It's been eight months since all the adults disappeared. GONE.
They've survived hunger. They've survived lies. But the stakes keep rising, and the dystopian horror keeps building. Yet despite the simmering unrest left behind by so many battles, power struggles, and angry divides, there is a momentary calm in Perdido Beach.
But enemies in the FAYZ don't just fade away, and in the quiet, deadly things are stirring, mutating, and finding their way free. The Darkness has found its way into the mind of its Nemesis at last and is controlling it through a haze of delirium and confusion. A highly contagious, fatal illness spreads at an alarming rate. Sinister, predatory insects terrorize Perdido Beach. And Sam, Astrid, Diana, and Caine are plagued by a growing doubt that they'll escape - or even survive - life in the FAYZ. With so much turmoil surrounding them, what desperate choices will they make when it comes to saving themselves and those they love?
Plague, Michael Grant's fourth book in the bestselling Gone series, will satisfy dystopian fans of all ages.
Gone, book 4: In the mysteriously (to most) cut-off and domed part of San Francisco known as the FAYZ, what abounds for the kids is hunger, savagery, decay and death, but also order, money, commerce and a council. The latest problem for the residents of Perdido Beach is a slowly dwindling water supply that sees Sam, Breeze and Jack set off on an adventure of hopeful discovery; In the sole prison place sits what is left of Drake and Brittney, will the kids regret not killing them? As ever the Darkness waits for no-one and continues to work on it's own interest, now focussed on its nemesis! A book of leaders, those that need to be lead and power brokers, and those with power!
I am so invested in this expertly created reality. I pretty much like every single character; I like that they (at least 10 main characters each book!), are all multi-faceted, that they are each haunted by the new reality and the actions taken and seen in their own way. As ever what makes this series head and shoulders above so many of its ilk is that we're never allowed to forget that these really children! Mid-series, yet from my opinion this book out did the previous one! 8.5 out of 12.
This book pretty much completely overruled everything negative I may have said about Lies. The last book seemed like the series was running out of juice and I found it impossible to believe that Grant could sustain the story throughout the 3 more books he had planned. But alas, all is forgiven and Plague was pretty much awesome, apart from some of the same old annoying factors that got on my nerves before in Gone and Hunger. Books 1 and 2 built up this overall plot about the radiation effects from the power plant and how it all led to the mutations and superpowers blah-de-blah... we also began to find out that the adults had known something about what was happening before the FAYZ incident. Cool and interesting. Then Lies just died a miserable and boring death. Grant's writing was still undeniably good but the story wasn't polished - it felt to me that Grant hadn't fully worked out where the story was going after Hunger. I was therefore apprehensive about reading Plague. But no, the story is well and truly back in full swing.
The plot was incredible - this time around Michael Grant simply did not have the word 'boring' in his dictionary - and not to mention extremely gory. As in, flu that makes you cough up your lungs (literally) gory... and insects that eat you from the inside kind of gory. Damn, this author does not bother to spare the reader any detailed nastiness! I also have to point out that any reluctance I had in picking up this book was more or less eradicated by the opening sentence. I have ranted and complained in previous reviews about Sam being such an unrealistic, self-sacrificing character. I mean, he's fifteen years old, he should not be such a do-gooder. I distinctly remember saying that at fifteen he should be drinking like a fish and raiding the porn sections at local stores... so imagine my utter delight when I opened the book and chapter one, first line: "Sam Temple was drunk". I had to laugh at the hilarity of it.
And yes, it appears to be mostly true: Sam has finally got over his self-sacrificing hero phase and has now moved on to the tortured emo phase. There is only one boy who successfully worked the hero image at fifteen years old - Harry Potter - and we all know he got blasted in the forehead as baby, whereas Sam Temple had no such excuse. Now we've moved on to the characters in this book (and believe me, I have a lot to say), I should probably point out how much I hate Astrid. She said it herself towards the end, something about how everyone must think she's a hypocritical, sanctimonious bitch. Well, yeah, and I wonder why? Maybe it's because you spout all this religious scripture about sin and God's will and then spend half this book wondering if you should murder your autistic brother. I think we're supposed to feel sorry for her... and hey, maybe it's just me, but it really didn't work in my opinion. Oh and the whole sex thing in this book: either do it or don't but please stop making it into a huge God issue. I don't know what was more annoying: Sam's constant whining because Astrid won't have sex with him... or the fact that she won't have sex with him for fear it will lead her deeper into sin (murder's okay but sex is just plain evil). She is a teenage girl from a regular high school in a town on the sunny shores of Southern California - not a nun from some hut in Uganda. Not that there tend to be a large amount of nuns hiding out in huts in Uganda or anything... Oh, and one last thing about Sam and Astrid: chemistry. Or lack of. Because I'm not getting it AT ALL.
Know who else is really bugging me character-wise? Lana. When did Lana become such an annoying character? She used to be cool... now she's barricaded herself in a hotel on a hilltop where she chain smokes and only talks to Patrick - her dog. This could be forgiven, I mean, she's had it rough... but she's also turned bitchy, nasty, selfish, and the unflattering list goes on and on. She now begrudges all those she has to heal, jesus, she only has to touch them, like it's such a huge bloody chore! It's not as if she's the only one who's had it hard - other people are having their guts eaten by giant bugs! Ick, stop with the self-pity, I liked you before.
