Book Review: How Green This Land, How Blue This Sea by Mira Grant
The Newsflesh Trilogy is one of my all-time favorite series combining zombies, blogging, political intrigue, and characters who I love running through a post-zombie world that has adapted to the zombie dangers. Mira Grant has written a handful of novellas in the Newsflesh world, and I've been parsing them out. Trying to make them last. Savoring their goodness.
When I changed my status to reading this particular novella, I noticed that Goodreads had a new Newsflesh book listed. Rewind (Newsflesh, #4). Scheduled for a 2016 publication. Crossing my fingers this news is real and scheduled for a January release. I still have two more novellas that I can read ( or will tide me over) until the next installment.
And this particular story? Fantastic because Grant focuses on Mahir Gowda, the head of After The End Times blog once the original creators from the trilogy move on. Within the timeline, this novella takes place some time after Blackout. If you have not read the original trilogy, then you want to wait on reading this particular novella since it does contain spoilers about certain characters.
Within minutes of starting the story, the words The Rising, amplification, Irwin, and Newsie immediately re-immerse me into this post-zombie adapted world. I got a little giddy. I think parsing out the other two novellas may prove challenging.
Mahir is traveling by air to Australia, where they have a unique approach to animals after The Rising.
This setting allows Grant to expand upon her description of travel in a world that has become quite agoraphobic. I think some flight attendants today may appreciate that in the post-Rising world, passengers are locked into their seats, only to be unlocked at the discretion of the flight crew. Additionally, the crew has the authorization to use deadly force on anyone who presents a problem, so passengers are much more subdued.
At the airport, Mahir is greeted by Jack and Olivia, two of the bloggers covering Australia for After The End Times. Together they will be traveling to the rabbit-proof fence. This fence is a real feature of Western Australia that was built to protect farms and pastures from the rapidly reproducing bunnies.
I found this interesting article about the fence with some maps and pictures: Rabbits, the surprisingly interesting "tail" of this invasive species
In the post-Rising world, the fence has been adapted to a cage. A very large cage. Australians recognize that their environment is harsh, but they see no reason to kill all of the kangaroos, koalas, and wombats to the point of extinction. Instead they fortify the rabbit-proof fence and build it higher to keep the amplified animals trapped.
Mahir is not sure what to make of this idea, so much of the story centers around his understanding of why the Australians choose conservation and a life more in the open than any other country in the post-Rising world.
Jack, a native Australian, points out to Mahir, "Not everything important happens in Europe or North America, mate. There's an awful lot of world that most people never seem to bother with."
And as Mahir learns more about the fence and the research being conducted there, the more he recognizes the freedom that it allows.
If you enjoy the Newsflesh novels, then this jaunt into Australia will appeal to you. Grant gives her reader some consistency with her character choice of Mahir and his mission for the blog, but she clearly enjoys playing on a different continent with different rules. And with killer kangaroos chasing her characters. Good stuff!