Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Cloned Blogger

Just so everybody knows, I was originally going to call this book incestuous necrophiliac, but decided I would probably get the wrong kind of audience :-)  What the heck am I talking about you ask?  This is the post where I ramble about Blackout, the third book in the Newsflesh trilogy by Mira Grant.  It has taken me a while to finally finish this series, but here we go.  As always SPOILERS AHEAD!
We left our group being chased by zombie virus infested mosquito's.  Florida has essentially fallen to the zombies and the country is once again in chaos.  Shaun has been bitten by a zombie, and has recovered, make him immune to the Kellis-Amberly virus.  He and his team decide to go and find out just what the heck happened with the mosquito's, as they suspect that they were released on purpose as a distraction from the news story the crew was going to break about the intentional killing of the reservoir condition people, and the attempt to infect people with a stable strain of the Kellis-Amberly virus.  If this is all a bit technical and confusing...well that's how I felt too :-).  Meanwhile Georgia wakes up in a secure CDC facility and learns that she is the most recent in a line of clones that the CDC has produced to try and control Shaun and his crew.  The plan is to make a stable version of Georgia and then mess with her brain enough to control her.  Part of this plan involves surgeries to make the clone Georgia more like the original as they cannot make a clone with the retinal reservoir condition the original Georgia had.  Eventually Georgia II as she calls herself is rescued and finally gets to meet up with Shaun.  Understandably the team, Shaun and even Georgia herself have some reservations about just how much of Georgia is left in the clone.  According to the scientists who created her Georgia II is a 97% match for the original.  After some questions and such they all end up at the White House where President Ryman and his vice-president, the former Newsie Rick attempt to use Georgia against Shaun and his team to repress the news that there will never be a cure for the zombie disease, just a treatment.  The CDC, apart from wanting to keep all the power, believe that the general public will freak if they know there is no cure.  They want Shaun and his team to essentially be the mouth pieces of the government, to only put out what the CDC wants them to, and they are willing to threaten everybody including the president to do it.  Luckily for our team, vice-president Rick has other plans and helps take down the CDC guy and with the help of some friends restores the truth.  The story breaks and everybody who didn't die goes back home to try and live the rest of their lives.  Georgia and Shaun reveal that they are lovers as well as brother and sister (hence the incestuous necrophiliac joke...it makes sense in the book, I promise) and disappear, presumably to Canada.  Life continues and our trilogy ends.
Where to start, where to start.  In the first book we had Georgia as our narrator, in the second book Shaun took over, in this book they switch back and forth.  I have always liked Georgia's voice better, I'm not sure if it is because Shaun is a bit more emotional and broody, or I prefer Georgia's more factual take, but in this book I liked her chapters best.   I also liked Georgia's chapters because they seemed to go somewhere, where Shaun and his team seemed to be going around in circles alot.   You definitely need to read the first two books to understand this book, and for a couple of things relating to why the CDC was after Shaun and his team I had to go back and look up.  For Shaun, I liked that the Georgia in his head did not go away when Georgia II showed up, showing us just how far gone he had been.  I do wonder however why when he saw the Georgia in his head manifest, he saw her without the retinal Kellis-Amberly when he had never seen her without it.  I liked following Georgia II as she learned she was one of several clones, was experimented on, and eventually came to grips with what she was.  I was not a huge fan of the whole lover thing between Georgia and Shaun, even though I saw it coming in the first book.  I know they are not technically related, but...I don't know I still found it a bit icky.  I liked the questions raised with both the scientific and emotional
ramifications of cloning.  I liked how they acknowledged that Georgia II was NOT Georgia, but for some purposes, especially for Shaun, she was good enough.  Overall I liked this book better then the second one, but not as much as the first.  Now that I have finished it, I would like to talk over the series as a whole.  I love the world the author has created, I like that it is not your typical survivalist, living in the woods, shooting zombies to survive type of world, but more of a continuing life with zombies, but I still want my Starbucks type of world.  It is still a unique take, and I really like it.  I also still appreciate the "science" (I put that in quotes, because it is fictional) that the author used to make the virus plausible to those of us who are super nit-picky.  I did find that the three books had a bit of lack of consistency as far as the story line went.  The first book was so focused on the campaign, that when it was barely acknowledged in the second book, and only really brought in at the end of the third book, it felt a bit disjointed.  I know the real story was about the virus conspiracy with the CDC, but that felt scattered to me as well. To me it felt as if each book was telling a different story without it being successfully tied together, but that may be just me.  I also felt that when dealing with Shaun and his crew, it took a really long time for them to get anywhere, it felt like they did a lot of hurry up and wait while the rest of the story caught up or progressed.  I did like the series as a whole, and think that the author is a superb writer.  I enjoyed all three books to varying degrees. I give this book a 7 out of 10 zombie clones and give the series as a whole 7 out of 10 virus tests.
What do you think about unrelated siblings getting it on?  What series have you read that is better when looked at as a whole?  Should I have tempted fate and used incestuous necrophiliac as a post title?

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