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Confessions of a Bibliophile

An aspiring writer and bookstore employee with an incredibly bad book-buying habit... I'll read just about anything (so long as it will appeal to my interests in some way), but my main loves are YA and sci-fi/fantasy. I also like quirky history and science books and will book nerd. A lot. Currently in the process of weeding out my personal library. Find me on Twitter @princess_starr or check out my YA book, Snowfall, on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/240027
Deadline - Mira Grant Back when I read Feed last year, I had to stop at one point and kick myself, yelling “Why haven’t we read this sooner, you twit?! This is awesome.” So allow me to reiterate: “WHY THE HELL WOULD YOU WAIT TO READ THE SEQUEL?” (Much thanks to the Mark Reads blog, if only for the fact that this could have gathered dust on my shelf for a lot longer.)On its own, Feed works very well. Most of the major plotlines are wrapped up, and we’re left with Shaun wondering what he’s going to do now that Georgia’s gone from his life. It’s a bittersweet and not necessarily a satisfactory ending—yes, the villains are dead, but Shaun’s world is shattered—but there’s no real major plot threads, and one could read Feed as a stand-alone. But there’s always more to the story.Shaun was my favorite character from Feed, and picking up on the narration again, he does have a great voice. It’s made pretty clear in Feed that he’s not a bland copy of Georgia, and I like that a lot of his narration is pretty funny—not completely cynical, but you can tell how much Shaun’s been hurting since Georgia died. I also loved how Shaun’s grief and conversations with Georgia were handled. A lesser writer would have probably shoehorned the idea that Shaun was either going crazy or that his talking to Georgia was his method of coping, but Grant never gives us that viewpoint. I like that it’s more apparent that most people think that Shaun’s doing one of the above, but we do see his coworkers brushing it off as Shaun acting normal. And I also loved that no one told Shaun, “She’s dead, get over it.” I liked that Shaun’s grieving was addressed, and that it’s still raw for him, no matter how long it’s been.In the first book, it was really easy to forget that the After the End Times wasn’t just Buffy, Georgia and Shaun running the whole site on their own, with the dirty work being handled by Mahir. I loved finally getting to see the rest of the team in full force here. It’s saying something that Mira Grant can introduce me to a new character, place them in a dangerous situation and me rooting for them to get out as soon as they could. (Daaaaaaave.) I loved the whole team, especially in how they all worked together. It never felt like they all had one role to fill and that’s all they were good for; I liked that Shaun asked for everyone’s input on the situation. Despite what happens in the book, I do ship Becks/Shaun (or Poking Dead Things. Can that be a ship name? No? Maybe?)—I loved their chemistry together, not just as a romantic pairing, but as colleagues and friends. (I should have touched on this above: I…as much as I loved this book, I really don’t like the idea of Georgia/Shaun. Yes, they’re consenting adults; yes, they’re not related by blood. I…it’s still uncomfortable to me. I’m holding off until I read Blackout before I make a decision on that.) Kelly Connelly and her run from the CDC brings a whole new level to the massive conspiracy in the first book. While Tate did feel like a one-off maniacal villain, you could also argue that the CDC’s plans are just as maniacal and make no sense. Why would the Center for Disease Control want to stop studying reservoir conditions and a way to potentially cure or halt the development of Kellis-Amberlee? No, it doesn’t make any sense. But I’m interested in knowing why and following Shaun and his team as they hunt down the truth. Also, can I point out the brilliant pay-off with Kelly’s story when she first shows up in Oakland? It may seem like it’s out of left field with the talk of cloning and the ethical issues behind full-body cloning, only to be dropped when it’s revealed “OH BY THE WAY, reservoir conditions can cause amplification but then the subject can fight off the infection.” AND THEN THE CODA HAPPENS AND I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON ANYMORE. WHAT. WHEN DID THEY CLONE GEORGIA? HOW IS SHE FULL-GROWN. WHAT IS THIS I DON’T EVEN.(Also, Dr. Abbey is the best, I love her. She may be a rogue mad scientist, but she doesn’t give Shaun a lot of bullshit, and is willing to help him, so long as he plays ball. And she infected an octopus with KA.)The greatest strength in the book is the amount of tension. After the zombie outbreak in Oakland, every time the group went on the move, I was on the edge of my seat. That last trip from Tennessee to Weed was just horrible. I’m not someone who reacts to a lot of jump scares—namely, because I can see them coming and I tend to ignore the part when the scary thing pops up. But when you’ve got something like an eerily silent trip across the United States, and not seeing a single person the whole team, I was just waiting for a zombie to pop out or guns to start firing. And it just made the eventual reveal even worse. You would think reading thirty pages of boring road trip scene would be…well, boring, but knowing that not one of these characters is safe, it made it worse.SO THAT ENDING. I really wasn’t sure if Mira Grant was going to pull another death—honestly, I could have seen Shaun dying from a zombie bite; it’d be a more fitting death for him, given his Irwin past. But she doesn’t, and he’s actually okay. I don’t know whether it’s from Georgia or all that time out in the field, but that’s why there’s a sequel. And then the coda and Georgia and NO REALLY WHAT THE FUCK JUST HAPPENED.Mira Grant takes the rule of great sequels—take everything great about the first book, and amp it up to eleven—and doubles it. If I hadn’t been doing a read-along, I probably would have finished this within two or three days, because I needed to know what happens next. I cannot wait to start Blackout and see how this all ends. (I’m going to assume it will have a lot of tears and nuns.)