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Bloody Shambles

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Pale Fire: A Poem in Four Cantos by John Shade
Vladimir Nabokov, Brian Boyd
Pale Fire
Vladimir Nabokov
Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground New Edition
Michael Moynihan, Didrik Søderlind
Under Stones
Bob Franklin
The Erotic Potential of My Wife
David Foenkinos, Yasmine Gaspard
A Corner of White
Jaclyn Moriarty
Winter's Bone
Daniel Woodrell
Progress: 99 %
Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders
Neil Gaiman
The Beetle
Richard Marsh
Wreck This Journal
Keri Smith
Blackout  - Mira Grant I do love the Newsflesh books. The backdrop is a really fascinating pandemic scenario, set after the world has had chance to get over the initial apocalyptic outbreak and make the first attempts to re-establish itself. Life goes on, but so do the zombies. People live alongside the zombies, but they do it in a constant state of fear and paranoia. There's a strong focus on the role of new media and tech which, like the virus backstory itself, is based on solid, credible science. Grant (aka Seanan McGuire) is a really clean, sharp writer which helps, and the dialogue is witty too. What's more, it's the only series in a long-time that has had me fangirling all over the internet in breathless anticipation of the next release. It is well worth reading the whole series (3 novels, two e-novellas) for these factors alone.Sadly, this book still isn't as good as the first in the series, Feed, and it does have a few niggling flaws...which necessitate the use of frequent spoilers and foul language to explain...The ending was a little too neat, convenient and customer-friendly. This only further reinforces the impression I got from the spectacularly disrespectful way the second book (Deadline) ended: Mira Grant is out to be commercially successful. And she will fuck with me to do it. I think we all expected that somebody would die in this book, this being the big finale. I was steeling myself for it to be Shaun or George again, or at least one of the best-loved characters. Instead, Grant took the easy way out by making Becks as antagonistic and unlikeable as possible throughout the book, and then killing her off. In short, she pussied out and that sucks. Joss Whedon would've killed somebody more important. This book took the cheesier, more sloganistic and commercial aspects of the first two and ramped them up to eleven. Yeah, yeah. We get it: Rise up, all we have is the truth, Shaun says "fuck" and punches stuff [insert flippant zombie one-liner here]..... blah blah blah. Don't get me wrong - these elements have worked well for the books, but at some point they started feeling calculated and stale. Grant even references how unlikely it is that her previous two villains decided to gloat publicly about their evil scheme..... just before she does it a third time. Which brings me back to my earlier point: Mira Grant is out to be commercially successful. And she will fuck with me to do it. The plot got just a little bit too clever, to the point where I am now no longer convinced that it actually made logical sense. There are only so many times a plot can twist in on itself before it becomes an irredeemable mess, and I think she may have reached that point in this book. Still, this was not a blatant attempt to fuck with me, so I will let it go. As for the big shocking reveal....... was anyone really caught unawares by this? Did anyone read the first book and NOT think, That brother and sister are just a little TOO close..? It was nice to have that finally out in the open though. And to be fair, Mira Grant took a commercial risk in going with that idea, so bravo to her for not dropping it and slinking away quietly. Thank you, Mira Grant, for not fucking with me in this instance!As sad as I am that the series is over, I do think it's best that it didn't carry on any further. I really couldn't take being fucked with again.[edit] I forgot to mention earlier, if any other American writers out there are considering using the phrase, "for the nonce" (Ch.34), you should be aware that in the UK and certain other English-speaking countries, the word "nonce" means "paedophile". You're welcome.