“Feedback: A Newsflesh Novel” by Mira Grant (Orbit, 2016)


“And we’re back” says Mira Grant in her acknowledgments, as the bestselling author returns to her Newsflesh world after a trilogy and collection of novellas. Events essentially reset as we jump back in time to the beginning of Feed with the presidential race beginning in a world where zombies are at the forefront of everyone’s minds. While the main characters from the aforementioned book are joining the campaign of the Republican nominee, our new diverse group of characters find themselves being tapped to join one of the Democratic potential nominees and cover her run for president.

The story is told from the point of view of the Irwin Aislinn “Ash” North, who is Irish but now a recent citizen after having married Benjamin Ross for pure green card purposes and getting herself out of her native country for some very specific reasons. Then there is Audrey, the fictional, who is Ash’s girlfriend. Finally, there’s Mat, the requisite techie, who is gender-fluid.

Readers are no doubt excited to hear about a new Newsflesh novel, but hopes will be somewhat dashed when they learn it is a very similar story to Feed about a news team covering a presidential race with lots of zombie attacks thrown in for action. There are some new details and facts added about the world that open things up a little, but after the astounding ride around the world that was Rise: The Complete Newsflesh Collection, Feedback is pretty much a disappointment in most areas.

Originally written on October 31, 2016 ©Alex C. Telander.

“Rise: The Complete Newsflesh Collection” by Mira Grant (Orbit, 2016)

It’s been a few years since fans enjoyed the last Newsflesh novel, and in that time the dark and twisted Mira Grant has written a number of novellas for various anthologies, which fans may have missed along the way. Thankfully, the wonderful people at Orbit have helped collect all these separate stories together in this mighty and magnificent tome, Rise.

After a thankful introduction from the author, the collection begins with “Countdown,” originally published as a series of blog posts, that helps document the lead up to the rising. “San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats” is the incredible story of the rising at Comic Con when thousands of fans were trapped inside with some amplified zombies and what some did to survive, and what others did to help those outside survive a little longer. In “How Green This Land, How Blue This Sea” new head of After the End Times Mohinder travels to distant Australia which is different from the rest of the world in that the Aussies have always lived in a world where things were trying to kill them. The newsie travels to the Rabbit Proof Fence, a massive enclosure protecting the Australian people from amplified kangaroos and other marsupials that would love nothing more than to sink their teeth into some human flesh. “The Day the Dead Came to Show and Tell” tells an origin story for a known Newsflesh character and is one of the most moving stories in the collection, as one teacher fights to keep her first grade class of children alive.

Rise also features two brand-spanking new novellas the world has never seen before. “All the Pretty Horses” is the powerful story of Shaun and George’s parents, Stacy and Michael Mason; how they survived the rising and found a new lease in life and ultimately made the decision to adopt two very special children. “Coming to You Live” continues the events immediately after Blackout, giving fans some much needed answers and story.

This collection is a delight and shows the true breadth and complexity of the Newsflesh world. And to add the icing on this delicious bloody cake: there is a NEW Newsflesh novel coming out in the fall called Feedback.

Originally written on July 13, 2016 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Rise from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

“When Will Your Rise: Stories to End the World” by Mira Grant (Subterranean Press, 2012)

When Will You Rise?starstarstarstar

Mira Grant is the author of the popular and bestselling Newsflesh zombie trilogy consisting of Feed, Deadline, and Blackout.  The stories in When Will You Rise: Stories to End the World were originally published on Grant’s blog leading up to the release of Deadline in 2011, with a new story posted each day.  They are now collected in their entirety in When Will You Rise from Subterranean Press.

Anyone who has read the trilogy is familiar with the state of the world after the zombie uprising and how the main characters, Georgia and Shaun, lived through it and continued to survive.  Readers have had hints here and there and some explanation of the past and when the uprising began in the summer of 2014.  When Will You Rise tells those stories, of Shaun and Georgia’s parents, of the scientists working on a cure for the common cold, and those working on a cure for cancer and how the two ended up comingling in the atmosphere to turn everyone into ticking zombie time bombs: once you die you come back a zombie hungry for human flesh.

When Will You Rise is an excellent compendium to the trilogy, filling in gaps and histories that the original three books all but gloss over.  Fans of the series will not be disappointed, and for those wanting a small taste of what the series has to offer, to whet their appetite, When Will You Rise is a perfect start.

Originally written on September 25, 2012 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of When Will You Rise from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

“Blackout” by Mira Grant (Orbit, 2012)


The conclusion to the action-packed and riveting Newflesh trilogy, Blackout, does what Feed did in exploding out of the gate with great writing, strong characters, and a story you couldn’t stop reading; as well as what Deadline continued with in ratcheting up the tension and delving out shocking plot twists to keep readers demanding more.  The most important thing about this book is that it remains true to its characters in every way so that if the reader has been paying attention from the first line of the first book, they shouldn’t be too surprised, and yet it’s still satisfying and rewarding to see the events you hoped might happen on the page before you, as well as some great shockers you might not have seen coming.

