Mark Reads ‘Blackout’: Chapter 20

In the twentieth chapter of Blackout, After the End Times sets into motion what will certainly be a catastrophic and terrifying confrontation. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Blackout.

Chapter Twenty

No. NO, PLEASE DON’T LET THIS END BADLY.

  • I mean, I essentially started this chapter off begging for Alaric to get ahold of Mahir or Shaun. Like, please don’t let them go to the CDC without knowing that Georgia is there. PLEASE!
  • I really like Maggie, and it breaks my heart that she’s been forced into this experience. Truthfully, I’m surprised she lasted as long as she has, and I respect that. She’s given up so much comfort for her friends; she’s done more than she asked for; she’s done things that are totally opposed to who she is. I personally don’t think she’s a coward in the slightest, and I would be honored to have a friend like her. It just sucks that every chapter, I keep expecting that she’ll have to say goodbye to another friend, or she’ll end up a casualty herself.
  • It really is surreal that the life Shaun and his team have had to live these past few months has made it so that they have nothing to leave behind. Well, that’s not exactly true. They have a story, and it’s one I believe will outlast them. Granted, they’ve got to get that story out before that can happen, but you understand what I mean. Anyway, Shaun leaves behind an empty hotel room. That’s it. That’s all that remains of his life, and that sort of vacancy is haunting. It’s a testament to what these people have sacrificed so that they can do what they believe is right.
  • Yet another subtly incestuous scene: Georgia leading Shaun to bed. I know it’s not explicitly sexual at all, but Shaun’s relationship with his sister has been shown to be more than just the love for a sibling, so it’s not hard for me to read another subtext to this.
  • Y’all, I was just so excited that there was a call from Mahir. OH MY GOD, DID HE TALK TO ALARIC? Please? PLEASE!
  • GODDAMN IT, ALARIC ISN’T RETURNING ANY CALLS OR EMAILS. DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN. DON’T LET THEM GO TO THE CDC UNPREPARED. THE SHEER POTENTIAL FOR TRAGEDY IS TOO MUCH FOR ME TO HANDLE.
  • “You ready to blow this taco stand?” “Have you ever even seen a taco stand?” God, Mahir is the best, y’all. I love that he plays the straight man in this group, always commenting on the growing absurdity of After the End Times.
  • And bless Becks for that smile when Shaun says he’s disappointed that they can’t post any footage of them breaking into the CDC. It was like getting a glimpse of the joy she experienced as an Irwin, a joy that had long since disappeared.
  • “Rich people are weird.” AMEN, DUDE. But can we talk about this? It’s been fascinating to me that we’ve seen both ends of the spectrum concerning the post-Rising society who have chosen to live off-the-grid. We’ve seen the lo-fi version of this culture, and through Maggie, we’ve seen the high-end version of it, too. And I think it’s brilliant that Grant was able to develop this dichotomy over the course of Blackout.
  • And then we’re back to Mira Grant being unendingly creepy and unnerving. The parking garage alone gave me chills, and if she was going to start this suicide mission anywhere, well, that was the place. It’s unsettling in its silence, and it only gets worse. After successfully de-electrifying a portion of the fence and cutting through it, it’s clear that this book’s hellish bout of chaos is about to begin. It’s haunting to me that Shaun’s last bit of narration speaks of how the group kept waiting for sirens to go off, sirens that never did go off. Oh god, did something happen??? WHY DIDN’T THEY GO OFF?
  • But what I love most is that Grant calls back to Feed with that final blog entry. “Hey, George. Check this out,” Shaun writes. And it makes me both ecstatic and utterly horrified for what’s to come.

I am so not prepared, y’all.

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 lifeI 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!
– If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, I am doing a live reading/Mark Does Stuff event at Borderlands Books on April 21st at 5pm. Come on out! I’ll have copies of my latest book to purchase and sign.
– 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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