Sunday, August 11, 2013

Newsflesh Trilogy Book Review

Title/Author: The Newsflesh Trilogy: Feed, Deadline and Blackout and associated ebook novellas: Fed, Countdown, San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats, How Green This Land, How Blue This Sea by Mira Grant.
Publisher/Year: Orbit Books. 2010, 2011 and 2012, and 2011, 2012, 2012 and 2013.
How I Got This: The library and the internet
Why I Read It: I saw the cover for the first book and picked it up, read the blurb and thought it sounded interesting. 
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Let me start with: I'm not particularly a fan of zombies. I don't relish watching zombie movies or tv shows(I still haven't got around to watching The Walking Dead, yet), and I had never until last week(that I can remember) read a zombie book.

The Newsflesh Trilogy books hold the honour of being the first zombie books I have ever read. And I loved them!

When I think of Zombie stories I generally think of something more along the lines of Resident Evil(the movies because I've never played the games)- where the plot is run for your life, the zombies are chasing you. Basically something set during the outbreak of the zombie apocalypse. The Newsflesh Trilogy is not this.

It is set post zombie apocalypse by about twenty years. The world has reached a relatively stable sense of being, with people living for the most part relatively comfortably in highly fortified buildings for the most part and constantly taking blood tests before they go anywhere and do anything to ensure they haven't turned into zombies or been exposed to the virus.

In this world however, there are some other big differences. Blogging is a profession, a lucrative one, as it was shown that they were the ones to tell the truth- and be unafraid to do so, when the zombie apocalypse started. It evolved so that many journalists actually maintain blogs and have licences and all sorts of bits and pieces in their arsenal(figuratively and literally) to stay ahead of the competition- and more importantly, to stay alive. Also pets have become a thing of the past for the most part with any mammalian animal over about 40 pounds(eighteen kilograms) being able to go into spontaneous viral zombie amplification and turn into a zombie form of itself.

Enter our main characters- Georgia "George" and Shaun Mason. A sister and brother who are bloggers, along with their friend and fellow blogger- Georgette "Buffy" Meissonier, who get chosen from a pool of applicants, to cover the campaign trail of Presidential candidate Senator Peter Ryman.

What follows is a fantastic mix of zombies and politics and of course intrigue and conspiracies.

The first book, Feed, is fantastc- once I got past the first chapter I could not put it down.

The second book, Deadline, follows with less politics as the election is over and a hell of a lot more conspiracy, and intrigue. Faked deaths, mad scientists and breaking into government facilities before going into hiding.

The third book, Blackout, has the entire cast of characters in hiding for their lives against government departments. They are offline for most of the book- through necessity more than choice. The events of the previous two books culminate in a fantastic ending to the trilogy. I really am not going to say how it ends because it just wouldn't have the same impact if you knew before you read it.

There are also some ebook novellas to accompany the series which are more of what I would expect of a zombie story.

Fed is an alternate ending to the events of the first book, Feed. It is good but I won't tell you what happens because that would ruin the story. I will be honest, the events in the original ending, made me cry. Who ever heard of a book about zombies making someone cry?!


San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats follows the outbreak(rising) in the early weeks when it hits San Diego Comic Con. At this point people have heard reports of some outbreaks but as the news outlets are mostly denying it, very few really even have a clue what is going on. It follows primarily a group of Firefly fans who were setting up a booth before the outbreak occurs and they get locked into a convention centre with zombies. The book is told in the format of a blogger interviewing the only survivor of the events in 2014 and I guess almost could be considered flash backs in which she recalls what she remembers and knows.

Countdown is another one of the ebooks. I guess you could say it is the first chronologically speaking in events as they occur, and covers the start and outbreak. I haven't read this yet but it is next on the list.

The final book is How Green This Land, How Blue This Sea and is set in post-rising Australia and from what I can tell from the blurb for it, it follows conservationists and their battle to maintain the natural beauty of Australia until a cure to the zombie plague can be found. I also haven't read this one yet, but the thought of zombie kangaroos and koalas makes me want to read this as soon as possible!

One of the things I love about these books, apart from the story itself, is the brilliant coverart. It was a combination of the title as well as the image more commonly associated with RSS Feeds on the internet that actually made me pick up the first book. The rest of the books have covers that are equally as brilliant with the mixing of imagery that is well knows with grittiness that can be expected from a zombie story. I highly doubt I would have glanced twice at the first book if it didn't have the image of the blood and the grittiness it implied.

All in all, I highly recommend these books. Especially if you want a story that has all the zombie stuff but with a fantastic plot behind it.

~~Random Logic~~

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Books, Travel, Study and Planning a Move.

So I have been planning to update recently with some book reviews but I keep getting distracted by starting to read other good books- I highly recommend the Divergent books by Veronia Roth and the Newsflesh Trilogy by Mira Grant- so those posts will come when I hit a wall in the book reading. I have also been very busy on another note.

I started looking for jobs for when I finished being an au pair, and I was looking all over Europe, not just in Finland to find as many opportunities as possible. I ended up applying for a job in Rhodes, Greece, and I got it! So I will be moving to Greece as of the 29th of August... that gives me just under 3 weeks until I move.

I also travel to Ireland next week for a friends wedding! YAY! Weddings! YAY! Travel! I am there for a week and then when I come back, I think I will have two days here in Vaasa before I travel south and visit friends in Turku for a few days and then a day or so in Helsinki. I am tempted to try get in a day trip to Tallinn just for the hell of it before I leave as well. I love Tallinn and I don't know when I will get a chance to visit again. This also means that I have to do most of my packing for the move before I even go to Ireland, so that I just have to really worry about packing what I take to Ireland with me when I get back to Finland.

On top of all that planning, I have been doing the Archaeology MOOC that I talked about a few posts ago. The final exercise was due last week and the results were given this morning. I got full marks for everything! YAY! I'm happy with that because, apart from my language classes which have often been fairly informal in terms of any kind of homework, it is the first study I have really done on anything since high school. It was really fun and interesting too. I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in history. It is run through the Coursera website and is called Archaeology's Dirty Little Secrets. I will probably also post some more of the stuff I wrote for exercises here at some point. One of the other students had the idea to start a blog for the students to post to with different archaeological themed things and I am going to be a contributor to that as well.

So basically to sum up my life I have been busy. Things are going to get fun and exciting over the next few weeks. I am excited to go to Greece and sad to be leaving Finland. Also I have never been to Greece so I can't wait to see some of the historical sites. At least the history geek inside of me will have fun!

Well that's all for now folks! I will try to post something up between Ireland and Greece at the very least.

~~Random Logic~~