Deadline by Mira Grant
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I'd probably never have picked up this book. I was perfectly happy with how Feed ended and had no interest in a story being told by Shaun, instead of by George. Also, the mystery was so easy to solve in Feed that I didn't hold out great hope for the sequel being a lot better.
Then my co-worker showed up proffering Deadline with a pleased smile. What can I say? Reader, I read the whole thing.
I am quite surprised to report that I really like it. It bogged down in the middle but the beginning when they have to evacuate their place in Oakland and the end ... which is a rip-roaring roller-coaster ride of action and (thankfully) surprise answers ... were definitely worth the time spent. In fact the end was so action-packed that when I think back on it, I literally hear in my head the Aliens theme accompanying the story just as it would from the end of that adrenaline-filled movie. When a book gives me "theme music" I've gotta say that it had a powerful impact.
The book begins with a CDC researcher showing up on Shaun's doorstep, having faked her own death in order to bring vital information about the conspiracy they thought was ended in Feed. Namely - it's alive - and much worse than they thought. Interestingly, although there was one unexpected twist after another throughout the story, I still knew early on who the main villain was. The plot is much improved over Feed but Mira Grant's still got to figure out how to present viable villain candidates that aren't obvious throw-aways. Perhaps she didn't grow up reading Agatha Christie books as voraciously as I did.
Still, that's a small quibble. It was really a great read and I actually am eagerly anticipating the release of the next book.