Tuesday, April 9, 2013

And the Light Cometh

You start a series and you love it. You read each book in the series hungrily, devouring it like it was your first meal in months. Then you come to the last book. You have been waiting for this book for years (literally!). You want to read it as fast as you can to find out what happens; you want to savor it and make it last since there are no more. What do you do? If you are anything like I was with Light by Michael Grant, that moment where you consider "savoring" it lasts about 24 hours until you can't take it anymore and rip into it like a ravenous beast!

Life in the FAYZ has never been easy, but now that the gaiaphage has taken a body, it is even more dangerous. No longer just a green blob controlling minds from the depths of a cave, Gaia can travel around, is growing exponentially, and can use the powers of any living kid in the FAYZ. The kids are scattered now that the wall has gone clear, and most are spending their time looking through the dome at their parents in the hopes that they will soon get out. In the meantime, no food is being harvested or fished, kids are starving right in front of their parents, and Gaia has a plan. If she can take a body, so can Nemesis (the disembodied Little Pete), and she must prevent him from doing what she did if she plans to escape the FAYZ. She must kill every kid possible to prevent him from taking a body.

What Gaia doesn't expect is that while her body allows her to to be more mobile and therefore more powerful, it also makes her more human, complete with the ability to be hurt and feel pain. Sure she can heal herself through Lana's power, but she can still weaken. This was unexpected, and it makes her realize she must be more careful in her plan. But Caine and Sam are out there, and although they never had a brotherly connection, there is one thing they can do together as the most powerful kids in the FAYZ. They can hunt Gaia. But how do you kill a creature with every power in her arsenal? 

Oh Holy FAYZ Batman! I can't even take it. I want to cry knowing this series is over and I want to REJOICE with how it ended. I absolutely loved this book, this series, these characters, and everything in between. Part of me wants to BEG Michael Grant to write more about these kids, but the rest of me is so happy with the way it ended (despite it being bittersweet), I don't want to ruin the feeling of finality. I was so worried this ending was going to disappoint, but how silly I was. How could the author who wrote this brilliant series NOT come out with a heart-stopping conclusion? And oh boy, did he!

So here comes my plea. Put this series on your shelves of your classroom, your library, your kids rooms. This is a series that can get even the most reluctant students reading (and it has! I have seen it with my own eyes!). It is exciting, entertaining, heart-stopping, and you will not be sorry if you turn a student onto this story. It is mature and gruesome at times, but in a world where our teens can smell BS a mile away, this series will make them read and think like adults. They will know how much respect Grant has for them, because he isn't afraid to go dark with his stories. He isn't afraid to challenge teens to think about their lives, the privileges they enjoy, and the things they would fight to the death for. And that is the kind of stuff our young readers want to read. So do it. Put this series on your shelves. Peddle it to your teen readers. And make sure the kids of the FAYZ enter your heart too! 

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