Though, it's not all bad in the character department, it must be said. Brianna, you are now my favourite mutant. I always thought you were annoying, and I was right - you are annoying (you nicknamed yourself 'The Breeze'... like Spiderman or Cat Woman... and that's just sad). But I forgive you because you were so awesomely kick-ass in this book and you completely showed Caine how it's done. You go girl! You go Breeze!
Now, here goes: the rant. Well, sort of. I've had chance to calm down since I first read the offensiveness. But, well, if you've read my other reviews regarding the earlier books in this series, I was majorly pissed because all the strongest characters were male, all the leaders were male, all the girls needed protecting - they were mostly little more than the love interests of the novels. But I sort of shrugged it off because the series is written by a guy who is probably just trying to cater to the reading desires of teenage boys: superheroes, villains, action scenes and hot girls. I can take that, especially seeing as there were some strong females to alleviate the blow like Brianna, Dekka and Lana; and, of course, Michael Grant never actually stated that the girls were weak or anything like that. And then I read a certain line about half way through this book. And then I read it again. Oh dear god... that did it. I was actually liking Caine and Diana for once, I found their relationship quite touching, and then it had to be said - didn't it? - I almost choked on nothing when I read it "A girl like her could use a strong male protector". OMGWTF?! It would have even been forgivable to declare she needed a "strong protector" but the deliberate emphasis on it being male just served to make it a gender issue and... well, ouch. Wow, this was just blatantly stating the fact that the women need men to protect them. Cringe. That is not what I wanted to read at all. Then just to make it worse, Caine turned into a bully as soon as he was asked to come back to the island. I'd never seen Caine as an evil character. I saw him as troubled and rather selfish but I was sure there would be enough humanity left to redeem him... not feeling so confident about it after he used his powers to force Diana to do what he wanted. He even went as far as to point out that, even though she'd willingly had sex with him, he could easily have forced her if she hadn't. That was another reason why it was so wonderful when Brianna swooped in and saved his sorry ass. Who's the tough one now, buddy?
My angry girl rant aside, the ending to Plague is my favourite of the series. It's the one that has made me most want to locate the next installment asap (2012 - noooooo!). The book finished where a lot had been successfully wrapped up - good, because I don't want a year of wondering what the hell will happen to the giant bugs - but it also opened up an entirely new mystery. I think we're finally getting to the exploration of the extent of Little Pete's powers, he's the biggest mystery of the FAYZ, afterall. But the ending was interesting, mysterious, even ambiguous... I cannot wait to read Fear.
My favorite ongoing series of the past couple of years continues with Plague, and proves that the first three books were no fluke. This is just as action-packed, jaw-dropping and lightning-paced as the first books. And a TON bloodier.
So it's been eight months since every adult disappeared and the impenetrable dome descended on the sleepy town of Perdido Beach. Throughout fires, horrid blood-baths, mutating monsters, and freak evolutions in the kids, the town has survived. The very unstable societal structure built up in the first books continues here, but the council is loosing its grip, Sam is gone for the majority of this book, and Caine is eying the town from his safety nest on the island.
So, the major "problem" in this one is, well, a plague. There are two possible guesses as to what it is: a deathly whooping cough that reaches such extremities it cracks your neck; or a series of bugs that hatch in your intestines and numb your pain sensors to eat your way out without you feeling anything. They go hand-in-hand in making Plague the most brutal and unsympathetic of the series, which is why it's my favorite. These are kids. The oldest are 15. They are being ripped in half by giant cockroaches, thrown out of windows, decapitated, disemboweled and eaten. Their young age makes the proceedings feel as if you're watching a train-wreck you can't look away from.
A glorious, beautiful, exciting train-wreck.
With tons of gore. The previous books were, well, mature in their descriptions of violence, but Plague is on a whole different level. The previously mentioned bugs eating out of your pores; giant roaches chewing on kids lying helpless in hospital beds; someone being cut into three separate pieces by barbed wire; Drake talking about microwaving a puppy. This shit is legit. And I loved it for its brutal, simple and honest portrayal of these horrors.
But, otherwise, it's what we expect from this series. A tightly wound narrative told at a breakneck pace, with chapters counting down to a sure-fire epic showdown (this time with GIANT COCKROACHES, oh yeh). We get to know a lot more about the giaphage and its origin. I can't help but feel like I know exactly what it is and why its doing what its doing, but I know Grant has something up his sleeve.
We also get, in some three or four chapters, the perspective of Little Pete, Astrid's autistic brother. The kaleidoscopic and disjointed view he has on the life of the FAYZ is so intriguing, I wished we had gotten these from book one. He knows, and understands, WAY more than I every thought, and I really hope Grant puts these in the next two books.
