In the thirtieth chapter of Blackout, After the End Times decides how to execute their endgame. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Blackout.
This is just so complicated and difficult! I can honestly say that I have not the slightest clue how this is going to end. At this point, they can… what? What the hell? How do they get the information out to the world about what the CDC has done without hurting other people? How do they avoid a sinister organization that’s trying to murder them all? How the hell is this book going to be resolved? I imagine at some point that Rick and the President will have to get involved. Perhaps Shaun and Georgia can use their parents? OH GOD, HOW ARE THE MASONS GOING TO DEAL WITH THEIR DAUGHTER BEING ALIVE STILL? This book is going to break me, I swear.
Along the way, I’m just glad that Mira Grant has built such a rich and thoughtful world, that so many tiny and subtle turns for her characters are included for us to experience. Hell, most of the first half of this chapter relies solely on how much character building we’ve read concerning Shaun and Georgia. Of course, Grant acknowledges the surreal and disturbing differences since Feed. Shaun is no longer excited by chaos and action, but this is warped in another way that varies from his behavior in Deadline: Now he is terrified of losing Georgia. Again. And this clearly influences his behavior and his decisions. When else have we experienced a sequence where Shaun is full of anxiety just because he’s in a disinfection chamber? The separation anxiety he goes through is new, a behavioral reaction based solely on the fact that his sister is now back in his life.
And then there are lines like this:
“So it wasn’t for nothing.” Georgia shrugged, trying – and failing – to look nonchalant as she said, “It got you me.”
I was always going to be a haunted house. The only difference was that now my ghost wore flesh and held me when I needed her. Somehow, that made it better… but it didn’t stop the realization from hurting.
Stop. Stop doing this to my emotions.
Actually, don’t stop. I really do need an emotional base to my thrillers, my sci-fi, dystopian worlds, my fantasy tales, because without one, I don’t feel a need to connect at all. We talk about FEELS and MY HEART and I CAN’T a lot online, but I think that’s such a crucial element of the experience of fiction. I want a reason to care about these characters, even if that means I have to hurt in the process, too. I hurt a lot because of fiction. It hurts to know that Shaun is in such fear of losing Georgia all the time, that Georgia is now completely and utterly phobic of white hospital rooms, that After The End Times has to separate again.
On that note, I do acknowledge that it was bound to happen, and I’m not at all surprised that the two least-experienced team members are staying behind. Now that they’re all aware that whoever is behind this is targeting bloggers, why risk Mahir and Maggie’s lives any further? Why let them be taken out of the picture permanently, leaving them unable to tell the story of what happened? It’s not like Maggie can’t help from inside the Agora. She mentions that she’ll talk to her parents about the CDC, and I can hope that this will have some positive effect, you know? I’m not all that sure what Mahir is going to do, but at least he can do some work behind-the-scenes (and off the field) while staying with Maggie. Oh, and he can contact Alaric, who has been gloriously out of the loop this whole time.
So it appears that the remaining three team members – Georgia, Shaun, and Becks – will head out to find Dr. Abbey, who I am ECSTATIC to see again, to help them stay in hiding. But they can’t keep hiding! Eventually, they’ll have to confront this secretive cabal in someway, and even after writing all this, I don’t know how they’re going to do this. And now I have to worry about Maggie’s final request, too, that Georgia kill herself if she discovers that she is in any way slipping away from who she is. Oh god, can that not happen? Please?
Mark Links Stuff
– I have been nominated for a Hugo in the Fan Writer category! If you’d like more information or to direct friends/family to vote for me, I have a very informational post about what I do that you can pass along and link folks to!
– I have announced what the next books I am reading on Mark Reads will be, as well as updated y’all on the events, cons, tour dates, GOING TO EUROPE OH MY GOD, and general shenaniganry going on in my life. I have a similar post up on Mark Watches, detailing the next two shows I’m doing as well as the return of Double Features, and I finally explain what happened with my Vimeo account. Check these posts out!
– Mark Reads Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is now published and available for purchase! It’s available in ebook AND physical book format, and you can also get a discount for buying the ENTIRE SET of digital books: $25 for 7 BOOKS!!!
– Video commissions are open, and you can commission a Mark Reads/Watches video for just $25!