This is the finale for the Parisitology series by Mira Grant (aka Seanan McGuire), my reviews of Parasite and Symbiont can be found there. While I enjoyed the previous books, the second book wasn’t as good as I hoped. But this conclusion was satisfying, and redeemed the series a bit. It still isn’t amazing, it’s good, but not quite up to the Newsflesh level of amazingness.
This is the sequel to Parasite, and originally it was supposed to be the finale, however, it turns out that this only book two of three. And I’m fine with that, obviously Grant found as she wrote the second book that it just wasn’t resolving in the required space. So rather than cut things out, I’d much rather another book. Grant also wrote the Newflesh series, which I loved, and she really is Seanan McGuire. I had high hopes for the book, but it didn’t reach them. It was good, but it wasn’t great.
This is Mira Grant’s latest novel, and her first after Blackout. Well technically she’s written others as her real name, Seanan McGuire, but anyway. As soon as I heard this book was coming out (which was back in October 2013) I wanted to get it from the library, and it took forever to get it, I think I’ll just buy it next time. So the book is apart of a new series called Parasitology, so, I think you can guess some of the subject matter. And it does have a similar feel to the Newsflesh trilogy, with a few similar moulds of characters, but we’ll come to that. I polished off this rather large (especially in hardback) book in basically two days, because I didn’t want to put it down. The thrill was there, like it was for Newsflesh, and I just had to know what was going to happen next, and now I really want the sequel!
So book three in this fantastic Newsflesh series. Coming after Feed and Deadline, I had really high hopes for this book, just what was going to happen, and after the cliffhanger ending in Deadline, I was ready to devour the book!
Before I start talking specifics (which means spoilers), I want to say how much I have really enjoyed this series. It has been gripping, exciting and so interesting. I just love the ideas developed and the storyline is perfect. It’s just a fascinating spin on an ‘old’ idea of zombies, and it explores conspiracies and government and the consequences of the truth. It’s just fantastic, so go out and make sure you read all of them!
As for Blackout, it was great to have both Shaun and Georgia’s narration, seeing what was going on for both of them. Even though that sort of narrative structure, inevitably leads to really frustrating moments at the end of a particularly exciting chapter where you don’t want to swap away, you just want to find out what’s going to happen next! I wonder if Mira Grant (Seanan McGuire) wrote the chapters one after the other, or if she wrote all of the Shaun narrated chapters, then all of the Georgia narrated chapters. Because each narrator has a different style, so it would almost be like writing a completely different book, and changing from one frame set to another might not be so easy. Whatever she did, it works.
I only have one slight criticism, I just felt like for most of the book, I wasn’t liking it as much as Feed and Deadline. Maybe it was the swapping between narratives, which meant continuous changes in tension/action, maybe there wasn’t too much going on at the start of this book (especially compared to Deadline, which blasted out of the blocks), or maybe I had just gotten used to the intensity of the other two books, that I was a little prepared for what was going to happen. I mean, these feelings disappeared towards the end, but until then, I didn’t have the same urge to just stay up all night finishing the book that I had with the others. I liked the book, and I liked what happened, it was just as interesting and exciting as the others overall, but something didn’t quite sit perfectly with me at the start.
So, onto some spoilers! You’ve been warned!
Just quickly: The Sending will continue on Wednesday, after Bookish Topic Tuesday’s post, I just finished Deadline and HAD to talk about it, and it feels better ending The Sending continuously instead of stopping for tomorrow’s other post and starting again.
THIS BOOK! THIS SERIES! MIRA GRANT or Seanan McGuire or whatever I’m supposed to call you when you write under a pseudonym! You are just evil, and I love it! I can just imagine you sitting (wherever you sit) as you read people’s reactions and reviews of your latest book, all screaming out for more, or ‘HOW COULD YOU END IT LIKE THAT’, and just gleefully smiling. You surely must have known the reactions you were going to get when you wrote this series, which is just diabolical. But I don’t really care if you are doing that, because Newsflesh is just so brilliant, I just want you to write forever, even if you are diabolical and cruel. I would say that the ending killed me, but that’s just too poetic.
Alright, enough talking to imaginary Mira Grant, she isn’t here, if you didn’t see my last post of Feed, book number one in Newsflesh, you should check that one out first, but more importantly you should find a copy of all three books in Newsflesh (plus the novellas) and borrow/buy them all at the same time, so then you won’t have to wait at all to read the next one. Because, trust me, you won’t want to wait. In addition, there will be spoilers coming up, so you really shouldn’t read them if you haven’t read the book.
