Ahhh, what to say about this book. I should first start off by saying that I started off as a reluctant reader in this series. My best friend recommended them to me, so I wanted to read them, but here is a nasty habit of mine that tends to come up when I read books where I really, really want to know how it ends...I tend to spoil myself. And so I knew the ending of Feed before I had finished reading it. I almost didn't finish the book, or the series.I am so, so glad that I did. A lot of the small quibbles that I had in the first two books have been dealt with more in this book, I noticed. There's not as much of an emphasis on decontamination and disinfection - of course, that's in part due to the evolution of the characters, but if some of it is due to editing or Seanan herself realising it wasn't necessary, I'm grateful. ..It is really difficult for me to review this book without delving into spoilers! Which will come in a moment or so. Simply put, I think that any reader who enjoyed the first two books will enjoy this one. Yes, there are some aspects of the science that are more 'out there' than in the beginning, but I think the reaction to that will vary depending on the reader. After all, we are dealing with a world where there are flesh eating zombies. :P For me, that right there means I don't need the science to be 100%. And now we delve in to spoiler land. The first half of the book is spent building up to what I consider to be the emotional climax, and when it came, I wasn't disappointed. In fact, I may just have had a pretty damn big grin on my face, especially when Shaun and George kissed. Now, here's where one of the reasons why Feed only got four stars from me comes up - having reconsidered that first book and what we knew at the time, I do think that Mira Grant had a responsibility as an author to make us more aware of what was going on. I don't know whether she didn't consider it important to the narrative, or whether she held back because it was the first book in a series and she knew it might squick people out, but either way, I think we should have had more of an insight into the relationship from George's head. We spend an entire book in George's point of view, and not once do we get an indication that her love for Shaun is different than 'sisterly'? It doesn't sit quite right. That said, do I have a problem with the pairing in general, and does it affect my rating for Blackout? No. First, they're not blood related, and I think they grew up keenly aware of that. Second, they grew up with the Masons, and I think through Blackout we actually get more insight into just what it was like for the two of them. Through Shaun we see some vulnerabilities that we hadn't seen before - both on his side, and on George's. We know that in this world, people don't go outside, they don't talk to each other - Shaun and George do venture outside, as journalists, but that doesn't mean that they have much of a chance to get to know other people, or develop emotional attachments. We learn from Shaun that George loved the Masons desperately when they were children, and that explains just why the two of them have so much anger towards the Masons as adults. I can emphasise with the anger that comes at parents who fail to be what you need them to be. All they have is each other. And they know they're not related. They went through puberty together. (No, I don't think it's just based on sex.) Why does this surprise anyone? Are there elements that might be codependent and disturbing? Yeah. But I'm okay with that, because this is a fucked up, crazy world where people rise up from the dead and eat each other, and Shaun and George needed each other. Okay. Now. On to the minor quibbles that I had with the plot. I will admit that I found the actual climax of the plot to be a bit anti-climatic. I don't know what it was - the part at Monkey's house had my adrenaline going, and I was worried about the characters right through to the end. I cried when Becks died, and the description of her being nothing and everything in the red mist will stay with me. But the 'reveal', if you will, didn't quite have the emotional impact that I wanted it to. My opinion might change on a reread, I don't know. But my biggest disappointment is the ending. Because when I was reading the last p.o.v from Shaun or George, I didn't know that I was. The very last chapter made sense, but I regret the fact that there's nothing from the two of them, giving even a hint as to where they were going, what they were thinking. I suppose that's because in truth, all of this is supposed to be a story built from their blog posts, but...still. I know that they are happy and together and that's all that matters, but I was still desperate for one small crumb from the two of them. I'm sad it's over, but I loved it. Blackout is a book about power, corruption, control and family. It's about the choices people make in desperate circumstances. It's about rising up, and how a hero is just someone who tells the truth, and does the right thing when the right thing seems impossible.