Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hungry for More

Hunger: A Gone Novel
After finishing Gone, by Michael Grant, I was grateful I had already stocked the second book in the series, Hunger, so I could start it right away. These books may seem unnecessarily large, but it is hard to put them down, and you find yourself flying through them like nothing. By the end I am not quite sure why the story took almost 600 pages to complete, but I know I wasn't bored for one single page.

After the big showdown between Caine and Sam that destroyed a number of buildings in Perdido Beach, things haven't gotten any better. More and more kids are developing supernatural powers, food is becoming more and more scarce, and Caine and the Coates Thugs are becoming more and more desperate. Sam has tried to organize the kids to harvest food from the fields, but between the kids' lack of motivation to do anything but play video games and watch movies and the terrifying worm mutations in the fields that can devour a kid in less than a minute, the food stays in the fields rotting away.

The food situation isn't the scariest thing facing the kids in the FAYZ, though. The deep, scary darkness in the mine shaft that gave Drake Merwin his whip arm has its grip on both Caine and Lana. Now its hungry and wants Caine to help it. That involves a fuel rod being taken to the mine shaft from the power plant and all the consequences you can imagine. Now Sam is involved in the fight of his life and has to stop Caine and the others from destroying the power plant and all the kids along with it. If only the gaiaphage- the mine shaft creeper- didn't have such a control over the minds of the most powerful kids.

This was a great follow-up to the first book in this proposed six book series. These kids have been left to survive, and some are rising to the occasion and maturing too quickly, but others are just kids. They want their mothers, they want to be taken care of, and they don't understand the concept of taking care of themselves. Most importantly, they can't imagine having to work in order to eat- especially when Sam, Astrid, Edilio and the others have worked so hard to keep them fed. They are just kids, and they act like they are just kids.

The best part of this book is that it gives kids a chance to really see how they would react to a situation like this. Some of the other dystopias and PA young adult fiction out there makes it a bit difficult for kids to imagine themselves in a similar situation, but the Gone novels give them a chance to figure out which kid they would be. Would they be a leader like Sam, a thinker like Astrid, a right-hand man like Edilio, or an opportunist like Quinn? Would they get up and go pick cabbages instead of playing their PS3 or Wii's? Would they be controlling like Caine, logical like Diana, or terrifying and monstrous like Drake? How would they feel if they developed powers and their friends didn't, or vice versa? This book is filled with questions that make for incredible comparisons and discussions. And it will leave you craving more. I have already started the third book, Lies, and am disappointed to wait months for the fourth book to be released!

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