My only real bash against this series as a whole is the re-caps. Or lack there of. I feel like this series lends itself to a TV show set-up amazingly well. And in that regard I felt like I needed a little "Previously On..." prologue for each book. And even within this novel, there are so many characters, so many plots, that I forgot the death of a major character, to the point that when it was brought up by someone else in the story, I was shocked and horrified a second time. I'm not saying Grant doesn't handle this all well, he does, like a pro; I just feel like maybe this one in particular does definitely jump around perspectives more so than the previous books.
There are now only two left in the series. And I read that the last will fully explain the causes of the FAYZ and detail life after it has ended for the kids. Sad. I don't want this series to end. Ever. And, as always, with the scandalous cliffhanger this one ends with, waiting another year will be utter torture.
For the most part, Plague was just as entertaining and action-packed as its predecessors. To be honest, though, I'm starting to have an issue with the determined length of this series. You see, I kind of wish this series would only be 5 books, instead of, like, 6. Knowing that there are (at least) two more books to go before any kind of resolution hits is rather exhausting. I loved Gone and thought Hunger was very well-done, but starting with Lies, the series started to take on an almost soap-opera element: there were so many characters to keep track of, and they all seemed to develop sudden, inconsequential fights with each other. And while I initially loved Sam and Astrid (the series' main couple), I hate to say that now it's difficult to read their segments, because they're always fighting. For no reason. At the beginning of the book, Sam does something really stupid (and I mean REALLY stupid, like "Almost-Put-the-Book-Down-and-Abandoned-It" stupid), and Astrid seems to have developed this nasty, crabby personality. I understand why the characters are portrayed this way - at least, I think I do. It's like the author's trying to add drama with character interactions, but having characters who don't get along and act incredibly immature is not the way to maintain intrigue. At least, I don't think it is. To be fair, this was a quick book to read, mainly because the plot was very absorbing. Grant has always done a great job giving readers excitement and lots of action. However, there really wasn't anything new that happened in Plague. That's one of the reasons I'm getting a little bored with this series: it just seems like everything's been done already and there really wasn't anything new here. Instead, Plague just kind of meanders along, biding time until the next installment.I still enjoyed Plague and since I'm already hooked on the series, I'll definitely be reading the next installments. If you haven't read the series, I'd still put it on your 'to-do' list, because the concept (what would a society made up of kids 15 and younger look like?) is really intriguing, but this series is starting to take a repetitive path...
Yet another brilliant book from Michael Grant in the “Gone” series. This book was more involved and the characters were getting more exciting. There are big bugs and lots of weirdness but, it’s a fantastic read and I read it very quickly.
Eh.... I read the first book of the series and loved it. Second, a tad less. Third, I started to hate the characters and find some mistakes in the writing. And now I'm just reading it to see how it ends. I mean, it's a good book, it just has a lot of stuff going on. Things that bother me: 1) The amount of characters. He just keeps throwing them at you! There's so many that when they reappear in the story line I have to text my friend so she can remind me who they are! 2) In this book, Brianna was supposedly using the "E string of a cello" to defend herself with. I play the cello and I know for a fact that a cello does NOT have an E string. Only A, D, G, and C. How in the world did that get past the editors?!?!?! Did any of them have a musical background? I guess not.... 3) Why in the world did he need to give a second name to the Darkness? My friends can't even pronounce that name correctly. We'd be just happy if you left it at the Darkness even if it does sound a tad cheesy. 4) Michael Grant keeps saying how these "winds" are blowing in the FAYS. Please elaborate!!!!! What do they mean? Where are they coming from? 5) I hate how Orc started turning into stone for a mysterious reason. You don't even get an explaination for that! 6) I dislike how he completely dropped the small children. 7) A bodyguard for Albert? Really? 8) The fact that people get drunk at such young ages bother me. Some goes for the weed smoking. 9) What was up with the plague? 10) Whas it really necessary for Caine and Diana to have sex?
Three words to describe this book... No, scratch that. Three words to describe this entire series: violent, melodramatic, and drawn-out.
This book was pretty much exactly like the other books. Things go from bad to worse, of course. More minor people die, the main protagonists continue to live, and new issues continue to present themselves. No new ground is made in breaking out of the FAYZ. But this entire plot follows along the same exact freakin' lines as the other books. Yeah, the hurdles are new, ones that hadn't previously occurred, but they aren't fresh. It's hard to explain, quite frankly, but this book was far from interesting and original.
The emotions, in my opinion, range on ridiculous. I found it especially hilarious that Sam was having a temper tantrum throughout the entire book because Astrid wouldn't have sex with him. I just could not rap my head around his childish emotional throw up, let alone relate it. It's this kind of jerk that parents warn their little girl to stay away from. He doesn't love Astrid enough to respect her choice to wait. While it's true that he doesn't force himself upon her or anything, he does go on this angry rant throughout the entire book, bashing her and her 'inconvient' morals. I guess this is a nice break from the cliche that plagues most YA novels today: the goody-goody yet dark male protagonist that's super protective, mysterious, and romantic but doesn't press past 1st base. However, I've never even liked Sam as a character. He's flat, but in a completely depressed and self-pitying kind of way. So, in this installment, you can imagine my despair as the flat emotional dumpage continued to pile up in an even worse way.
