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Please Do Not Taunt the Octopus by Mira…

Please Do Not Taunt the Octopus

by Mira Grant

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Please Do Not Taunt the Octopus by Mira Grant is a Newsflesh novella, set in the same world as Feed and sequels. I admit I mainly picked up this specific Mira Grant novella because of the title. I was justified in my choice when the octopus's eyes on the cover came up under the transparent loading symbol on my iPad, making them appear to flash just before the book opened.

This book is set after the Newsflesh trilogy, I'm pretty sure. It's been a while since I read it, but from memory, it's definitely set after the second book, and probably after the third. My point being, don't read this if you don't want to be spoiled for the later Newsflesh books. Some of the most important later events are spoiled in this novella.

Warnings aside, I enjoyed this novella. The strangest thing was confusing which Mira Grant world I was reading in near the start. The main character reminded me a bit of a character in Parasite and Symbiont, so my mind kept drifting over into that world until zombies became more prominent. Obviously this won't be a problem for everyone, and was mainly an issue for me because I read those books more recently.

The main character — telling the story in first person — is a mad scientist running an illegal private lab during the zombie post-apocalypse. Her life involves paperwork, making sure the research is going to plan, and toying with the CDC plants/spies sent her way. But then a different spanner is thrown into the works, proving to be more than just a hiccup for her to overcome. It was the kind of story where the initial setup is interesting by itself, but the additional complication pushes it into even better storytelling territory. My one complaint is that the titular octopus didn't play a larger role.

This was a fun novella that I would highly recommend to all fans of the the Newsflesh universe. It's fairly different (other than the setting) to the trilogy, mainly because there is not journalism or politics. It probably is more similar in style to the Parasite books, despite being set in a different universe. I want to recommend it to people who haven't read the Newsflesh books, but I hesitate because of the spoilers for the trilogy.

4.5 / 5 ( )
  Tsana | Jun 12, 2016 |
2015-11-17/30%: Very amusing and enjoyable so far but I'm afraid it may become serious soon.

2015-11-19: It did get a little more serious but it was short so not an issue. The villain was an afterthought, thrown in to create a crisis and give Fox something to do. I get the ending. How did Fox survive getting shot when just getting blood splashed on you was a horrible thing? Might make sense if I read the whole series but I haven't done that yet. I also thought Fox getting to Clive was way too easy. A few more lines describing how that came about would have felt better than it just magically happening.

Regardless, it was a fun read that was better before the "climax". ( )
  Awfki | Nov 19, 2015 |
Newsflesh novella with a mad scientist/researcher looking into zombie virus reservoir conditions; when a near-starved stranger shows up at her hideout, it signals a coming challenge (and also connects up with one of the previous novellas, though to say more is probably spoilery). ( )
  rivkat | Aug 19, 2015 |
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For Brooke and Vixy.

I cannot imagine the person I would be without you in my life.  Thank you so much for everything you do.  You make me better, just to have a chance of being good enough.
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My day started like any other: with the sound of screaming from the next lab over, followed by one of the interns - Dana or Daisy or something like that - running past my door, her hands flung up over her head and her mouth open in an ongoing howl.
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