Tuesday, October 12, 2010
The Lies are Only the Beginning...
Since the power went out in the FAYZ, life has gotten worse. Food is scarce, the Human Crew has waged war on the "Freaks" and now people who used to be dead are walking around town. In the third installment of Michael Grant's Gone series, Lies delves deeper and darker into a world where all adults are gone, kids as young as five are forced to take care of themselves, and reality is never quite as it seems.
While Sam began life in the FAYZ as the natural hero, the natural leader, he hasn't recovered from being whipped within an inch of his life by Drake Merwin. Now he is unstable at best, but still the one kids look up to. While Astrid is desperately trying to establish a government to maintain order, her council's complete lack of respect or power among the kids is leaving the FAYZ in danger. Zil and the Human Crew are doing everything they can to destroy the power of the Freaks, starting with amassing weapons and getting as many normal kids as possible on their side.
The tenuous stability in the FAYZ breaks down quickly, though, when the Prophetess Orsay begins telling kids she can hear their parents dreams from outside the wall. She tells them they can return to their parents by blinking out when they turn 15. Thanks to her handler Nereeza, her message is heard far and wide. Then a broken Caine enlists the help of Zil and the Human Crew to create a diversion in Perdido Beach by burning houses down so Caine and the few starving, cannibalistic cohorts he has left can steal boats and seek out the island that belonged to an actor and his wife- a place that just has to be full of food. As Zil follows through with his side of the bargain, the FAYZ erupts in chaos. Can Astrid, Edilio, and Sam keep the bizarre civilization together through the chaos?
This installment of the series is the darkest yet. Grant wasted no sentiment on the fact that this was a young adult series and pulled out all the horrors of the apocalyptic and dystopian genres- starvation, cannibalism, death, etc. This book is as adult as it could be without completely crossing the line of the young adult genre. Descriptions of Caine's crew seeking out the body of a boy who killed himself in order to cook and eat him was probably the creepiest part of the book. This is not a story for the faint of heart! While it is dark, though, there is always a hope amongst the kids of the FAYZ. They are trying to make life as tolerable as possible. It is hard, though, with no electricity and having to rely on children to keep society together. The twists are interesting, new characters are introduced, and the action keeps you flying through this book as fast as possible. While it was an amazing volume, this series is getting more and more mature and its readers should be ready to handle the harsh circumstances it deals with.