Spoiler warning: if you haven’t read Feed or Deadline and you don’t want to get spoiled, you should stop reading now.

We last left George apparently somehow alive and well, living the life of a clone in a CDC lab.  She slowly puts things together as time passes, but for every answer there are fifty more questions.  Also is she really Georgia Mason?  She doesn’t have the reservoir condition anymore; she’s a lot thinner that George ever was; and her hair is annoyingly long and bleaching with every shower.  Then she finds out she might have an ally or two on the inside, but she isn’t sure if she can trust them.

Meanwhile, as Shaun continues to talk to Georgia in his head and act all kinds of crazy, he keeps the gang of After the End Times on the move.  After spending some time with Dr. Abbey in her secret lab, as she takes copious daily amounts of his virus-immune blood, he thinks about where the trail is leading next, where he can get more answers, and find out just what this whole conspiracy is all about.  It will involve possibly going on a rescue mission to Florida, which has been designated a zombie-ridden loss for the country; meeting with his parents who he hates, to ask for help; and tracking down the best I.D. counterfeiter in the business to start their new lives.

Mira Grant skillfully switches between the George and Shaun storylines with each chapter, making the characters appear as distinct and complex as they were in the first two books, as she slowly but seamlessly brings them together, building the tension and thrill.  The reader knows the step-siblings are going to meet up again at some point, but will Shaun be able keep his sanity or will he just be pushed over the edge?  Then there’s the question of which clone of Georgia Mason will be there to greet him?

Blackout is the perfect, satiating finish to the trilogy, making the three-book series feel like one long, epic story.  No reader will be disappointed, with a worthwhile ending that will leave him or her sad that the wonderful journey is now over . . . but just like when the end of Harry Potter was reached, or the final page of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, how many of us turned back to the first book and started reading that first page once again.  Having reread the first two books, this trilogy will be one I will continue to reread constantly throughout my lifetime.

Originally written on May 22, 2012 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Blackout from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

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Feed  Deadline

If You’re Going to Read One Zombie Novel This Year, Read “Feed”


In a little over a month, Feed by Mira Grant will be published at the very affordable price of $9.99.  Feed is the first in the Newsflesh trilogy penned by the October Daye series author, Seanan McGuire.  Why is she using a pseudonym?  Because Feed is such a departure from Rosemary and Rue and A Local Habitation that McGuire felt the need to publish it under a different name.

It is almost the middle of the twenty-first century and zombies have taken over a significant portion of the Unites States (presumably the rest of the world also); Alaska has been abandoned to them; people live in constant fear, not wanting to leave their homes, and it only takes a small amount of the Kellis-Amberlee to turn you.  Feed is told from the viewpoint of Georgia Mason (in this world, after everything went to hell, George and Georgia have become popular names, after a certain director), a professional blogger.  When the zombies rose, the media ridiculed the reports and stories as jokes and fakes, while the bloggers told the real story of what was happening.  Georgia is a strong female character who runs the blogging site, along with her brother Shaun and their necessary techie, nicknamed Buffy — a reference that only certain characters can barely remember.  The team is looking to make it big after getting to cover the presidential run of a governor who wants to make America a better place, more than a glowing hint of the shining beacon it once was.

McGuire delivers a stunning, deep, complex, and moving 600-pager that goes way beyond your average zombie novel.  If the rising dead and blood and gore were surgically removed from Feed, it would be a work of important fiction, with realistic, complicated characters that affect the reader on a number of levels.  But then Feed is made all the better with the zombies; and the technical details, the blogging terminology, and the important medical references that makes it a compelling novel you won’t want to put down.  Think Michael Crichton — at his best — meets the world of World War Z, but in a unique and realistic setting of the future filled with gadgets that we will see in out lifetimes, which only could’ve come from the mind of Seanan McGuire . . . or is that Mira Grant?

And Feed is available for preorder right now on Amazon, and this is a zombie book you’ll want to own, so that once you’ve read it, you can lend it to each of your friends.

02/10 On the Bookshelf . . .


Was delighted today to discover an advanced reader copy of Feed by Mira Grant in my mailbox.  Feed isn’t due out until April 27th, and seems to be a great first book in a trilogy about zombies.  What’s not to like?  And some of you may also recognize the little symbol on the cover as being that of an RSS Feed, which just makes it all the more interesting, in my opinion.

And for those of you who don’t know, Mira Grant is a pseudonym for Seanan McGuire, who is the author of the October Daye series.  McGuire felt the need to use a pseudonym for the Newsflesh Trilogy because it is so different from her voice and writing style with October Daye.  And for more info, be sure to check the fun interview I had with Seanan.