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Blackout

Blackout - Mira Grant What the hell happened?

Feed, the first book in this trilogy, was good. Not great, but good. By the standards of zombie novels, it was stellar. (Either the genre mostly attracts lousy writers or I've just been terribly unlucky, as most of the zombie novels I've read are downright wretched.) The second one wasn't as good, but was still okay.

And this one throws all that out the window.

Something about the author's writing style is eminently readable and I went through this book just as quickly as I did the first two, but the meandering and nonsensical plot and unsympathetic characters made it an ultimately unsatisfying and frustrating read.

You can't write a book in the first person perspective of someone who is supposedly super dedicated to the truth then try to spring a huge reveal about them in the third book that flatly contradicts what that character told the reader before. No. Just no. When the reliability of your narrator to be truthful is the foundation of a major plot point, you can't go all unreliable narrator at the last minute! I think I am actually more annoyed with the inconsistency than with the surprise incest. Though the incest was pretty gross. Seriously, wtf?

The books mentioned several times that the zombies seemed to get smarter in groups, but this was never really explored. I really thought that it was going to end up tying in with Shuan's hallucinations of Georgia. It would have made sense (at least, as much sense as what actually happened) for whatever mechanism let the zombies pool their mental power to have some kind of effect on Shaun and Georgia, but no. Instead we got a completely ridiculous and flimsy reason for the CDC to make a clone Georgia (at unbelievable expense), some other people to risk their lives to release her, and her brother lover to meander angrily around the country for a while and get lots of people killed.

Also Buffy, who died in the first book, has by this book been retconned into a Mary Sue CIA-level-plus computer supergenius. Why? Plot convenience, as far as I can tell.

I didn't care when anyone died in this book.

The big showdown at the end that revealed the big conspiracy revealed it to be completely absurd. They didn't need Georgia and Shaun to validate the President of the United States! The whole part about Georgia being cloned was shoehorned in and given a paper thin justification, but the whole book (which until that point hadn't been holding up well anyway) completely falls apart here. It is clear that the author wanted her back and wanted a romance and wanted a happy ending and by god made it happen at the expense of coherency. It was, frankly, lazy.

A disappointing end to what started out as a strong series. Not every book idea needs to be a damn trilogy, and this one should have ended with Feed.