Second in the Newsflesh Trilogy horror suspense series revolving around a group of bloggers interested in truth. The After the End Times blogger headquarters is in Oakland, California.
This does not have a twist at the end. It has a nuclear bomb.
Well, Grant is right about Oakland…it may originally have been named for all the oaks in the area, but when I lived there, it was better known for its guns and crime stats. And Grant points out that this makes its residents much more capable of surviving the Rising of 2014. Grant provides quite a bit of detail to create this post-apocalyptic world of zombies and fear-ravaged humans, right down to the decontamination unit/shower combo. But what I really enjoy is the detail she provides on blogging—the behind-the-scenes detail on ratings, market share, and merchandising. Their ratings permeate every aspect of their lives…fascinating.
With all that’s going on and, supposedly, they’re still now-President Ryman’s bloggers, why aren’t they trying to contact him? Why is Grant avoiding the issue of not being able to get ahold of Rick? Why don’t they try to contact Kelly’s folks?
The totally changed attitude of people with this abrupt flip in how the world operates can be summed up with a statement Shaun makes about Bambi when he says that he and his sister were always amazed that people used to cry when Bambi’s mother died. Nowadays, George and he cheer when she doesn’t “reanimate and try to eat her son”.
I loved it! I just loved it when Becks and Shaun “invaded” the Portland CDC office and the receptionist tried to put them off! Snicker…oh, the power of the press… And they just keep diggin’ their own grave.
It’s a scary scenario. Oh, sure, zombies running amuck and all the blood tests and the decontamination process, and all are nasty. Then you add in the whole “Big Brother is watching” everything you do…and the power that people grant those “in power” to do whatever is necessary. It’s not surprising that human nature will take that and run. In every sense of the word.
After the End Times is just stuttering along, reporting news, coaxing Alaric towards his Class A journalism license when Dr. Kelly Connolly from Memphis CDC appears out of the blue with dangerous data and sets off the domino effect. Destruction and terror follows in their wake as they flee from one safehouse to another, gathering the news, poking those sticks, blogging the world about the information being suppressed, about the conspiracy around us all that is perpetuating the fear state.
Part of the problem is the billions of research dollars being shunted away from genuine Kellis-Amberlee research and into make-work research. Another part is the careful segregation of data and the removal of any scientist who questions.
Betrayals by those in power. The ones meant to protect us.
Georgia Mason died in Feed. But only physically. She’s stayed on as a voice in her brother Shaun’s head and it’s taken awhile for the staff to get used to his conversations with her. She’s always figured Shaun would die first with his need to be out in the field poking sticks at zombies. Neither of them expected her to go first. Their adoptive parents Michael and Stacy Mason only took them in as children as part of a ratings strategy. When Georgia dies, they actually sued Shaun for her notes!
After the End Times blog immediate staff includes Alaric Kwong, a Newsie whose parents completely support what he’s doing; Dave Novakowski has taken Buffy’s place on the computers and his family is proud enough to burst; Rebecca “Becks” Atherton has taken over for Shaun as the head Irwin—since George’s death, Shaun just doesn’t have the heart to go out into the field, but her parents are mortified for the plan had been for her to marry wealth and position not bullets and blood; Maggie Garcia is head of the Fictionals now that Buffy is gone and her parents throw money at her; and, Mahir Gowat is based in London and has taken over Georgia’s position as head of the Newsies. It’s not long before he turns into a refugee. Who knows how long before he becomes a wanted one.
Dr. Kelly Connolly, alias Barbara Tinney, is a researcher with the Memphis CDC under Dr. Joe Wynne…the guy who saved the Masons in Feed. She’s also the granddaughter of Dr. William Matras at the Atlanta CDC, the man who got around government censorship and informed the world of everything he knew about this new “Walking Plague”.
Dr. Shannon Abbey is a rogue scientist. She broke away from the CDC when they disapproved of her research. She also has an English mastiff infested with Kellis-Amberlee. And immune to it. Dr. Joseph Shoji is the director of the Kauai Institute of Virology and another refugee from the CDC.
I just love the covers for this series. They are so perfect with that raw, rough edge that comes from the concrete wall (a transparent teal blue) used for a background. The blood dripping. The graffiti that announces the title and forms the frequency wave. An essential frequency that gets the news out. Those CDC seals are almost a subtitle inasmuch as the CDC is an important part of this installment.
I think the title can be read two ways. It’s both the most extreme Deadline this group of bloggers has come up against yet as well as the dead line that this new variation on the disease has created.