“Deadline” by Mira Grant (Orbit, 2011)


Warning: This review contains spoilers for Feed and Deadline.

On the first day of May of 2010, Mira Grant graced the world with the first book in the Newsflesh Trilogy, Feed . . . and it was good; it was very good.  And now, on the thirty-first day of May of 2011, the long wait is over and readers get to finally enjoy the sequel, Deadline.  Once again Grant has achieved the incredible with a long story of over six hundred pages that will have you wide eyed and mouth wateringly hooked from the very first to the very last.  Middle books in trilogies are often weak compared to the strong start and captivating end, but Deadline is a worthy next installment that is as good as Feed in many ways, making it feel more like a continuation of the same book.

Shaun Mason is in a very dark place.  In a world where every person wakes up with the fear of zombies in their minds, as well as the terror of somehow amplifying at any moment, Shaun doesn’t really care anymore.  When he had to shoot his sister and kill her before she fully amplified, it was definitely a turning point in his life.  And now he has very little to live for; his sister was everything to him, and had always joked about what she would do when he was dead, because he was the risk taker.  There was no scenario for when George was killed and Shaun was left all alone.  Though there is one little light in this dark, dark tunnel and that is that Shaun still talks to his sister . . . in his head.  She’s alive and well in his brain and he talks to her, has conversations with her, even argues with her.  Fortunately, anyone else who spends time with him knows that Shaun is now pretty much crazy and they all just deal with it.

But the world must go on and Shaun has a news organization to run, along with an experienced team, he makes the decisions when he has to and lets the talented people he has working for him do what they do best., while the former daredevil who used to fly in the face of danger for the chance to get some great zombie footage is no more.  And then a member from the CDC drops into their laps with an incredible story to tell.  A story that has everything to do with the Kellis-Amberlee virus, how it might have got started, and where the CDC is on the cure.  She’s also faked her own death and appears to be off the radar, and then a devastating outbreak coincidentally happens right where Shaun and his team are currently hanging out.  Some make it out, while others are incinerated, as outbreak protocols are followed.  This event awakens the spark and drive that has been missing in Shaun for some time.  Now he has something to go on, a clue that will lead him on the trail to finding out who had his sister killed and how this virus got “accidentally” released and destroyed the world.

Deadline continues right where Feed left off, and Grant manages to keep the pace and fear and excitement going throughout, supplying plenty of horror, scifi tech, and lots of fascinating medical and virus details that add further to the story.  She also addresses the harsh reality that she created in Feed, where no one is safe from becoming the walking dead, and lives will be lost no matter what.  Readers will find Deadline a worthy addition to this fantastic trilogy that is as good as anything created by the likes of Stephen King and Dean Koontz, with an ending that will leave them yearning for May of 2012 and the thrilling conclusion in Blackout.

CLICK HERE to purchase your copy from Bookshop Santa Cruz and help support BookBanter.

Originally written on May 30, 2011 ©Alex C. Telander.

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Feed    Apocalypse Scenario

The Mystery of the Fourteenth Colony

James Rollins’ next thriller, Devil Colony, isn’t due out until June 21st, and yet it brings up lots of questions on the founding of the United States and some of its shrouded history.  In this teaser video leading up to the release of the book, Rollins address some of this questions and talks a little about what readers will find in Devil Colony.

Readers impatiently waiting for the release can also be a little satisfied with an ebook short story, “Skeleton Key,” which Rollins has released for just ninety-nine cents featuring a fun story about his enigmatic character, Seichan traveling around the dark, dank catacombs of Paris which will be available tomorrow, May 31st for download.  You can also preorder it.

A written interview with James Rollins will be appearing on BookBanter on June 15th, along with a special giveaway of Devil Colony.

Upcoming Interviews on BookBanter: Mira Grant & James Rollins

While July 2011 looks to be a very big release month with Jim Butcher’s pushed-back and awaited (after the cliffhanger in Changes) Ghost Story and George R. R. Martin’s very very very long-awaited A Dance With Dragons, June also has a couple of big releases . . .

Mira Grant

June 1st

Mira Grant

Coming June 1st will be the second interview between BookBanter and Mira Grant, tying in with the release of the thrilling sequel to the bestselling Feed, with Deadline.  You can read my previous interview with Mira Grant here, along with my review for Feed, which continues to be the no. 1 most popular book review on BookBanter.

And to commemorate this special interview, I’ll be doing a new BookBanter Boon: I’ll be giving away a copy of Deadline!  My hopeful plan is to have Mira Grant sign it also.  The giveaway will begin on June 1st when the interview goes up and continue through June 14th at 11:59PM, and the following day a winner will be randomly drawn.  To buy Feed or preorder Deadline just click on the covers below.

