Last month I read the second volume in Mira Grant's Newsflesh trilogy, Deadline.
Click here for the full set-up, but here is a snippet from when I read Feed (book 1):
Feed is set in a near future in which the cure for the common cold, mixed with the cure for cancer has caused a zombie problem. The world is full of zombies and they are not nice. Another speculative feature of this world is that when the dead started rising, the traditional news outlets ignored the story, but not bloggers. Bloggers saved the day by working together to figure out what was going on and pass on information on how to properly kill a zombie and protect yourself.So in book 1, the bloggers led by Georgia and Sean (siblings) are the official reporters for the Presidential campaign. While working they are caught up in a conspiracy that led to Georgia's death. (Again click here for details). Deadline picks up a year later with Sean now running one of the biggest news organizations in the world.
Sean is not taking Georgia's death well; in fact she still talks to him inside his head and he answers her out loud. He spends most of his time trying to find out who was really responsible for his sister's death. In the process he (with the help of his team) uncovers another BIGGER conspiracy which may get to the heart of the virus which has changed the world.
As I have said before, despite the zombie backdrop, these are NOT horror books. The Newslfesh series is pure thriller. This book reads like you are riding a roller coaster. There are build ups to a very fast paced action sequence, then things quiet down before again returning to a slow build up to more fast paced action, etc... This happens over and over; there were too many little bursts of intense action for me to count. Without the world building that was necessary in Feed, Deadline is all about the action and uncovering the conspiracy.
If you are only picking this book up because it has zombies, you may be disappointed. The goal here is not to scare the reader. The appeal is all about the rush. This is not a judgmental comment because personally, I loved reading Deadline. It was a non-stop fun thrill ride. I was worried I wouldn't like Sean as much as Georgia, but he was great.
Another appeal here is the post-apocalyptic setting. I know for me that is a huge plus in any book, no matter the genre.
One final word of warning with Deadline. Make sure when you finish the book that you read the included first chapter of the next book. Without reading it you will not fully understand the ending of Deadline.
Three Words That Describe This Book: conspiracy, post-apocalyptic, thrilling
Where This Book Took Me (Summer Reading Feature): post-apocalyptic America
Readalikes: Here is a link to the readalikes I mentioned previously. I do want to highly suggest the Joe Ledger supernatural thriller series by Jonathan Maberry again for fans of Grant's series.
If you like the intense, cinematic action and uncovering of conspiracies and don't need the supernatural elements, you should also try Dan Brown.
Other authors with similar pacing and tone are Kelly Link, John Farris, and Koji Suzuki.
Of course if it is simply great zombie action you are after go read The Walking Dead graphic novels by Robert Kirkman or the short story collection The Living Dead.