Speaking of sex, everything in this book seemed to have some tie to it. The idea, and action itself, was everywhere. I can see why the author made it such a heavy theme. He wants to underscore the complete decay of the kid's morals and rationality. He wants to convince the reader of the psychological impact of desperation and sin when humanity itself seems to collapse. It's actually quite animalistic, the transformation. While I understand that, I didn't enjoy reading about it. At all. The whole Diana and Caine thing seemed unnecessary, not to mention hard to read. Of course, it lead to something, and that something will obviously be important in the next few books. But, in any case, watching kids act that way just made me feel dirty.
Through all my criticisms, I still will not put this series down. I'm curious as to how it will end. Very curious. I'm hoping Grant will throw in this huge twist in the end, a conclusion worthy of 6 books. The book also presents some interesting themes and philosophical ideas, especially when concerning religion. While I might not agree with Grant on his propositions, I still find it intriguing to explore his opinion.
No matter what, I will keep on reading till the end, even if the next book is even worse than this one. Even though I didn't enjoy this book, I want to see this series to completion, and hopefully it pays off.
Het verhaal word echt steeds beter, gekker en bizarder!!!! Tot 1:15 liggen lezen vanacht, boek MOEST uit! Wat gebeurt er met Pete? Drake is terug?! Wtf is er met Hunter aan de hand (echt jeuk gehad tijdens het lezen)? Knapt er nu eindelijk eens iets in Astrid? En nutella!!!
Zo genoeg om jullie nieuwsgierig te maken, en nu lezen!!! Hup!
3.75/5 I'm just glad that I'm getting closer and closer to finishing this series. Overall, it is interesting enough for me to continue, but not so much that I couldn't wait to see the ending due to genuine excitement. I rushed through the last 30 pages because I just wanted to finish this and move on to other books. I guess this series so far is okay.
Plague, out of all the four Gone novels, was definitely the most graphic and harsh, but very realistic. The thing I like about Michael Grant is that he doesn't gloss over stuff, but dives right into it-- the characters, the plot, the drama, was all perfectly detailed and well- written. I like how the author goes between different kids in all his books, because it lets the readers get a good feel of what everyone is going through. The kids were all very relateable, to me, with all their strengths and flaws put out there in the wide open. They made me laugh and cry: they really held the novel up. It is a fast read that kept me up all night, fast-paced and suspenseful. Can't wait for Fear in 2012!!
Había dejado pendientes los siguientes libros de la saga para no saturarme, y creo que fue la mejor decisión; retomando la saga he disfrutado y empatizado mucho más con los personajes; incluso he sentido que algunos han madurado a lo largo de las cuatro entregas anteriores.
Todo el desarrollo ha sido intenso, angustiándome a medida que avanzaba, pero me ha encantado... y quiero saber que pasa en los siguientes, sobretodo, como va a ser el final 🤔
Thank God que esta cuarta parte sube el nivel muchísimo y se recupera de la tercera
Mientras que la tercera parte me decepcionó y me pareció demasiado floja, esta cuarta sube muchísimo el ritmo, mejora la trama y es totalmente adictiva. Seguramente el libro que más me ha gustado de todos los que llevo de la saga. Me ha dejado muchísimas ganas de leer el quinto y hace que merezca la pena empezar a leer esta saga porque menudo novelón. Los personajes siguen avanzando, se añaden nuevos, hay muchísimos giros y cada vez nos acercamos más a un final inevitable. Totalmente recomendable.
My, how I love the Gone novels. If you haven't given these books a try yet, they come with my highest & most sincere recommendation. They are fast-paced & high-intensity, but at the same time, incredibly thoughtful books.
However, out of all the four novels, be warned: Plague wins the gross-out award, for sure. Let's just say that the "plague" is not your average virus (and tbh, it isn't even the least of the kids' worries). The must-look-away-CAN'T-LOOK-AWAY horror of Plague achieves something both terrifying & marvelous.
I just finished this book yesterday...it only took me two days to read all 492 pages. And believe me when I say, this was one of the best uses of paper and ink ever!
Warning: there are a TON of spoilers!
I've been anxious for this book to come out since the minute I finished "Lies," which, at the time, was my favorite of the Gone series. Sorry, "Lies," but you have been replaced by "Plague" as my new Gone series fave.
With non-stop action, crazy plot twists, confusing relationships, freakish bugs, and a downright nasty flu, "Plague" did not fail to sate my hunger (wow...that was a bad pun).
I thought I'd read somewhere that "Gone" was going to end up being a saga, which would mean only four books. So when I finished Plague, you can imagine that I sort of freaked out. There were WAY too many loose ends left untied, not to mention that the FAYZ bubble was still intact! Along with Litte Pete becoming some sort of disembodied entity or something like that. I was very happy when I disovered that there are going to be two more books, which is why I thank my mom and her quick Internet-searching abilities.
