Deadline - Mira Grant
gathering my thoughts, picking my jaw up off the floor. review to come.edited to add, 11/26/11:It's been a year since the End of Times team uncovered the roots of a conspiracy behind the Presidential campaign they were invited to cover and Shaun Mason has definitely not come to terms with the fallout. Withdrawn, hostile, prone to extended conversations in his head with his dead sister....yeah, he is NOT doing so well. Then circumstances force him and the team back to the desperate race to discover the subsequent redevelopment and maturation of the zombie virus and the CDC's massive cover up aimed at keeping the United States and the world in a state of terror and isolationism.After reading (and biting my nails) through Feed I was completely at a loss for how Deadline could possibly live up to providing a satisfying continuation of the story's beginnings. We've got a huge shift in POV, new characters and the inherent pitfalls of being the middle 'child' in a trilogy. Well I'm glad to say that Deadline lived up to my expectations and more. The characters continue to dance on the knife edge of hysteria and determination. Zombies pop up to ratchet up the tension and the bad guys almost seem to be a step ahead of our intrepid team. Shaun is hostile and numb, Becks wounded and lonely, Alaric brave and dogged, and we get a whole lot of Mahir whose bravery and calm won me over immediately. I won't go into the evil cliff hanger that ends this, but I will say that about 5 pages before the end I put my head in my hands and almost didn't go on when the sheer audacity of the revelation Mira was about to drop dawned on me. I had guessed right and after finishing the last chapter and reading the preview of Blackout at the end, started the countdown to June 2012. Yes, it was that amazing.