(originally posted on my livejournal account: http://intoyourlungs.livejournal.com/26520.html)
Back in August, I read the first installment in this series and really enjoyed it. It had a crazy ending that really blew my mind and I knew I needed to keep on with the series to see what Grant would do with her characters.
Largely, this title didn't disappoint, but I did have one major issue with it, which is too bad, because it's sort of an integral part of the novel. Anyway, if you haven't read the first book in this series, for the love of god, DON'T READ THIS REVIEW. You will spoil a major surprise in Feed and really hamper the reading experience. So seriously, only read this review if you got Feed under your belt.
All right, so that big issue I had with the book that I just mentioned? I hate to say it, but I have to get it out, I really, really, didn't like Shaun's narration in this book. This really saddened me, because I really liked Shaun in Feed -- he was a fun loving guy who had a really close and kind of sweet (but kind of creepy) relationship with his sister. Jumping in Deadline, I knew there would be a huge focus on George's death because of said relationship, but holy man did Grant drive that point home through Shaun. I think part of the problem was that I forgot Shaun started hearing George's voice in his head at the end of Feed. If I had remembered that, I might not have been so jarred by him hearing her now. I also had a hard time wrapping my mind around how lucid Shaun was, yet still able to have these "conversations" with George. Just... so weird. I knew they were close, but holy cow.
Another thing really bugged with Shaun's narration is the repetition. There was a bit of a formula: Shaun would hear George in his head and talk to her/himself out loud. Someone would hear him, look at him funny, and he would shrug and tell them George was talking to him. He would then think to himself something along the lines of: "they weren't used to their boss hearing his dead sister's voice in his head" or "they were new to the crew, so them seeing someone talk to their dead sister was probably something they weren't very used to". There were just too many instances of this for me. Also, Shaun thinks and threatens people constantly with punching them in the face (male and female) one too many times. And lots of repetition about him drinking Coke despite hating the stuff because that's what George drank.
But aside from Shaun (which is too bad because he's kind of the central figure and focus of the novel)? This book was really damn good. The plot, like its predecessor, was intense and full of twists and turns and because of George's death in the first book, there's a lot of tension: you don't know whose safe. And yes, someone fairly pivotal dies in this installment.
There was also a bunch of twists and turns and revelations and so much STUFF going on. There was rarely a lull in the pace which kept the pages turning. I mean, you find out some crazy stuff in this book, such as an explanation for George's form of Kellis-Amberley and why it was in her eyes, more crazy government corruption, that George could have possible LIVED.. so much crazy stuff going on.
I was also happy to see some enlightening on Shaun and George's relationship. It's still never said explicitly what the nature of their relationship is, BUT, Shaun makes a slip in the bedroom with a lady and says George's name before rolling over to go to sleep after some sexy times. HOLY SHIT! So yeah, it's pretty much a dead giveaway that the two of them slept together. It took me awhile to sort out how I felt about that. On the one hand, they weren't related by blood and they had really shitty parents and only had themselves to count on for most of their lives. On the other hand, I still found it really creepy. I don't think I found it creepy because they were raised as siblings though.. the more I think about it, the more I think I would have been creeped out reading about a relationship like that whether the characters had been raised together as siblings or not. They are just way too co-dependent on each other and I find something unsettling in that, despite my earlier points. So.. I don't know. It'll be interesting to see how things play out between them in the next installment of the book.
SPEAKING OF THAT! That epilogue!! HOLY WHOA. Unfortunately for me I was stupid and went a read a spoiler-y review (that warned me that it had spoilers, but I read it anyway... stupid stupid stupid) and knew that there was some kind of George clone. It was still kinda crazy reading that epilogue though. Makes me REALLY curious what's going to happen in the last installment.
Final Verdict: I really liked the plot in this installment of the Newsflesh trilogy. It was full of action, twists and turns and a lot of tension because no one felt safe. It's too bad I couldn't like the narrator (Shaun) in this book as much as I liked George (who I liked quite a bit, despite her being a pretty cool and prickly person). There was just too much repetition (of many things, which I will not name because of spoilers) and it drove me kind of bonkers. Other than that though? I enjoyed this book very much and can't wait for Blackout to come out.