In the first chapter of Blackout, THIS IS SO SURREAL. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to start Blackout.
I mean, WHO THOUGHT WE’D EVER BE AT THIS POINT? Like, okay, clearly I have never read a series like this in my whole life. Narrator of first book dies at the end of said book, their brother takes over narration, and the original narrator takes over in the third book? WHAT THE FUCK.
And Mira Grant uses all this weirdness to her advantage to give us one hell of an opening for Blackout. Of course, my videos for this chapter are mostly me going, “HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE” for one important reason: How is any of this possible? How can Georgia be here, and how can she have memories of her own death? But I am quickly realizing that this is not the question I need to be asking. It’s now more important that I know why this has happened.
There are enough clues here to confirm that Georgia is being held at a CDC facility, and I’m pretty damn positive that it’s in Memphis as well. That would explain Dr. Wynne’s hellish reaction to Shaun and company, at least partially. He needed to get them out of the facility without discovering that Georgia was there. (It’s a theory. I want to either make myself more prepared than ever, or I’ll just inspire a wave of nunnery instead. Whatever, I think this is a good theory!) Even the end of this chapter, which features Georgia’s shocking revelation that she knows she is a clone, gives us some sort of closure. Okay, so that’s what this is. The CDC cloned Georgia.
BUT WHY? For all the surreal, unsettling things that we see and experience in this opening chapter, it’s the one question that remains as unanswered as it was in the very beginning. Clearly, the scientists working on her did not expect her to wake up and be cognizant this soon. They’re watching her for a reason, and they also have the need to guard her heavily. BUT. WHY. WHY. WHY.
To be fair, Georgia’s not in a state to start asking these questions, at least in the context of her experience. She wants to know where she is and what happened, but she hasn’t quite made it to a point where she can start discerning the ultimate goal of these people. This chapter is largely about sensory perception. What does Georgia see around her? How has her own physical body changed? How do the people around her behave in her presence? Grant goes to great lengths to assign meaning to all of these things because it’s all that Georgia has. She is a journalist, and you can see how natural it is for her to immediately shift right into that role. She observes. She collates details. She connects the dots. And when the time comes, she asks the right question. She clearly had already figured out that the inconsistencies in her own body must be due to cloning, so she picks the question that will put Dr. Thomas off-guard.
The blog post that ends this chapter is also brilliant because it gives us more insight into what’s happening with Shaun without any narration from him. It was neat to see that Dr. Abbey was in contact with Dr. Shoji, and I fully expect an awesome montage sequence with all the rogue doctors. I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE. Anyway, like the chapter proper, Dr. Abbey’s email really drives home the idea that Grant is going for a surreal atmosphere in Blackout. I am all for this book getting super weird, as long as I do get some answers behind what’s going on. Looks like I’ll have to wait a while for them, but I’m fine with that if the journey is going to be as fun as this first chapter makes it seem.
Mark Links Stuff
- I am going on tour in 2013! There are 27 tour dates spread across the eastern half of North America. Please help suggest venues, offer up a place to crash, and RSVP for dates near you!
- I have begun writing posts in advance to compensate for tour. All commissions are open, and I have listed all upcoming Mark Reads posts that are missing commissions.
- You can also commission me to read bad fic/fiction on ANY Mark Does Stuff Tour date. You can claim a specific date to have a live reading right here.