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TLDR: This book is an AWESOME zombie apocalypse novel about a team of bloggers following the US presidential campaign in 2039. (The zombies rose in 2014.) It's the first of three novels in the Newsflash trilogy: FEED, DEADLINE, BLACKOUT.

Long version:

So... I didn't actually want to read this book. My friend left it in a bag on my doorstep with a note a few weeks ago. And I've been busy, so it's been all lonely and sad in my to-read pile since then. (Well, not lonely. It had LOTS of company.) But we're going to the said friend's place for lunch tomorrow and I thought I should at least try the book and flick it back with polite excuses if necessary.

So what's it about? Georgia and Shaun Mason are the lead bloggers of the blog After the End Times. After the Rising in 2014, people have generally withdrawn into secure communities against the ever-present zombie threat. Bloggers, who have become firmly established as part of the official media following their central role during the Rising, are amongst the few intrepid journalists willing to venture outside in search of the news. The story begins when Georgia and Shaun (and their team) are invited to cover the presidential campaign of Senator Peter Ryman. It's a pretty standard campaign, notwithstanding the adaptions required for a world where every human contact must be preceded by blood tests for zombie infection. At least until an unimaginable tragedy hits the Senator's family and the bloggers make the mistake of digging a little deeper. Too deep to get out.

The pacing is superb, tension building to a nail-biting and resonant conclusion. The families portrayed are complex and imperfect. The relationships between the characters ring true. The science is exceptionally well thought out. Social media is king. And there are pop culture references galore - Steve Irwin, Buffy, Shaun of the Dead, Apple - I've probably missed half of them!

I couldn't put it down.

PS. Also, dearest [ profile] seanan_mcguire, I love the dual-sided title.
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August 2012


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