Mark Reads ‘Deadline’: Chapter 23

In the twenty-third chapter of Deadline, a surprise appearance helps Shaun cope with recent events. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Deadline.

Chapter Twenty-Three

Note: Just in case you’re not up for reading/hearing them today, there is a discussion about sanity and the use of the word “crazy” a few times in this review and the videos.

Well, this chapter was a surprise, but not because something horrible and life-ruining happened. I honestly did not expect a break after the reveal at the end of the last chapter. In hindsight, though, this makes sense. What were these people supposed to do? The Second Rising is happening live on television, they’re stuck in Maggie’s home, and they have no Internet connection. Mahir can’t get through to his wife, Alaric has to assume his whole family is dead, Maggie is probably assuming the worst, and… jesus, y’all. What do these people do???

You get on the Internet, that’s what.

The framing device for this chapter isn’t terribly exciting, I admit that. Going to get Buffy’s amazing Internet boosting device was nerve-wracking mostly because I’m constantly in fear of any little thing going wrong and raining down hell on everyone else. Grant uses this to re-introduce us to something we haven’t seen in a while: a hallucination of Georgia.

I actually forgot that this had happened to Shaun outside of Dr. Abbey’s lab. (Where is that wonderfully fabulous doctor, anyway?) When she appeared next to Shaun, it was treated so nonchalantly that I thought I missed a paragraph or two. But her sudden appearance as a physical hallucination instead of just a voice comes at yet another critical moment in Shaun’s life. The last time she showed up, Shaun had just learned that there was a chance his sister could have survived the live form of Kellis-Amberlee. It was a terrible, traumatic moment for him.

Now the world is ending, and this has swept the rug out from under him once more. Is his life going to simply turn into survival? What about his pursuit of the truth? Will it be pointless because it was upstaged by a global catastrophe? Has he lost friends and loved ones for absolutely nothing? I’m beginning to think that this is what the title of this book is referencing. None of them knew it, but the clock was counting down the whole time. They missed this metaphorical deadline, and now it’s time for their world to end. Of course, I could be 100% wrong here. There are 75 pages left in this book, and I am frightened by what is within them.

I didn’t have much to say about the plot here, since it’s so minimal, so I wanted to end this rather brief review talking about Georgia. As I said in the video below (the second one, I believe), it was never a big ~mystery~ to me why Georgia spoke to Shaun. I assumed it was a coping mechanism and nothing more, and the text pretty much confirms that in this chapter. What I love about what Mira Grant does here is that she refuses to demonize Shaun for this. She refuses to do what so many other authors might do, which is to brand Shaun as “crazy” and then write him off. Because it’s on my mind, this chapter reminded me of Dumbledore’s last line in “King’s Cross.” Just because this is all happening inside Shaun’s head, why does that mean it isn’t real or isn’t important? Grant validates the hallucinations and the voice by showing us how it helps keep Shaun happy. And maybe that’s not a kind of life-fulfilling happiness, I can admit that. But repeatedly, Georgia has come to Shaun in moments of crisis and trauma, she has comforted him, and she has helped him figure out what to do next.

Their scene at the end of the chapter is loving and tender, and I give not one shit if it is not “real.” I don’t care that Shaun is manifesting it with his mind. It still matters, and the love these two siblings had for one another cannot be severed by death. It still lives on. And as someone who has quite a few fucked up mental problems myself, it is quite empowering and validating to know an author will do this with her characters. It makes me feel quite all right about the messed up shit in my own head.

Thanks, Mira Grant.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Mark Links Stuff

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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