Book Three in the Newsflesh trilogy, while a terrific read that ticks many of the boxes, didn’t leave me as impressed or as satisfied as the first two in the series. The plot is strong, the characters very good and their motivations mostly sound and plausible. Whereas Deadline was very much a quest cum road trip, Blackout uses many of the same tropes and subsequent ideas but, whereas they came across as original and compelling in the second book, in Blackout, you have a feeling of situations and outcomes repeating themselves. This also happens with manyexplanations. For example, the number of times Shaun has to justify the fact he is or is not going mad regarding Georgia is far too many. We get it. Likewise, with the explanations regarding the impact the virus had on Georgia’s eyesight and the differences between one way of imagining her and another. There was barely a description or reference to eyes that didn’t go over familiar ground and it became irritating and redundant and in the end infected the pace of the story.
In terms of story, however, the plot is good and the science and cunning of desperate men and women well-handled. Still searching for answers to Georgia’s death and the whole infection, Shaun and his crew stumble upon secrets, lies and possible truths including the greatest one of all, one that will test their credibility beyond limits. Fortunately, it didn’t test the reader and we accept the “truth” of this grave new world and the horrors contained within.
Like other books in this genre, the Newsflesh trilogy and Blackout in particular reveal that the monsters we live with are not necessarily those who manifest as such: that, in fact, the monstrous is within us all and it’s often down to the choices we make whether or not this aspect of our selves is given reign.
Overall, a good conclusion to a great series.