used in Deadline seemed a bit off but I could definitely be wrong about this.
I never connected with the side characters in Deadline like I did with Feed because of Shaun’s more self-centered view of things. I thought that because Shaun’s character distanced himself from his friends that the reader was distanced somewhat. I have never really been a huge fan of point of view characters that don’t connect to others strongly and purposely push people away. I think it works in general fiction but pushing people away in speculative fiction makes little sense because the world is so dangerous that you need those interpersonal relationships even more to survive.
I thought that Deadline was just alright. It had a fantastic ending that made me almost give it 3 stars but I couldn’t overlook my dislike for Shaun. I was not happy that Grant steered the relationship between Shaun and Georgia, two separately adoptive siblings, into a weird place. I thought they had an odd codependency relationship in Feed but I kind of let it go because of their abusive parents and the zombie situation. In Deadline, I don’t think that there is any question that Shaun and Georgia had romantic feelings for each other. This was icky and wrong to me. I feel that it is fair to dislike a book based off of the personality of the main character. I think that Mira Grant/Seanan McGuire is an excellent writer but this book was a miss for me because of the point of view character. I’m not sure if I’ll listen to Blackout or not. I kind of want to know what happens because the ending to Deadline was great but I’m not sure.
10/25 Overall Score
2 – Plot
2 – Characters
2 – World Building/Setting
2- Writing Style
2 – Heart & Mind Aspect