In the third chapter of Blackout, Georgia adjusts to the terrifying reality before her. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Blackout.
Oh god, y’all, I am so into the direction that this is heading. Grant has taken something that could have been easily awful in the hands of someone else, and she’s made it this empowering look at identity and family. It is incredibly risky to bring back a main character as a clone, and it’s even riskier to do this and make them the narrator. But I didn’t find myself questioning Grant’s choice to do this in this series.
Admittedly, things do start off kind of weird! Like, Georgia is aware that she is a clone, and how does that work. I started thinking about it, and it felt like one of those endless loop logic problems that would give me headaches. It’s through this that Grant begins to analyze what Georgia’s identity actually is. Physically, we see how Georgia has changed, and there are multiple instances in this chapter where Georgia herself still hasn’t adjusted to those differences. (Her grimacing and jumping when the lights are turned on suddenly is a great example of that.) But that is it. For all intents and purposes, this is Georgia Mason. Her narrative style is the same. The way she thinks is the same. She has the same brain, which, for the record, I ABSOLUTELY DO NOT UNDERSTAND. Wouldn’t a clone have a new brain with new memories? HOW IS IT POSSIBLE THAT GEORGIA IS COMPLETELY THERE?
The surreality continues when Dr. Thomas begins to finally answer some of Georgia’s questions. It’s clear that he never thought of Georgia as anything more than a test subject, which is the first of about a billion things that unnerved me in this chapter. But that’s not the case for Georgia. Repeatedly, she asserts her identity, even if it’s just for the sake of feeling alive, and my god, it’s such a powerful thing to read. That manifests in her anger, in her brilliant mind, and in her determination. Like, there’s no mistaking it. This is Georgia, and Grant isn’t going to bother (at the moment) with dramatics surrounding who this is narrating for us.
And then things get weirder, particularly when Georgia starts asking Dr. Thomas about Shaun:
“Miss Mason, I can’t give you the answers you’re asking me for. But I am truly and sincerely sorry for your loss.”
This line hit me hard at first, but it almost immediately washed away. Wait… what? There was no way Dr. Thomas was telling the truth. I mean, Shaun just narrated! Okay, I jest, but this didn’t make any sense at all. Still, I admit that Georgia’s momentary breakdown over this really kind of fucked me up. For a moment, both Mason siblings truly believed the other one was dead. How is that for messed up? Oh god, if this book starts that way, how much more worse is going to get?
I’m guessing a lot worse, given what else Grant covers in this chapter. Namely, Georgia puts the pieces together and realizes Dr. Thomas has to be lying to her. (Oh god, can I point this out? At this point, one Mason sibling has no hope that the other is alive while the other truly believes their sibling is alive and well. h e l p) Can we talk about the incredible line that addresses this?
Why wouldn’t he tell me Shaun was dead?
Because he didn’t have any proof. The old Internet rallying cry: pics or it didn’t happen.
God, IT’S SO WONDERFUL. It made me laugh out loud, and it’s brilliant. Georgia is right, damn it! And as she runs through the reasons why the CDC would do this to her, it’s clear that Grant is introducing the main conflict that Georgia is going to deal with over the course of this novel. Georgia was cloned specifically to be used against her brother. We know why they want to do this, but that’s yet another mystery for Georgia to solve. I wasn’t surprised that Georgia was able to figure this out. I mean, she knows Shaun better than anybody, and she knows he is a troublemaker. I suppose that, more than anything, it’s just exciting to think about what Georgia will be willing to do to get back to Shaun. Plus, how long will Shaun go before finding out that Georgia is alive? Will he find out before he sees her?
That’s for another time. See, if Grant had just ended the chapter after Georgia’s epiphany about her purpose, I would have still enjoyed this a great deal. However, she introduces us to Gregory and promptly pulls the rug out from underneath us with one simple sentence: YOU ARE NOT SAFE HERE. It was goddamn chilling to read this because it highlights the severity of Georgia’s entire existence. She is not only a pawn bred (after she died) by a bunch of creepy scientists in a lab. Whatever the CDC is doing here at this facility, it’s bad enough that the Epidemic Intelligence Service has planted a mole within the CDC to rescue Georgia. Well, Georgia has her doubts, and ultimately, she wants to get out and be on her own, but what the fuck is going on??? How many clones has the CDC made? Just how big is this conspiracy? It keeps getting so much more massive, y’all.
Jesus, this is messed up. As is Maggie’s blog entry at the end of this. Oh my god, what did they decide to do???
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.