** spoiler alert **
Eight months ago, Perdido Beach, CA, was cut off from the world by an impenetrable force field twenty miles in diameter. All the children age 14 and under remained, while everyone else vanished, resulting in what was called the Fallout Alley Youth Zone or FAYZ. Some of the kids developed powers. All sorts of powers.
Four months ago, the food started to run out, and the Darkness in the wilderness began to grow.
One month ago, the Darkness tried to convince the kids of the FAYZ to kill themselves in order to make it through to the other side.
Now, the story continues...
Remember Hunter? The guy who could shoot microwaves out of his hands, accidentally killed his attacker, and got banished from Perdido Beach for it? Ever since, he's been living up to his name, killing off wild animals and leaving them for the kids in town to eat. Until now. He's just returned to Perdido Beach, to show the council of kids something...disgusting. He's got giant wasp-like things poking out of his skin in several places. Needless to say, the things kill him, and Sam has to cremate the body. And there's more wasp things where those came from.
Even worse, it's not the only plague the Perdido Beach kids have to put up with. The mild flu circulating during the previous book, Lies
, has mutated into a killer Supernatural Death Cough, which causes its unlucky victims to cough hard enough to break their backs and barf up their insides. "Body Horror" just doesn't quite cover it.
Without a doubt, Grant really stepped up to the plate starting with this novel, which I consider to be one of my top five YA stories of 2011, along with (in no particular order) Angel
, Clockwork Prince
, The Power of Six
, and Divergent
. Here the series really starts getting into more deep-dark, mature territory, due to the combination of grossgusting plagues, the ever-present Darkness (of course), and even teen sex. Face it, that last one was coming sooner or later. At least Grant leaves out his typical graphic detail where that stuff is concerned. And, of course, it gets even better with the follow-up, Fear