Things in "Plague" that made me want to scream: ~Drake/Brittany escaping ~the really horrible, nasty bugs that ate poor Hunter and Roscoe ~the deadly gut-wrenching flu (I'm on a roll with my bad puns today) ~Diana and Caine's relationship ~Caine Jr...coming soon! (run for your lives!) ~Sam and Astrid's puzzling realtionship...puzzling as in it's falling apart, which is sad because I was always rooting for them to be together ~Dekka almost dying; she's one of my favorite characters ~Edilio almost dying ~Edilio's note to Quinn: "Get Caine." (I had to rub my eyes and make sure I wasn't seeing things...I had been reading for a long time) ~Albert almost dying
Things in "Plague" that made me want to laugh and dance (which is rare because I do NOT dance): ~Toto; I mean, come on, he was hilarious ~Dekka not dying (yay!) ~Edilio not dying (again, yay!) ~Albert not dying; as much as I don't like him, he's an asset to the FAYZ ~the disappearance of the bugs ~the way the Breeze and Caine worked together to beat the bugs ~Sanjit and Lana's relationship
Drake's journey to see the gaiaphage was really freaky. He is a sick, twisted, evil person and I can't stand him at all. Too bad he can't die at the time being...
I loved the way Sanjit handled Lana. It was funny and cute, and now they are my favorite FAYZ couple. They complement each other very well.
The small parts of the book that switched over to Little Pete's point of view were very, very strange. I mean, I guess that's what you get from an extremely powerful, autistic kid. I liked how it ended the book though. It leaves it wide open for the next installment.
Is Astrid going to kill herself now? It seriously seems like it. She did what was right, and it's not like Little Pete is dead (I think, and then again, she doesn't know that).
I liked how Jack stepped up his game. He's actually kind of important now.
Caine is a deceiving, lying, manipulative creep. He's almost worse than Drake! I felt so bad for Diana, even though she's hardly any better. I like the way the kids split up and either went with Sam or Caine (sorry, King Caine). That was one of many great ideas throughout the book.
Thank you Michael Grant for yet another magnificent piece of the confusing puzzle of the FAYZ.
The first book in this series was amazing and one of the best books I've read. Sadly, this series seems to be one in which the quality of the book declines with each sequel. This book was entirely too graphic with the descriptions of the plague and the bugs. I did not appreciate that; in fact, it made me sick to my stomach at some points and I had to put the book down for fear of losing my lunch. I realize that Michael Grant is trying to be realistic with the types of problems these characters would face in this situation, but I have long since tired of the constant hunger and lack of electricity, and adding problems like the plague and mutated bugs just makes it worse. In my opinion, all these problems detract and distract from the best part of this story: the superpowers. Speaking of which, what happened to all the battles between "moofs" in the first story? I miss those! They were the best part of the first book!
The whole reason I fell in love with the story was because of the reluctant hero and leader, Sam, and his discovery of his powers and himself. The next few books in this series have transformed this character I was so in love with to someone who was a crappy, mean leader and who eventually did not want to relinquish the power he'd been given. Also, Caine seems to have a case of multiple personality disorder in some of the later books. I get the whole "I'm a teenager, trying to figure out who I am, so I'll pretend to be this fearless leader while I'm really a little kid with a crush on Diana" thing in the first book, but really, still, in the fourth book, he has a bit of the same thing going on? Personally, I like it best when he has the fearless leader persona going because it makes him a real foil for Sam. Astrid. She's turned from smart and desirable to cold and mean. And whatever happened to the storyline where she had a superpower? I thought that was going somewhere, but it hasn't been brought up since it was first mentioned in one of the earlier books. Drake and Britney- not a good decision on the author's part to merge the two. Instead of being an interesting and creative twist, it just seems twisted and weird.
And the Darkness. I've never really liked that storyline. I thought that the battle between the brothers and the evil Drake was great, perfect. Then the Darkness, this unknown quantity whose origins and powers aren't really known is introduced and, to me, it cuts the quality of the books in half. It's intentions aren't ever really stated- it's insinuated, of course, that the Darkness is a bad thing, but it never really tells what exactly the Darkness is. Is it a person? A mutated animal? Did the radiation buried under Perdido Beach grow an evil consciousness? Fantasy books are pretty much all I read, but that storyline was too much even for me.
So, all in all, first book is great but don't waste your time on the sequels. They're extremely disappointing.
It's hard for me to think of what to say even when I find a book amazing.
The suspense continues to build in this one, and I enjoyed the diversity among the kids. Not that having all white/straight characters is a deal breaker, but it's refreshing to have kids from different cultural and religious backgrounds.
There's gay characters too.
One thing I have to warn folks about: BUGS!!! If you have a phobia like I do about bugs or insects, and you think those 3 inch long roaches are big enough....Read with caution, LOL I loved this in spite of the bugs being pretty prominent in this installment. And not only are they huge (some as big as PONIES!), they have intelligence and focus----like humans or intelligent creatures like coyotes.
Also, the bugs don't come from places you'd expect, and I'll leave it at that!
There's a lot of gory or gross stuff, esp. in the middle and towards the end of the book. I'd think "Ugh!!" BUT I still loved it...So I kept going. If you have a weak stomach, and I usually do, you may want to skip over those parts. It's not as bad as if I saw it on the screen, as I'm sure they would make it look as realistic as possible! My imagination is scary enough, LOL.