Feed    Deadline


James Rollins

June 15th

James Rollins

And on June 15th the second interview with BookBanter and James Rollins will go up to tie in with the upcoming release of his next Sigma Force thriller, The Devil Colony, coming June 21st.  You can find the previous interview here, along with my review for his previous book, The Doomsday Key.  The interview will go up on the 15th and the review for The Devil Colony will go up June 21st with the release of the book.

AND to go with the interview, I’ll also be doing ANOTHER BookBanter Boon, with a giveaway of a copy of The Devil Colony.  It’ll start on the 15th and go until the 30th at 11:59 PM and then a winner will be randomly drawn the following day.

James Rollins has also released a short story on ebook (for just 99 cents) leading up to the release of The Devil Colony that is a great fun little adventure through the catacombs of Paris (my review for this will be up soon) and has ties to his upcoming book release.  You can buy the ebook and preorder the book by clicking on the covers below.

Devil Colony  Skeleton Key

So July is a big release month, but June is also one with some good releases, some great interviews, and some fun giveaways coming your way . . .

“Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti” by Genevieve Valentine and Kiri Moth (Prime Books, 2011)


The sub genre of “steam punk” is growing in popularity, giving zombies and vampires, and the concept of the end of the world a run for their money.  With a very favorable quote from Cherie Priest, author of the great bestselling steam punk novel “Boneshaker,” on the front cover; “Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti” from debut author Genevieve Valentine is a great starting point for anyone looking to get into this genre of zeppelins, steam, and cool outfits featuring oversized goggles; and an automatic must read for any fan of the genre.

The Circus Tresaulti is unique; think Cirque du Soleil on acid but with people of a mechanical nature; it is the show to end all shows.  These mechanical men and women – who have suffered accidents and falls throughout their careers and had their human body parts replaced with strong, metal ones – spin, flip, balance and seem to defy gravity on their trapezes, as they fly through the air like human birds.  But these mechanical performers are still people, with complex lives and varied histories – some filled with happiness and joy, other dark and filled with pain; this is their story.

“Mechanique” is a special story, told with and short and precise writing style that hooks you right in, along with short chapters that allow you to learn a lot about this war-torn world and its varied people fast.  Illustrations from Kiri Moth help to bring described images and scenes to life.  Genevieve Valentine takes the reader on a journey they won’t soon forget.

Originally written on May 21, 2011 ©Alex C. Telander.

CLICK HERE to purchase your copy from Bookshop Santa Cruz and help support BookBanter.

BookBanter Column #2: Doing What’s Right

BookBanter Column

The second issue of the BookBanter Column  is up on the San Francisco/Sacramento Book Review site.  It’s all about the doomed YA anthology that was to be called Wicked Pretty Things, but when the editor told the author of a particular story that she wasn’t going to publish it because of the gay characters, things went downhill from there.  And if this is the first you’re hearing about it, then you might just want to give this column a read . . .

“White Horse” Progress Report 21



REASON FOR STOPPING: Hit goal for the week


It’s been about a month since the last White Horse update, and it’s been at least two or three weeks since I added any writing to it.  I’d reached a good stopping point last time, at the end of the chapter, and knew where I was going to go next with the start of the next chapter, but there was something within me saying there was a piece missing; something needed to be added that would be its own individual chapter; something that had been set up a number of times earlier in the manuscript with hints and references with how the characters were behaving.  That’s why it took a couple of weeks, for my brain to figure out “oh, that’s what the next chapter needs to be, and then the planned successive chapter can happen in the right spot.”

At times this book feels a little like I’m charging along at certain points across the terrain that I know is there, and then everyone once in a while I’ll have to cross a bridge and will have to tiptoe carefully, as each successive plank of that bridge appears in front of me, guiding me along.  I suppose that can be said for just about any long project I’ve worked on.  But at the moment I’m near the end of that bridge and then it should be smooth sailing again on that familiar terrain until the next one.


P. S. This sucker’s definitely going over the 50k word mark!

Did you say half off?

I’m not one to advertise for deals and promotions . . . but at the same time I love books and reading, and I know there are many others out there who do too.  Some also enjoy listening to music and watching movies and TV shows.

Well, it just so happens Borders is running a big 50% off one item promotion from now through Sunday.  The other cool thing is that it’s not just in store, but online too.  Yep, you heard right, most things on the site at Borders.com are 50% off with the coupon.

All you have to do is go to the BOOKBANTER site, read the instructions on the ad, click on the ad and follow those instructions you just read and KABLAMO! half price off that book, DVD or CD you’re really been wanting.

Okay, we now return to our regularly scheduled programming.