A review by Jade Hounsell
Wow, I’m not too sure where to start with Deadline. Initially I was a little unsure when I saw that this book was based around zombies, but I was blown away from how good it was. Guns, action, news reporters, bloggers, government conspiracies and, of course, zombies all rolled into one fast-paced and fast-flowing book. Also not having read the first book, Feed, I thought I may have trouble keeping up with some of the characters and events, but it was very easy to follow and past events are explained enough to get by.
The story is set in the future, where the cure for cancer and the cure for the common cold have been found. Unfortunately when the two viruses combine in the human body and in any mammal over 20kg, the result is the Kellis-Amberlee virus, or zombies.
The story is told from Shaun Mason’s perspective, the owner of After the End Times, a blogger news organization, which he built up with his adoptive sister Georgina. From pretty much the start we see that Shaun has lost all passion in life due to George being killed after she was injected with the Kellis-Amberlee virus and began to amplify (become one of the living dead). The problem is that George has taken up residence in Shaun’s head and constantly talks to him, helping him figure things out. Crazy? Well he thinks so, and so does the rest of his team, but everybody thinks its Shaun’s way of dealing with his loss and let him get away with constantly talking to him self.
Enter Kelly Connolly, a CDC employee/scientist who has faked her own death (using a clone mind you), so that she could bring Shaun and his team some startling and unsettling news that the CDC is trying to cover up about the Kellis-Amberlee virus. (The CDC is the Centre for Disease Control, a part of the government who conduct investigations into disease outbreak. In theory they are supposed to be trying to find a cure for the virus and helping to control/stop outbreaks where possible.) Even before Kelly has finished telling her story things start to go horribly wrong. An outbreak has happened in the city where After the End Times is situated, an outbreak so bad that the CDC has decided to bomb the town in order to stop the virus from spreading. Shaun and his team pack up and haul ass only to just narrowly escape the bombing. With nowhere to go and a conspiracy to get to the bottom of, what will Shaun and his team do?
As stated before Deadline is fast-paced and so well written it makes you check your doors and windows are locked and peer into the dark corners looking for zombies. Each chapter is punctuated by blog entries from various members of the team from either the past or the present giving the reader an insight on how other members of the team are feeling about the situation as well. I really would recommend this book to anyone and everyone who likes the supernatural/fantasy gene; it’s just a fantastic read that I found hard to put down with a really twisted ending leaving the reader wanting more. I really am looking forward to the next book of the series, Black-out.
Previously published in Dark Matter issue 4, July 2011, blog post predated to reflect the original publication date.