The "Gone" series by Michael Grant (Gone, Hunger, Lies and now Plague) about everyone 15 and over, for reasons unknown, disappear, leaving everybody 14 and under in an impenetrable 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). This is just the bare strands of what forms Michael Grants' "Gone" novels, and with the upcoming Plague, he does not disappoint.
Plague was one of my most anticipated reads for 2011. So when I found it nearly 15 days early in my local WHSmith, I pretty much celebrated on the spot, ran to get it checked out and read in a frenzy. To finish this book in two days is no small feat either: the "Gone" novels are all at least 500 pages on average. Plague is the second biggest of the series, at 525 pages, all full of action, violence, redemption, heart-pounding, choke-you-by-the-throat adventure ride that refuses to let the reader sway. Riveting from start to finsh and thought-provoking along the way it's a great read but not for the faint of heart. This book contains challenging material and in the wrong hands it can devastate a soul. As a teen myself, this book is a masterpiece made of interwoven strands of win. But don't fear, the "Gone" novels have that "cross-over" appeal because they have everything that you could ask for. Action, romance, mystery, a little bit of the crazy Stephen King fans clamour for and ten shades of supernatural going-ons.
Human conflict is what makes this story "tick". Every character has something to contribute, be it hero or villain, and really, Plague, among with the other "Gone" novels really display the best and worst of humanity in these books through actions, choices and descions that are made by these characters. This is to the point where you really do forget that these characters aren't adults. They're children living in a dog-eat-dog world. Trying to survive in the "Gone" universe is very, very hard -- and the fact that these characters are practically children makes this series so chilling and dark.
The low down:
Plague is probably the most violent of the series so far. Questions are answered, new questions are presented, and all hell breaks loose in what could be argued as one of the best teen novel of 2011.
Fans of "Gone", you *will not* be dissapointed. For the uninitiated: the time will soon come.
Seriously. Take a look at other reviews if you don't believe me. Looking at all the praise flooding in for this series and you'll be making your way to a book shop soon.
For when you begin reading: Your welcome.