Quote of the Day

"We're only here briefly, and while I'm here I want to allow myself joy. So fuck it."
- Amy, Her.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

RE:View: Plague

  If you don't know what he Gone series is about, here's a short introduction to interest you:
"The "Gone" series by Michael Grant (Gone, Hunger, Lies and now Plague) about everyone 15 and over, for reasons unknown, dissapear, leaving everybody 14 and under in an inpenetrable dome, is one of the best series out there for teens. The love child of "Lord of the Flies" and "X-Men", the Gone series is an intense, violent and sometimes saddening narrative, charting the stories of these teens as they deal with the problems obtained from living in the dome: being hungry, searching for water, trying to live some semblance of a life -- and don't forget how the children begin to mutate, gaining all sorts of powers, along with the animals of the FAYZ (Fallout Alley Youth Zone). And this is just the bare strands of what forms Michael Grants' "Gone" novels." - Amazon Reviewer

 Michael Grant's 4th book in his epic Gone saga, Plague, is perhaps one of the most edge-of-your-seat, heart-in-your-mouth, pulse-racing young-adult novels to ever grace the book shelves. Despite this being the latter middle of the series (a planned six), the quality is as good as ever. Gripping action, emotive characters and some shocking twits help to make this the best so far.

  The FAYZ is at it's lowest point in the 8 months since the dome went up. A deadly flu is sweeping the town, rendering kids to the point of death. And what with the water supply running out, things turn from bad to worse. Over the course of 72 hours and 7 minutes, friendships are tested, dark alliances are forged and blood is spilled.

  And when I say blood is spilled, I mean it. This is by far the most violent and gruesome of the series, and will make you wince and whine at the detailed brutality. And even the romance gets a bit more explicit, if you catch my drift. But luckily, it never feels over-the-top, as with all of Grant's superb story-telling. The Heroes-esque array of characters all still play perfectly into this installment, with their emotions and action laid bare by the tremendous display of thoughtful language, giving an overwhelming sense of relatability and realism.

 But then there is this new layer of historical and political allusion which has been magnified since the events of Lies. These underlying themes of democracy and fascism, racism and power, give the seemingly all-teen book very adult qualities. There are times when events such as the Russian Revolution and even Hitlers rise to power are echoed into the book, leaving faint traces of allegorical genius.

  Obviously, this is not a good point to jump into the series, and it's highly recommended you go from the start. But those familiar with the previous titles can dive in straight away and immerse themselves in this crazy world that is the FAYZ, and experience the finest teen novel out there.

10/10. Just saddened by the prospect of waiting till 2012 for the next one...

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