I have started the next book, Fear, and so far I'm loving it as I thought it would.
Even though I had a big hardback book of this I'm proud I still finished it. Michael Grant's books are exceptional and different than other books. 5/5 book I really want to read the next book in this series but I don't have the next book. I'm sad that Little Pete died but happy the big bugs have vanished. I'm happy that Sam and Caine are working together and I'm happy that Caine decided to put his ego aside to help and save everyone who was going to end up dead. I'm shocked that Diana is pregnant. I didn't expect any of these things to happen in the FAYZ but alot has happened so it shouldn't shock me anymore.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
I've been reading this for about 2 years, and I enjoyed it, but THANK GOD THAT'S OVER.
This was by far the worst of the books in this series so far. I couldn't bring myself to ever read it so I resorted to listening to it. I really do enjoy this series but I just wasn't feeling this book at all and it was not my favourite.
I also wasn't in the mood for this book but I really needed to finish this. Glad it's over. I think I'll wait a bit before continuing the series because I'm not in the mood for this. But I enjoy the series, I'm so curious about the ending, and I recommend it!
The general consensus seems to be that Plague is a superior sequel to Lies, which many fans see as the weakest installment in Michael Grant's series thus far. I read both with this in mind, under the assumption that my opinion would end up being similar, if not identical.
And, wouldn't you know it? I ended up loving the latter more than the former. Go figure.
To be honest, I feel that this series may have peaked with Lies. While Plague is an excellent follow-up, it feels more like a maintainer than an innovator, keeping the quality of the story steady instead of enhancing it. Rather than significantly improving upon the aspects of its predecessors, as the last two books have done, this installment keeps the status quo.
Now, I'm not saying that Plague is a mediocre book, much less an outright poor one. It's a fantastic installment, to be sure, and I enjoyed it immensely. I'm simply saying that my expectations for this one may have been a bit too high. I approached Lies expecting a lackluster story, and so I was blown away when it ended up being really, really good. Subsequently, I approached Plague expecting an amazing installment that would somehow be an improvement over all past efforts, and so I was left a bit disappointed when it ended up being great, but not better, as many fans claim it to be. If I hadn't perused others' reviews of the sequels prior to devouring them myself, I wouldn't have read this book with several preconceived notions. Notions that ultimately tainted my reading experience. I do apologize for being unfair, Plague, but what's done is done. I do hope that you can one day forgive me.
But enough apologizing. Let's review.
1. Once again, Grant manages to make the storyeven darker than those of previous installments. This book is incredibly violent, and contains some shockingly disturbing scenes. The mature and uncompromising nature of the storytelling in this series is one of its largest strengths, and the author's dedication to outdoing himself with every new release is a very good thing. What's important is that he never takes things too far. Grant repeatedly proves himself capable of pushing boundaries with thoughtfulness and precision. He does so with enough force to keep things exciting, but not so much that he crosses some unacceptable line. His ideas, while dark and gritty, never seem tasteless or vulgar, and instead feel like an organic and natural part of the worldbuilding and story.
2. Incredibly, consistency is present throughout the entire novel. I'm flabbergasted by this. I was convinced that discontinuity was going to be an ongoing problem for the entirety of the series, and yet Plague, as far as I can tell, has none. I'm absolutely delighted by this, and I'm tempted to give this book that final star just because of it. Granted, I was still forced to occasionally reread passages in order to check various details, but, for once, these instances unfailingly worked out in the end.
1. Now, from the beginning, I've enjoyed the treatment of religion throughout the series. It's an inevitable topic to bring up, and what I found refreshing was the fact that the subject was not incessantly mocked or criticized - something that would have been very easy to do, considering the age of the cast and the hardships that they are forced to endure. Having characters who maintain some sort of faith in a realistic way (in other words, not being so narrow-minded and overzealous that their beliefs completely dominate their personalities and turn them into insufferable bigots) is an inclusion that I have deeply appreciated.
Sure, several atheistic characters, at one point or another, have disapproved of others' beliefs. And that's wonderful, because such ocurrances are completely understandable and add a very interesting (and realistic) dynamic to these kids' interactions. It certainly isn't wrong to criticize religion. We are all entitled to our opinions, and it's not as though the institutions of belief are without fault. What has worked so well is the fact that Grant initially maintained a balance between the two viewpoints.
This, unfortunately, begins to change when Brittney is introduced as a central figure in Lies. Now, given her situation, I suppose that her fanatical mindset is not entirely unrealistic. Heck, it may even be appropriate. Nevertheless, her overzealous attitude grows tiresome very quickly, turning what had initially been a fair look at religion into a cliché. Where's the subtlety here? Brittney's attitude in Hunger was a much more realistic portrayal of a religious youth. With every subsequent installment, however, she grows ever more one-dimensional, and this is most evident in Plague. The plot development that has her outright believing that the gaiaphage is God is ludicrous and borders on the offensive, as it effectively turns Brittney's belief into a negative and undesirable thing. How could a person who is so sure in her faith undergo a complete reversal and become enraptured with a being that is so obviously not the power that she has always believed in? The gaiaphage may as well be the antithesis of the God that she has always followed, and yet she suddenly decides to devote herself to him. Madness is certainly a factor here (Brittany hasn't exactly had the easiest time in the FAYZ), but it feels so very unnecessary regardless.
