In the second chapter of Blackout, After the End Times adjusts to life in hiding. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Blackout.
Georgia and Shaun narration in the same book. My god, this is going to be so fun to read, y’all, especially if the two POVs alternate with one another. Right off the bat, though, I can see why this needs to happen. Grant is deliberately paralleling the seclusion of these two siblings. They are both separated, they are living in conditions that are less-than-desirable, and their exile from the rest of the world is due to this mysterious cabal who are most likely responsible for those goddamn zombie mosquitos. Certainly, there’s a heavy dose of tragic irony present here. Shaun’s narration in Deadline was heavily dependent on Georgia’s absence, and Grant was smart to continue that here. There would be no reason for Shaun to suddenly stop this. So his entire existence at this point is predicated on the fact that his sister is gone forever. Of course, we know that’s not precisely true. Thankfully, this entire dynamic doesn’t exist just to be tragic. Like I said, I feel like this is a way to tell us the story of their parallel lives and to show us how different the two of them are.
For now, though, Shaun doesn’t have much to look forward to in his life. That’s the key difference here; Georgia can still hope that her brother is alive. Shaun does not have this luxury. So he reverts back to who he was before Georgia was gone: the fearless Irwin. It’s fascinating to me that this is what he becomes in the wake of his immunity. In hindsight, it would have made sense for Shaun to become more reckless than ever after Georgia died, but he instead chose to keep to himself, to stop going out in the field, and to shut himself off to his colleagues. Perhaps Shaun really has moved on in some way, determined to live foolishly and dangerously because he can.
Regardless, I got the sense from chapter two that After the End Times haven’t had much to do at all in the weeks since they arrived at Dr. Abbey’s secret live. They’ve developed routines, one of which is bringing back live subjects for Dr. Abbey to experiment on. They yell at Shaun for being a fool with his life. They write. What else can they do? Especially when it comes to Shaun, they can’t exactly reveal where they are or be specific about what they’re doing. So they just have to wait.
That being said, there are a quite a few important developments mentioned in this chapter:
- It’s 100% confirmed that a new strain of mosquito brought live Kellis-Amberlee to North America and caused the Second Rising.
- Someone (ostensibly whoever is behind all this conspiratorial chaos) has been making After the End Times posts disappear off the Internet. I know how difficult that is, so this seemed particularly terrifying.
- Alaric’s sister is in a GOVERNMENT-SPONSORED REFUGEE CAMP, which means the government has refugee camps. That cannot be a good thing, as I don’t trust the government one bit at this point. Except Ryman and Rick. Oh god, what have they been up to? Anyway, there is talk of someone rescuing/extracting Alisa from the camp. Prediction: a portion of this book will be devoted to that.
- Becks is still awesome.
- Dr. Abbey is still awesome.
- Mahir is still easily irritated, and I adore him.
- The email at the end of the chapter confirms Georgia is indeed a clone. fuck.
I’m excited by the end of this chapter because I can tell Grant is not going to waste time in showing us where this story is headed. Dr. Abbey apparently knows what’s going on in Florida, and I’m assuming that will dictate the group’s next move. But it’s Mahir’s blog entry that gives me the most joy. He is clearly heartbroken and lost without Georgia, and I’m glad Grant gave his character the space to express this. I am eager for Shaun to find Georgia, but I am cautiously overjoyed at the thought that Mahir will get to see her again, too. We’ve seen how much his life and his characterization has changed since Feed, and I want him to have some happiness in this book.
I realize that I still have a billion chapters left, and Grant could kill off every character in the next chapter and narrate the rest of Blackout from the point of view of the virus. Still, I think that it would be too cruel to keep Georgia apart from her friends and family forever. It would be too much.
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.