Mark Reads ‘Blackout’: Chapter 32

In the thirty-second chapter of Blackout, IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING??? If you’re intrigued, then it’s time for Mark to read Blackout.

Chapter Thirty-Two

I love that there’s a moment where Becks vocalizes what really needs to be said: What the fuck are we going to do? When it comes to this book in particular, the characters have drifted from one moment to the next without any specific aim. It’s a way that Grant conveys the restless and chaotic nature of the world that these people now live in. The dead can come back to life not as a zombie, the CDC is actively murdering millions of people, and these people have barely a clue what to do. Even in terms of the narrative itself, we still just have this ambiguous, looming threat waiting for us at the end of the novel. It’s not like the confrontation with Tate or Dr. Wynne. As After the End Times continues to uncover another level to this massive conspiracy, their foes become more and more indeterminate. How do you take on a global secret organization?

This chapter doesn’t necessarily answer that, though there’s a lot of information here that I believe hints towards a possible future for these characters. Initially, Alaric (WHO I AM VERY HAPPY IS BACK IN THE STORY) and Becks provide the reader with a lot of exposition regarding the science behind Georgia. This particular line kind of destroyed me:

“What I’m pretty sure she doesn’t know is that she wasn’t even one of ten?”

I raised an eyebrow. “No?”

“Try more like one out of ten thousand, if you’re starting from the zygote level and then moving up to full-on vat-grown humans.”

I love science. I do! It was one of my absolute favorite subjects in high school. I love the sense of wonder and curiosity that comes with it, and I love many of the things the scientific process has made possible. But I’ve mentioned quite a few times in the pat that I don’t always feel comfortable putting faith in science because people are behind it, and human nature will always be susceptible to corruption and selfishness. Grant has done an incredible job giving us the full moral spectrum of the ramifications of science. In these last two books, we’ve seen how influence and power can intersect with scientific interest and give us a devastating result. Well, results, I should say. Jesus, we’ve got the KA testing, the mosquitoes, the murder of those with reservoir conditions, the constant stalking by the CDC, and a cloning system that very well could have cloned any number of previously-dead people. Like, I honestly don’t think the CDC cloned just Georgia. They had to have cloned another person, right?

Well… okay, maybe not, given that Georgia is worth thirty to forty million dollars by herself. Holy shit, that’s a lot of money.

LET’S TALK ABOUT HEADSHOTS. Lord, what a fucking horrifying world would result from what Becks realizes in this chapter. It perfectly upsets the entire universe as we know it. It’s not an entirely new idea, obviously, since we learned in Deadline that it was possible for those with reservoir conditions to possibly survive amplification. It’s a continuation on the idea that information can be dangerous. What would people do if they knew that a brain running on Kellis-Amberlee could possibly be resurrected with near perfection? Again, it’s important to these people that they not make the same mistake as they did in Feed. What information do they release, and how can they reveal the truth without harming others?

Hey, let’s get back to Mira Grant ruining our feelings:

I needed Georgia in my life. I chose the one who was sitting in the cabin, waiting for her Coke.

A far more saccharine and less cynical take on this situation would have had Shaun’s internal Georgia disappear the second the real one showed up, but what Shaun goes through here is probably far closer to reality than anything else. I’m thankful for that. Mental issues are not so black-and-white or simple that they just disappear in a second. Hell, I’m having the time of my life for the past couple years, and my depression gives absolutely no fucks about that. It doesn’t! I have a loving boyfriend, lots of really close friends, and everything in my pseudo-professional life is amazing. My depression always lingers because it’s not about happiness. Shaun is clearly happy to have some version of Georgia back, and that doesn’t erase his suffering and the manifestations of that, either.

Somehow, I’m not surprised that Alaric was the one person aside from Shaun who took the least amount of time to accept Georgia. I think that this is partially because he’s been through so much in the past couple years, and, as his blog entry at the end of chapter 31 stated, perhaps this wasn’t so impossible anyway. That doesn’t mean everything is instantly perfect between the group. Becks’s outburst when Shaun says that he’s “just here to hit stuff” is indicative of the fact that this whole situation can’t be simplistic anymore. It’ll always be a complicated disaster. Bringing Georgia back into the picture doesn’t heal everyone’s wounds! It doesn’t mean that Shaun gets to go back and act the fool because he can hide behind his sister. They’ll deal with this shit, I’m sure, but for now, they have to team up together for the final battle, so to speak.

God, I have no idea what that is yet. Perhaps Rick has a master plan? Or resources they can use? I DON’T KNOW WHERE THIS BOOK IS GOING AND THAT SCARES ME.

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!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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