My other problem in this regard is the fact that nearly every character with some kind of belief in a higher power essentially renounces their respective views by the book's end. Now, I don't blame them in the least for becoming angry and doubtful. It's a perfectly natural thing to do when confronted with overwhelming pain and loss. I would certainly have some harsh words for God if I was put into this kind of situation. But the fact that everyone seems to completely give up all belief is simply depressing, more so because it seems to happen all at once. I'm unsure what Grant is trying to tell us here, if anything. Is he saying that religious belief is a pointless thing to have, as it causes only problems and hurt? I'd like to think not, but it's hard to say at this point. I just hope that the rest of the series brings back the balance of the first few installments.
I'm sure many of you will disagree with me on this particular issue, but I want to make it clear that I'm not attempting to force religion down anyone's throats, whether they be fictional or not. And, yes, I'm certainly biased, as I consider myself religious. The point that I'm trying to make is that I found the subject handled with a care and respect that is usually lacking in YA works at the onset of this series, and, while it's a realistic step considering the story thus far, it's something that I miss.
2. While they are an interesting, and gruesome, addition to the story, the antagonistic insects that play a crucial role this time around feel lacking. I love some of their characteristics, such as the fact that they are born through host bodies that they subsequently consume (Isn't that just fantastically disturbing?), but, ultimately, too much is left unexplained by the novel's end. Where do they come from? How are the greenies involved? How did the gaiaphage gain control over them? It feels as though Grant simply forgot to properly explain his creations, and this leaves them a tad too underdeveloped.
The other issue that I took with the bugs is the fact that they feel a bit too over-the-top in their design. Nothing in this series is exactly realistic or subtle, yet certain aspects of the bugs, such as their enormous size and incredible strength, feel heavy-handed and slightly ridiculous. It's hard to pinpoint, to be sure. There's just something about them that doesn't quite mesh with the rest of the worldbuilding.
3. While the story as a whole is enthralling, it suffers from repetition in certain plot elements. The most notable example is the fact that, once again, Sam is conveniently out of town when danger strikes Perdido Beach. This seems to happen in every installment. It's as though Grant figures that getting Sam immediately involved would result in a resolution that is too easy and too quickly brought about, and so he repeatedly finds reasons to get him out of the way in order to avoid this. Now, the explanations for Sam's absences are believable, so I can generally ignore this adherence to a template, but it's still gotten a bit frustrating at this point.
This book manages to maintain the level of quality that its predecessor achieved, and that's the problem. Lies is wonderful because it's noticeably better than the works before it. Plague essentially proves that, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. There's certainly nothing wrong with this, but it does mean that this installment lacks a bit of the punch that the last few installments have contained.
Er gebeurt veel in dit vierde deel. Er duiken onder andere gigantische dodelijke insecten op en er zijn gigantische kakkerlakken die door de Duisternis zijn uitgezonden. Echter voelde dit alles gewoon aan als iets dat weer moet gebeuren om de boel in Perdido Beach op stelten te zetten. Dit boek voelde een beetje als een opvuller om naar een ander deel te gaan zodat de gebeurtenissen uit dit deel beter tot hun nut komen. Het was wel leuk om terug in deze wereld te zijn en het was ook spannend. De sprongen tussen de perspectieven mogen wel duidelijker aangeduid worden want soms lijkt het alsof het verhaal dan van de hak op de tak springt. Maar goed, het was leuk om deze dag te vertoeven met Plaag.
About halfway through the book I started to wonder if this was going to end up being the equivalent of that tv show Lost. At first, I really liked Lost. I mean, it had that cool mystery/sci-fi sort of vibe that kept me coming back for more each week. My love affair lasted a couple of seasons, and then faded away. Why? Eh. The plot started to drone on and on, nothing made much sense, and it seemed like the producers were just going to milk that cow until it went dry. Poor cow. Anyway, that's what the plot of Plague started to feel like. Blah, blah, mutant snakes, blah, blah, evil monster, blah, blah, psycho kids. Is there an end in sight?! So I checked, and yes, there is an end. Only two more books in the series, and then it's done. Wheeee!
Alrighty. Midway through the book, things started to pick up, and it got interesting again. I have to hand it to the author, he managed to surprise me with who did and didn't bite it in the end.'Cause I really thought there were a couple of kids who weren't going to be in book 5. Well played, Mr. Grant. Don't worry, there are still enough cringeworthy deaths to keep the fans happy!
It's been over two years since I last read this book, and re-reading it reignited my love for the series. Most kids would agree that they grew up with Harry Potter, but I guess I am a late bloomer because I didn't start really growing up until I picked up the GONE series.
