I was curious to see where Grant would take this, after killing off a small pile of main characters in the first book. It turns out: somewhere right between what I expected and what I didn’t expect at all.

On one hand, Shaun is crazy now. He hears George’s voice in his head and answers her out loud. Everyone around him of course thinks he’s crazy, but they mostly seem to give him space. I’m not sure what I think about that. Shaun is still probably my least favorite of the main characters from the first book, which is certainly suboptimal, given that he’s the only one to survive… (Also, the Coke fixation is weird.) But why does everyone else keep him around?

On the other hand, the world building continues to be excellent. We get a few neat twists (like what the reservoir conditions might actually mean) and dig a little deeper into the conspiracy behind it all. Given that there’s still one more book, we don’t get quite as much of that as I’d like, but so it goes. Still though, it feels like Grant really did her homework. The zombie threat feels real. That’s saying something.

And then… The ending. One thing I don’t care about in second books of trilogies is when they don’t have an ending of their own. If Deadline had ended around 80%, it would have been fine. Instead, we get the ALL NEW BIGGER AND BETTER THREAT in the last 20% or so. Don’t get me wrong, I really want to know how it all shakes out, but it’s still annoying.

And then and then… That last sentence. Say what!?

Needless to say, onwards to Blackout.

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