Amazon Blurb:

Collected here for the first time is every piece of short fiction from New York Times Bestseller Mira Grant’s acclaimed Newsflesh series, with two new never-before-published novellas and all eight short works available for the first time in print.
We had cured cancer. We had beaten the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, a man-made virus taking over bodies and minds, filling them with one, unstoppable command…FEED.
Mira Grant creates a chilling portrait of an America paralyzed with fear. No one leaves their houses and entire swaths of the country have been abandoned. And only the brave, the determined, or the very stupid, venture out into the wild.

Review:

Rise is a collection of all the novellas and a short story written in the Newsflesh series. Most were published as standalones prior to their entry into this collection. While none of these are strictly necessary to read, some of them are quite worth the read anyway.

Countdown

Daniel Wells has been working on the Marburg-Amberlee treatment to cure cancer. Alexander Kellis is working on a cure for the common cold, but before he could test it, a news article comes out lying about his intentions and a group decide to steal and release it. The CDC has been tracking the spread of Kellis’s cure, and they are terrified. But, what’s the worst that could happen?

I really enjoyed this novella. I think I like Outbreak stories the least of all the zombie story types. Yet, this one was really good. Maybe it is because I had heard the tale before, in bits and pieces, as Shaun and Georgia tell it to us, and I wanted to know more. Maybe it is because of the way it is presented. All I know is I did not want to set this down.

This story is presented to us in a way that keeps hope alive, though every one of the readers of this novella knows the outcome. It starts out like today is any other day, before everything goes wrong. A single lie, one almost anyone could make. One death, a death hundreds every day encounter, unavoidable. And then. Then the fear, then the panic.

Yet this isn’t just what we have been told before. I can’t tell if I was an inattentive reader before, or some of the facts changed. There was new stuff, too. How the cure for the cold reacted to different things, not just Marburg-Amberlee. We also see the Masons, before anything was even confirmed. Before the worst had happened.

Everglades

Debbie is a student in California and the Rising is here. Professor Mason is calling out zombie movements. All she can do is wait.

This is a very, very short tale, strictly unnecessary to read. It is mostly a scared young woman being glad that her grandparents are no longer alive to see the rising.

San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats

It is 2014, there have been reports of Zombies, but nothing has been confirmed yet. No one knows what is going on. Yet, it is San Diego Comic Con, and Lorelei Tutt is being forced by her parents to come with. She is the only survivor of the 2014 San Diego Comic Con. This is their tale.

This was interesting, but I could have done with less fan service. Technically, this is a story being told after the events of the Newsflesh trilogy, about events that happened during the rising. It is nearly completely spoiler free for the trilogy, though, and you should feel free to read this prior to it if you wish.

This is basically a love letter to the Comic Con. If you take out all the fanservice, this is a pretty basic tale of “everyone gets trapped in a building with no way out and the zombies have come” story. The interesting part is that we’re talking to the only survivor as she recounts the worst event in her life, 30 years after it happened.

How Green This Land, How Blue This Sea

Mahir Gowda travels to Australia to check out their rabbit proofing fence, where they shoved all the dangerous animals after the Rising. 

If there is one thing I know about Seanan, it is that she really, really likes weird creatures. Australia is the perfect hunting ground for her to show off this love. Prepare yourself for a lot of “everything in Australia can kill you, even the zombies!” jokes. Maybe the zombies are less dangerous than the wildlife, even.

This was pretty interesting because it showcases just how deeply into the fear America, and the rest of the world, has fallen since the Rising. Australia has sensible measures, and they’re just as well off, maybe more so. There aren’t a hundred blood tests a day, there aren’t armed guards everywhere. It is people, living with their new world, instead of away from it.

This also continues the tale of Reservoir Conditions. This isn’t strictly a fun little tale of someone from a deeply scared country going to a more sensible country. It is continuing the news that they released in Blackout.

The Day the Dead Came to Show and Tell

Elaine Oldenberg is a 1st grade teacher. When an outbreak occurs at her school, she does everything in her power to save her students.

Jesus fucking christ, Seanan.

I need a drink.

And to never, ever read this novella again.

I’m so glad I don’t have kids.

If there is one story I would say to read in this entire series, it would be this novella.

Christ.

Please Do Not Taunt the Octopus

Dr. Shannon Abbey runs an illegal lab, and one day some woman shows up asking for her help. Only problem is, no one is quite certain who she is or why she came, other than to be drugged into oblivion. 

Well, I enjoyed this story a hell of a lot. I wasn’t expecting to be horrified all over again, but it happened as well. I wasn’t certain what to expect out of Dr. Abbey, honestly, but it wasn’t this. I always really liked her, she was fun and strong. Being inside her head just was really a special treat. Plus it was fun in its randomness. Even though it made the bottom drop out of my stomach when I realised what was going on.

All the Pretty Little Horses

Michael Mason has to find some way to get his wife, Stacy’s, mind off the death of their child. He pulled some strings, and now they’re going with to clean out the Zoo. And after that? We’ll see.

This really manages to humanise the Masons. We know what they’re like in the trilogy, cold, callous, only caring about ratings. Here is how they got that way. This comes before the series even starts, and there are no spoilers for it. It is still best read after you have completed the trilogy. I enjoyed reading this, even if I still hate them.

Coming to You Live

Shaun and Georgia Mason are back, living at the Canadian border, when things start to go wrong. 

My insatiable hunger for more of the Masons was only fueled by this story, not calmed. Probably because I hoped for a nice, comforting story, and this wasn’t any of those. Still amazing though. Did you know you can taste your heart in your throat? I do, now. I just wanted to see their happily ever after. In the end though, I loved this.

To read more reviews for this series, check out the Newsflesh series page!