Don’t expect me to keep up this reading pace, I’m going to drop back soon, for sure. I decided not to grade anything and just read in bed, on the couch or wherever my kids would let me be sick and “semi-participate” in life while coughing, sneezing, and snorting. So this is book four in the Gone series and while I’m enjoying reading these books, I wouldn’t recommend them to anyone if you’re having a bad go of things lately–you might smile for a second but then someone’s leg will fall off or something and insects will crawl out of his/her body…it’s that kind of read. There is almost no hope in any of the books in this series and this one is no exception.
We are now about eight months into the FAYZ, from the time when all the parents “poofed” (as the book states) out of existence and kids under 15 were left in a dome/bubble to fend for themselves to deal with unspeakable evils (both human and otherwise). Leaders have emerged, talents, and intelligence have either been used to benefit the majority or to enslave/torture others. While the kids have been doing the best that they can to keep things together, the stakes continue to raise. I’m beginning to think that Michael Grant is the George R.R. Martin of YA lit. No one’s safe and there are wide sweeping stories involving different characters at various locations. The fact that the different factions are isolated or end up interacting tens to make huge plot points and build tensions.
In previous books the kids survived fire, attacks from within (and other spoilery things) but now many of them are becoming sick with the flu. Most of the “freaks” (the kids with mutations/powers) had this flu in the last book but seemed to get over it fairly quickly, not so with the “regular” kids. These kids are literally coughing up a lung…and dying. But that’s not all! No, an epidemic is not enough to burden these kids with…Grant also has to make them deal with the fact that their water supply is almost depleted. Thus our hero Sam and his hand picked team have to set out on an expedition to see if there is drinking water at a lake 10 miles away. Close by this lake secrets are revealed that show that adults were at the very least somewhat aware (not a spoiler since it’s mentioned early in the 1st book), but also that the military was studying (at least one) of these children. The lake provides hope, but Sam’s no dummy…he knows that the FAYZ giveth and taketh away. So yeah, kids continue to die in gruesome ways, Sam saves people or tries to, his girlfriend Astrid has a break of faith and commits an unspeakable act (was it of mercy? or sacrifice? I don’t know if I’ll find out or not), bad people do bad stuff…and now that some of the kids are 16, Grant’s allowing them to have sex. This isn’t my first rodeo so I’m assuming kids trapped in a bubble with monsters and stuff didn’t think about picking up protection and that this may be a mighty big plot point in the future.
The series continues to pick up steam and at the same time get tedious. I’m not sure if that would’ve been the case had I read them spaced out as Michael Grant had written them, rather than six books in seven days (or something ridiculous like that). One of the main characters, Sam pretty much sums it up–something bad happens, then there’s a little bit of hope, that hope gets dashed to pieces because seriously terrifying shit goes down (I honestly don’t know why everyone in there doesn’t go completely insane) and then they pick up the pieces and carry on. These are some resilient kids, for sure. I don’t know if anyone is reading these reviews since they’re on a series (that is probably not most of peoples’ cup of tea) but I want to say that I’m not doing the books any justice. It would ruin the books to go into any sort of detail.