Honestly, I’m so glad that nobody was around when I finished Deadline, I couldn’t imagine finishing it whilst out in public, I don’t think I’d be able to restrain myself from just gasping, and flailing my arms about screaming “HUH, WHAT, HOW, UMMMM” and just looking as stunned as possible. So a suggestion, don’t read this book in public, especially the ending! It’s just so shocking, and unexpected, and it makes me hyperventilate just thinking about it. It’s just, wow. And this doesn’t just happen at the end, it’s throughout. I know I really shouldn’t compare them, but think about the intensity of The Hunger Games and then multiply it by like 10, and you’ll start to come close to Newsflesh. It’s not like there’s constant action, but it’s just so riveting, that time really does slip away when you starting reading them. And that is the measure of a good book! But from the moment go, you’re hooked, so prepare for some sleepless nights reading this book!
I can’t even really pinpoint what I love about it the most. Is it the zombies? The national governmental conspiracies? The action? The humour? The blogging? The science? The fact that Mira Grant has researched so much to make it so realistic and ‘factual’? The dialogue? The characters? The suspense? The cliff-hangers? How natural everything feels? The idea that there is a virus which turns people into zombies after they die? How about I just say, that it’s everything. Everything works so well, and it’s just brilliant and gripping. I don’t have much more ‘generic’, ‘less spoilerific’ stuff left to say, so Spoiler Warning for the remaining part of the post.
Zombies. Blogging. Politics. Conspiracies.
Are those four words reason enough for me to not post the next post about The Sending? I think so. And you would too if you had read Feed by Mira Grant (Seanan McGuire’s pseudonym. This might be a long tangent, but it’s a question I have. Why bother using a pseudonym, why not use Seanan McGuire? She already uses that for her other books, why create an ‘open pseudonym to use for horror’? And I guess the reason for that must be that whatever she has already written, is just too different to horror, and her readers would freak out if they saw it published under her name. That’s the only reason I can imagine, it’s just like if JK Rowling was like I’m going to start writing erotica, she would probably go under a pseudonym [first let’s hope she never does that, but secondly just imagine if there are books out there that she has written under a pseudonym!], because she most certainly wouldn’t want her name and Harry Potter which is connected to her name to be linked with her new work. I guess that’s really our fault, we fail to realise that authors are interested in different things, and are allowed to go and write in different genres [that’s why there was so much uproar over The Casual Vacancy, everyone couldn’t separate Harry Potter from JK Rowling]. Unless Seanan just thought it would be fun to write under a pseudonym, and I guess it would be, especially if nobody knew bout it. /End of tangent.)
There aren’t going to be any ‘spoilers’ just yet, I’ll warn you when that’s going to happen, but Feed, part of the trilogy, Newsflesh, is just amazing. I have to say that it is (so far) the best book I have read this year, and is arguably one of the best books I have ever read. Now, it might look like I’m just throwing those words around, and that’s why I use them sparingly, and would really never create a ‘list’ of my favourite books with rankings, that would never happen. They are all different, and I love them for different reasons. But Feed is certainly on the ‘list’ and is certainly very highly ranked. I enjoyed The Hunger Games, and I’m going to make a connection between that and Feed for reasons that I think are obvious to those who have read both, now in Feed there is no nasty Capitol forcing children to fight to the death, there’s just zombies going around chomping on people. But I loved Feed, and I think that both books certainly make use of cliffhangers, excitement, intensity and let’s face it, are ruthless, but there’s something about Feed that has made me love it more than The Hunger Games.
‘Mira Grant’ was able to write action sequences so well, and I was never left going ‘huh?’ I was always able to understand what was going on. And the amount of research that she must have gone through (she acknowledges this at the end) to make the story so believable, in terms of weapons, politics, medicine, geography and technology, is astounding. Everything is so well thought out, and that’s something I love in a book, there aren’t any (at least not yet) places where you go, “that’s never going to happen” or “that’s so fake”. Everything is believable, and I guess that’s part of that attraction, because that’s scary!
Alright, MAJOR spoilers are now going to be discussed, so if you haven’t read the first book, go away and find a copy before you read on! And if you’ve read the trilogy, please don’t spoil the next two books (plus the little short story ones either!).