Book Review: Blackout by Mira Grant

Title: Blackout
Author: Mira Grant
Genre: Science fiction, zombie fiction
Publisher: Orbit
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Print copy from my personal library
First line: My story ended where so many stories have ended since the Rising: with a man – in this case, my adoptive brother and best friend, Shaun – holding a gun to the base of my skull as the virus in the blood betrayed me, transforming me from a thinking human being into something better suited to a horror movie.

Spoiler warning: This review will contain spoilers for the first two books in the Newsflesh series. I previously reviewed book one, Feed and book two, Deadline.

Goodreads blurb: The year was 2014. The year we cured cancer. The year we cured the common cold. And the year the dead started to walk. The year of the Rising.

The year was 2039. The world didn’t end when the zombies came, it just got worse. Georgia and Shaun Mason set out on the biggest story of their generation. The uncovered the biggest conspiracy since the Rising and realized that to tell the truth, sacrifices have to be made.

Now, the year is 2041, and the investigation that began with the election of President Ryman is much bigger than anyone had assumed. With too much left to do and not much time left to do it in, the surviving staff of After the End Times must face mad scientists, zombie bears, rogue government agencies-and if there’s one thing they know is true in post-zombie America, it’s this:

Things can always get worse.

So, the second book ended with two huge revelations: Georgia and Shaun had a romantic, sexual relationship (they are adoptive siblings and not related biologically); and after Georgia was infected and shot by Shaun, the CDC cloned her. Blackout, therefore, is told in first person by both Georgia v.2 and Shaun, alternating between their storylines.

I mentioned in my review of book two that I was really creeped out by the whole Shaun and Georgia thing, but by the time I started reading book three, I was over it. Yes, it’s weird, but I was still very excited to dive right back into the world Mira Grant has created and see if she could end the series with a bang. She did. She kept me turning the pages, faster and faster, desperate to find out how Shaun would react when he met Georgia v.2 and to know if they would get their happy ending.

The best thing about these books is that they’re so much more than zombie fiction. Not that zombie fiction alone is a bad thing, but it’s even better when it deals with deeper issues – and Grant deals with some heavy stuff in Blackout. First, there’s the whole cloning thing – when there are several versions of the same person, which one is the “real” one? Are they all real? Georgia is forced to make a huge decision related to this question, and it is something I am still thinking about long after I finished reading.

Grant also brings some nice closure to the issue of Shaun and Georgia’s tortured relationship with their adoptive parents, the Masons. Family is a thread that runs all through this series – the family you are raised in, and the family that you choose for yourself as an adult. I love Grant’s characters! I loved getting to know Maggie and Alaric and Mahir and Becks. But Grant doesn’t hold her characters dear, so don’t get too attached. She has completely ripped my heart out several times during the course of this series, and Blackout definitely had some moments that had me choking up – and one that had tears running down my face.

This is the last book in this trilogy, but the world of Newsflesh is full of stories that could be told. I hope that Grant visits it again, with or without the Masons.

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10 Responses to Book Review: Blackout by Mira Grant

  1. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread
    says:

    Just read another review for this one. I still stubbornly sit here hoping and praying my library will pick up this trilogy on audio. I’ve heard the audio is good. I’m so slow with my print reading it is ridiculous.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Sandy – I am the same way – I wish my library was better about getting new stuff on audio!

  2. bermudaonion (Kathy)
    Twitter: bermudaonion
    says:

    I listened to Feed on audio and thought it was great! I’ve got book 2 and need to get it read so I can read this one.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Kathy – the whole series is excellent – solid reads all around.

  3. Susan says:

    I didn’t know about this one. I like zombie stuff and this one sounds more involved than The Walking Dead. thanks for the word on it.

  4. irene says:

    I just can’t do zombies. So glad you enjoyed it.

  5. Kailana says:

    I really need to try this series out at some point. I have the first book somewhere. (On another note, sorry about Lottery. Things have been busy and I had a cold… I will try to get back to things this weekend.)