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Fortysomething, photographer slacker, working in IT, living in Greenwich; failed polymath; drinks and eats too much, reads too little...

San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats (Newsflesh Trilogy, #0.6)

San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats (Newsflesh Trilogy, #0.6) - Mira Grant Another short story from the Mira Grant Newsflesh series. This one, also set during the year of the Rising: 2014. Instead of concerning itself with the virus or any of the larger story of the Masons, this one tells the story of one of the early outbreaks - The San Diego Comic Con of 2014, the last ever Comic Con.

You would think this would be a perfect story for a series that has, so far, been far more about bloggers and nerds than zombies. Unfortunately, what starts out as an absolutely brilliant idea, fails to deliver for me. I have no complaints about the idea, the characters, the story or the ending. The one thing that spoilt the story for me was the the flashback point-of-view combined with the omniscient narrator. I can see what Grant was trying to do, but I've never really been a fan of stories where the flashback is such an obviously present device. Each section of the story is interspersed with our alleged narrator, Mahir Gowda (yes the same one from the Newsflesh series), interviewing a survivor of the Comic Con outbreak, Lorelei Tuff. Except she's not really a survivor, she only survived because she went back to the hotel with a headache. So the only real details she can provide are from before she left, the two phone conversations she had with her parents and the video footage that was recorded on her parent's friend's iPad. Yet strangely, Mahir is able to piece together parts of the story that he couldn't possibly know - the blind woman locked in the control room; the conversations between Elle and her group of friends; the thoughts and feelings of all sorts of other characters.

The story would have worked a lot better for me if Grant had dropped Mahir completely and told the entire story in a straightforward third-person, or multiple first-person point-of-view narrative.