The kids in the FAYZ have been beaten, starved, and lied to, all they need now is a plague to help them cough their lungs out. Perfect, don't you think? Every time I read a book in this series, I'm still amazed at the things Michael Grant writes. He isn't afraid to put controversial things down in his stories, and PLAGUE stayed true to that. The struggles these characters go through are much more than physical; it's not always about who can throw the farthest, or jump the highest. I think that's what a lot of books, particularly in YA, lacks. Other books are always about that one special character who can do things others can't; The Chosen One. Those books are the reason why I usually despise main characters; they just feel so unrealistic. Michael Grant, on the other hand, appears to put Sam in the hero spot during the two earlier books, but as the series progresses on, the readers realize he is not invincible anymore. Instead, other characters like Edilio, Jack, and my personal favourite, Albert, begins to outshine Sam. That's probably what I enjoyed the most in this book - the depth of the "secondary characters."
Another thing I really loved about this book was how everything was so interwoven. Plots that appeared separate slowly converged and become one. It made this book unpredictable. Even when there are so many post-apocalyptic books out there, this book remained fresh and unconventional. That in itself deserves 5 stars. (And I still cannot believe Michael Grant doesn't plan out his books in advance. Like what?! What kind of sorcery is this?!)
Two characters impressed me the most in this book. One won't be a surprise. I loved her ever since GONE because I knew her story would never be dull. Who am I talking about? Only the most intricate, more-layers-than-a-wedding-cake Diana. She has always shown to be one step ahead of most people in the previous books, but she has never appeared as brave to me. Until PLAGUE rolled along, that is. I seriously cannot wait to read her storyline in FEAR!
The other character is Charles Merriman, better known as Orc. While reading this book, I genuinely felt bad for Orc. For some reason, I kind of related him to a 90 year old grandpa who is on the verge of dying. You know, when your body slowly breaks down, and you want nothing more but to end it? On top of that, Orc felt isolated, misunderstood and a burden to everyone. To me, his story is as sad as that scene in Up. You know the scene I am talking about. It doesn't have the same backstory to it, but the feeling I got was still the same. I so desperately wanted to help Carl and Ellie but deep down, I knew it was a cartoon and I can't do anything. Same thing happened with Orc, and I felt a deep sadness and helplessness.
If you provide me with water and food, I think I can go on for days, just talking about all the things I loved about this book. But alas, life can't be perfect. I would like to conclude by saying: this book, like the rest of the series, has great re-read potential. This is simply due to the amount of details and number of plotlines thrown within this book. There is no way someone can remember it all with just one read-through. The only other time I've seen so much attention of details and connectivity is in the Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima. When you sit back and think about it, a YA, sci-fi, post-apocalyptic book has enough world, plot and character development as an epic fantasy book, you know that's high quality reading right there.
This has been an updated review of this book. For my previous review placeholder, please look within the Spoiler tag.
THIS IS THE BEST BEST BEST BEST BEST BOOK OF THE SERIES SO FAR!
After a mediocre and disappointing Lies(ugh), Plague redeems the series and brought what I loved about Gone and Hunger and combined them into this great installment.
Caina---You naughty couple you. And look what happens to Diana at the end :) This should make Fear an interesting installment.
Human Crew---They were great in this book but my issue is that given all the supernatural elements of the series, Human Crew provided a normal foe for the heroes to battle and i don't like that their reign has come to an end. I'd actually like to see if Caine
I knew Michael Grant was EVIL, but never has his evilness reached such levels. So many questions, no answers & a WHOLE year ahead until it's sequel. *hyperventilates*
Plague as it's predecessor is full of fast-pacing, killing action. The FAYZ has never before been in such more trouble. Everything is backwards, Sam & Astrid, Diana & Caine.
Although this book was awesome, I can't help but feel it sort of precedes something BIGGER. And I know that if you've read the book you must be wondering: "How can something be bigger than that?!" But the thing is by the end of the face you'll will resemble this :O Yes it will, it ends in a sort of cliffhanger because so much things are left unanswered, so we can assume they will be resolved in the two last books, in which I'm sure many more people will die.
And talking about dead, how come there's still people alive in the FAYZ? Kids are always dying, but new ones appear just to die later on. Just Sayin....
Anyway, Plague won't disappoint, as a matter of fact it will make you thirst for more. So, READ IT NOW! OR I WILL UNLEASH THE DARKNESS' FURY UPON YOU ALL!
Personal Response: I feel this book could have spread the adventure and thrill through out the whole book instead of only in a few chapters. It was still a very good book to read. It had a great plot and went along great with the other books. I liked that it wasn't predictable.
Plot Summary: Plague was a continuation of the last 3 books in the Gone series. Like the other books, Plague was about the now "normal" life in what the kids call the Fayz. The main character, Sam, had to deal with problems he normally wouldn't care about. Drake had broken out of his so called dungeon and sent his minions, these bug like creatures, on to Perido Beach. Astrid ran away with Little Pete and Orc.With everyone running around, Sam was left to find fresh water and defeat a disease he didn't know how to fight.
Recommendations: A person reading this seires might also like the Hunger Game seires. He or she may also like the Harry Potter seires. This book is great for any teenager looking for a good book to read. People that like some action or fantasy would love this book.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.