April's Reviews > The Eleventh Plague

The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch
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's review
Jun 17, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: young-adult, post-apocalyptic, 2012-reading-log, dystopian
Read from June 17 to 20, 2012

The Eleventh Plague starts out with the introduction of Stephen Quinn and his father as they bury his grandfather. The vivid description and imagery soon clue the reader in to the fact that this story is set in the future in a post WWIII world. War with China has decimated the country, and a plague released by the Chinese Government has obliterated most of the world's population. Society has crumbled and those left behind are struggling to survive. The dark side of humanity has been awakened in this struggle, with slaver traders preying on the innocent to survive.

This dystopian young adult novel at first reminds me of Stephen Vincent Benet's short story "By the Waters of Babylon" in the way it describes the ruins of civilization, although the characters in Hirsch's novel clearly know what brought them to the ruined world they now inhabit. The novel's protagonist Stephen is faced with many choices as he matures and grows through his experiences as he tries to find a place in this world. When he makes a mistake that brings about some grave consequences, he must become a man and deal with the fallout.

This novel captivated me because of the author's great attention to detail. I feel like he did a great job of capturing the depravity of humanity when there are no social or moral codes, and the triumph over this depravity that can be achieved when someone takes a stand. If you enjoy dystopian literature, this story is for you.

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