In the twenty-fifth chapter of Blackout, I can’t believe this is happening. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Blackout.
This truly is a surreal experience, one I’m having difficulty wrapping my mind around. Just the fact that these characters are talking to Georgia is a mindfuck in and of itself, and now we’ve still got like 260 pages left. THERE’S SO MUCH MORE OF THIS BOOK. Oh my god, where can this go? What’s next? I DON’T KNOW, AND THIS TERRIFIES ME.
There’s so much emotional baggage for these characters to deal with, and chapter twenty-five largely introduces the interpersonal drama that Georgia’s return has brought. That’s initially addressed when Becks furiously turns on Georgia, demanding to know who she is. It’s easy to notice how every character refers to Georgia with impersonal terms and pronouns at first. She’s “lady” or “miss,” and it’s an intentional thing. Once Shaun comes to fully accept the fact that everyone can see his sister beside him, he, too, begins to question her existence. I think Grant does a fine job in conveying emotional realism here. These people would not be ecstatic to see Georgia! They live in a world where resurrection only happens as the living dead. Georgia can’t be there in front of them, so this person must be a trap. And that’s an important distinction as well because it’s exactly what these characters would expect. Look at all the awful things the CDC and this hidden cabal have done to After The End Times. Buffy is dead, Dave is dead, Georgia is supposed to be dead, and they’re all forced to live off the grid to avoid being murdered by some shadowy syndicate of scientists and millionaires. (Oh gosh, I just realized how The X-Files this seems, and NOW I LOVE IT EVEN MORE.)
So as awkward as this all is, I get it. I mean, granted, I just want everyone to hug and raise a bunch of puppies together, but these people have to deal with this, you know? They spent so much time re-adjusting their lives to a world where Georgia doesn’t exist anymore, so I expected them to freak out. It’s why Becks refers to Georgia as a “stunt,” because what else can she call this? As Georgia desperately tries to get these people to believe her, it’s apparent that she’s only making it worse. For real:
“I’m the show model, to prove that they can make a realistic copy of a person. I wasn’t supposed to get out. The clone they were planning to send you was surgically altered to look like she had retinal KA.”
We know this is the truth, but can you imagine how this sounds to Becks, Mahir, and Shaun? Ultimately, reciting off these facts isn’t going to help. People would have access to Georgia’s files or her history, so at what point can you actually do something that would prove an identity? That’s really what this comes down to, especially when Shaun himself starts openly disbelieving Georgia. I expect him to express a casual sense of doubt, so I knew shit was really real when he began to angrily interrogate Georgia. Turns out, though, that there was one thing that Georgia could do or say to convince Shaun:
“You have no idea how much I’ve missed you,” I said, and leaned in and kissed him. His hands tightened on my shoulders, his whole body stiffening against mine as he realized what I was doing.
And then he started kissing me back.
Well, there’s no denying this anymore. Grant handles this both tenderly and seriously, using Georgia’s narration to acknowledge the whole host of problems that Shaun and Georgia would face for being in love as non-related siblings, while also creating one hell of an emotional scene. That physicality – the one thing the two of them never wrote down – is what brings Shaun back to reality. It’s important because Shaun has spent the time since his sister’s death imagining her, hallucinating her, wishing so desperately that she was real, and it’s through physical affection like this scene that he is able to believe her. And that’s pretty damn incredible and consistent with what we’ve seen from these characters.
The same can be said of Becks and Mahir. Mahir is distant but engaged, fascinated and perplexed by what’s happening. Becks is detached in a way, too, but she’s most likely dealing with a host of confusing emotions herself. I realized after I finished this chapter that Becks probably has a nightmare of a situation to deal with, considering that she’s attracted to Shaun and then this happens. And while I’m certainly looking forward to how Mira Grant is going to deal with Georgia’s return to the world of After the End Times, I just want to appreciate how incredible this chapter is. It ends with Georgia in Shaun’s arms, and she’s real. She is a real person, this isn’t a trick, and Shaun and Georgia are back together.
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!!!
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