Mark Reads ‘Deadline’: Chapter 24

In the twenty-fourth chapter of Deadline, Shaun has an epiphany about the Second Rising. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Deadline.

Chapter Twenty-Four

Fuck. FUCK!!!

Look, okay, so this might be a really weird topic to bring up, but can we talk about why I like chapters? Like, have you ever stopped and sat down and thought about them? I can’t remember who said it, but some famous author once said something to the effect of not ever needing to write chapters unless you’re writing for children. BULL. I think with Newsflesh and Harry Potter in particular, we’ve all seen how splitting up a narrative in this form can be EXTREMELY FUN. It’s almost like we’re forcing the novel into a serial in that sense.

But I also think there’s a beauty in constructing a great chapter, as if you’ve stuck an entire story into twenty pages, and that exists inside another story. It’s been a treat to experience Newsflesh this way. As agonizing as it’s been to have to wait at times to find out what’s going to happen next when I could just read the book like a normal adult, I wouldn’t have it any other way. That’s not to say that books without traditional chapters are any better or worse for it. I’m just enjoying the fact that a story can be split up this way, and I admit that I never would have even thought about this without Mark Reads.

Anyway, this brief chapter has a few key emotional moments, and then goes out with a bang. Which we’ll get to, I promise! I enjoyed that chapter twenty-four opened with Shaun’s acknowledgment of why Georgia had gone away. Her hallucinatory presence was welcomed for entirely selfish reasons on my part: I miss her. A lot. Like I’d almost give anything to have her back at this point, but that’s sort of the point of Shaun’s journey. He’s got to deal without her being in his life, and hell, I have to accept she is gone, too.

We’re very clearly nearing the end of this book, and that makes me disgustingly nervous. How is this all going to be resolved? Is it going to be resolved at all, or will I have to suffer until I start Blackout? Ugh, I don’t know! The thing about Deadline that throws me is that there is no one thing that needs to be dealt with. Well, there was, and now we’ve got the mess of chaos and terror that the end of this book has given me. If we were only dealing with the CDC conspiracy drama, I might be able to theorize about the end. But now we’ve got the Second Rising on our hands, and that whole CDC plot just got dwarfed by it. That’s genuinely surprising! I thought we’d have dealt with more of it by now, but that’s just a sign of how unprepared I truly was for Deadline.

Instead, I now have to deal with a world where bloggers are being arrested for simply being in hazard zones and saying anything, which is IMMENSELY FUCKED UP. I understand that the government doesn’t want bad information spreading, but this is overkill. Just after this, Alaric emotionally confesses that his entire family except for his little sister Alisa has died. She’s holed up in the attic, alone. And this is the point where pieces begin to fall into place, and Grant reveals just how fucked up this fictional world is. Shaun puts two and two together. With this information and Mahir’s bit about how the Rising has spread with the footprint of Tropical Storm Fiona, Shaun knows that this is an impossibility. How can an outbreak be confined only to a storm? Why isn’t it breaking containment? I understood that this meant that Kellis-Amberlee wasn’t airborne, as it would have spread on its own.

So, then we find out that only one person in the Kwong household actually went outside. So… is it spread in the water of the storm? How? How? This wasn’t coming together for me. Despite that, I knew exactly who Shaun was going to email because WHO ELSE WOULD HE CONTACT? Oh god, I love Dr. Abbey so much, and YES YES YES. BRING HER BACK INTO THE NARRATIVE.

Dr. Abbey, is it possible for Kellis-Amberlee to be spread via an insect vector?

I can’t. HOW? HOW IS THIS SUDDENLY POSSIBLE? I didn’t even need Dr. Abbey’s reply to know that Shaun’s theory was correct. I also didn’t need any info to guess that the CDC and their conspiratorial cabal was behind this. I refuse to believe anything else! What if Dr. Wynne’s threats in his lab were a bluff? And now, they have the perfect distraction to act as a cover? LOOK, IT’S NOT OUT OF THE REALM OF POSSIBILITY, right?

All this being said, 100% fucking unprepared, y’all.

You have twenty-four hours before I move again. I will not transmit directions a second time.

Good luck. You assholes are going to need it.


“Well, we can’t stay here, and we can’t go home.” I stood, slipping the thumb drive into my pocket. “I suggest it’s time we head off to see the Wizard. The wonderful Wizard of Jesus We Are All So Fucked.”


My god, okay, my own excitement aside, look how fucked up this is. Mosquitoes are allegedly spreading Kellis-Amberlee, it’s only a matter of time before these people suffer another attack, and they’ve got a day to get to Dr. Abbey, their last hope for… what? What do they do after this? I don’t have the slightest clue, and it worries me what these last three chapters hold for me. God, WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN?

Mark Links Stuff

 I am going on tour in 2013! Please help suggest venues, or offer up a place to crash.
– You can follow me on Twitter for any updates and live commentary on upcoming reviews I’m writing.
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- The glorious Mark Watches Doctor Who: Series 4 ebook is now out and available for only $3.99!
- Both Mark Reads Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince are now available in paperback form!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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