Series: Newsflesh #0.5
Published by Orbit on August 1st 2011
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction, Zombies
The year is 2014, the year everything changed. We cured cancer. We cured the common cold. We died.
This is the story of how we rose.
When will you rise?
Countdown is a novella set in the world of Feed.
Word count: ~19,500
When I read it…
I listened to the audiobook between December 27th and January 1st 2017.
What I’d heard before I read it:
Absolutely nothing! I had an audible voucher with a little credit leftover, and I loved Mira Grant’s Newsflesh series so I picked up this novella about how it all began.
What worked for me:
- The science: I’ve said before, one of the reasons I so love Mira Grant is that her sci-fi doesn’t shy away from science. Grant’s zombies aren’t based on a vague virus we never find any details about, but a meticulously planned out one, which I love. Countdown is pretty much all about how the virus started, the background to the virus that reanimates the dead and the scientists involved in both it’s formation and the world’s response to it.
- The narration: Brian Bascle hasn’t overtaken Wil Wheaton, James Marsters or Luke Daniels as a favourite narrator, but I enjoyed his narration, and found him very easy to listen to.
- The length of the audiobook: I’m not really a short story/novella fan, but actually as an audiobook I have to say this length worked really well – while super-long audiobooks feel like great value, sometimes I get bored listening to the same thing for ages, whereas this was a <1 week read, and it was nice to mix things up.
Countdown is all about the background events leading up to Feed and of course you know going in where the story is going; it’s definitely not a drama-filled plot, but that didn’t really bother me. While there’s not a huge amount of characterisation, I liked the characters we met, and I certainly wouldn’t have minded a longer novella and the chance to see more of them! As a novella, Countdown is never going to become an absolute favourite of mine, but equally it did everything I wanted it to do very well and if you’re a Mira Grant fan – or you want to get into her awesome Newsflesh series – I’d definitely recommend it.