Tuesday, July 16, 2013

And the Saints Come Marching In

When the adults abandoned the kids quarantined in McKinley High, the students were left to fend for themselves. And if you have read Lord of the Flies, you know exactly how that all ends. In Lex Thomas' Quarantine: The Saints, the kids might finally find a reason to come together instead of trying to kill each other every day.

Will and the other Loners lost most of their gang. Without his brother David to keep them together, the remaining Loners realize they can't survive without joining other gangs. Will can't imagine losing Lucy to another gang, but he can't feed her and take care of her like David could. And while neither of them will admit it, she can't get David out of her mind, even with Will standing right in front of her. Without anyone fighting with him, Will is barely surviving. In fact, he doesn't think he is going to make it when something miraculous happens: the Saints come barging in. 

Kids from a local private school break into McKinley to rescue the kids trapped there, but they didn't expect a group of parents to thwart their efforts at the very same moment. Now the newcomers are trapped inside with them, but the parents have taken over the military's efforts to keep the kids fed. Of course, they expect the kids to remain civil and take only their share of the food, but when you have been living like caged animals, all civility goes out the window. At least it did before Gates arrived with the other Saints. Gates is not the kind of leader Sam was, hoarding all the food and lording it over everyone. Gates prefers to bring the kids together by giving them all everything they have ever wanted. When he takes Will in, he elevates the previous Loner to #2 and most certainly saved his life. But there is more to Gates than meets the eye. Something darker lurks beneath the boy who saved the kids at McKinley, but no one might realize that until its too late.

OK, I thought Michael Grant's Gone series was truly dark and twisted and bloody, but this series might just take the cake. If nothing else, they are at least tied neck and neck. This is one disturbing, gory series that will leave you grossed out on more than one occasion. And the writing team, Lex Thomas, isn't afraid of getting to the seedy underbelly of such a situation, including forced prostitution, murder, and gangs. Let's just say, this series gets ugly quick. This, in my opinion, makes it the perfect series for those mature reluctant readers who just will not allow themselves to succumb to a good book. Give them the Quarantine series, and you won't be able to keep them away. It really is that tense and addictive. 

This is not a series for younger students or those who can't handle a very violent story. It is for the more "adult" range of young adults. Gates' character was probably the most disturbing in the entire story, even more so than the sadistic Sam, because he appeared to have it all together. I loved the dismantling of the Loners and how that affected everyone differently. But don't forget, this is one seriously disturbing series! If you liked Grant's Gone series, this is your next move. If you couldn't handle Gone, then this is not a series you want to start!

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