Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Review: Hunger by Michael Grant

Dear Blog,
Review.  I have one.

Summary (from Goodreads): It's been three months since everyone under the age of fifteen became trapped in the bubble known as the FAYZ. Things have only gotten worse. Food is running out, and each day more kids are developing supernatural abilities. Soon tension rises between those with powers and those without, and when an unspeakable tragedy occurs, chaos erupts. It's the normals against the mutants, and the battle promises to turn bloody.
But something more dangerous lurks. A sinister creature known as the Darkness has begun to call to the survivors in the FAYZ. It needs their powers to sustain its own. When the Darkness calls, someone will answer -- with deadly results.

Review: I said in my review of Gone that everybody seems to say that if Stephen King had written Lord of the Flies, then it's Gone.  This equally applies to Hunger, with more action, more disturbing scenes, more anarchy, more villains, more gross twistedness, more characters, more enemies, more powers, more mysteries and more danger than its predecessor.  It's a non-stop adrenaline ride which doesn't stop the whole way through, set over the course of only about five days, if my poor maths skills is correct. 

I can't help but wonder if, because this is planned to be a six-book series, books 1-5 will all be pretty similar, revealing as little as possible, with a showdown at the end where everybody lives and let live, which happened in the last book as well.  I do hope it doesn't turn out like A Series of Unfortunate Events,   where the books ask more questions than they answer and every book is the same.  I hope this because the Gone novels are truly, truly awesome, and I don't want to dislike them. 

Another thing: Quinn didn't really appear until about 150 pages in before resuming his role as not-so-awesome sidekick.  I wonder what that was about.  I don't really like Quinn, perhaps just because he seems a bit of a wimp (I'm fully aware that I'm calling the kettle black, here, and if I was in the FAYZ I would count down until my 15th birthday so that I could get out of there).  Though I guess that adds realism to the story-I mean, people would be scared- I still wanted to whack him with the 600-paged hardcover edition that I got from the library.  Albert, too, was an obnoxious brat, but I think he was meant to be so that was OK.

Caine and Drake are wonderfully evil. Well, Drake certainly is.  I have my suspicions that Caine will eventually join Sam, Astrid etc, because Drake will try and take over anyway.  And Diana-Diana is awesome.  If I was a villain I would like to be like Diana.  Why so?  She's just cool, and makes for a much better sidekick than Quinn.  She's clever and manipulative and, though she is eternally loyal to Caine, I think she's the one running the show.  The relationship between Caine and Diana is tense, slightly twisted but very compelling. 
Sam.  Sam, Sam, Sam.  He sort of loses it a couple of times, which he didn't really do in Gone.  The responsibility really seemed to get to him, but I guess it would get to me, too.  I really would not like to be Sam.  Nor Astrid, Dekka, Brianna, Albert or anybody else in the FAYZ.

There was so much going on in Hunger, so many problems; the Zekes, starvation, the Gaiaphage, the freak/human war, the mysterious child that is Little Pete, etc., etc, it could have so easily been very confusing, but all these plot threads are so exciting, and it's so well written, jumping from scene to scene quickly.  Also, almost each scene ends on a cliffhanger, so it's kind of impossible to forget where you left off.  At one point I did actually skip forward to find the next scene with Brianna in it before going back to read the other scenes *guilty laugh*.  You know something is truly exciting when you do that.  Also, Hunger makes you think a lot about what you would do in that situation.  I like to think I would run to the supermarket to stock up on food, torches and batteries (and plenty of books of course) and then hoard it all at home for myself.

Summary: Truly, truly fantastic.  Scary, disturbing, slightly disgusting at some points, but it wouldn't be any fun if it wasn't.  You would have to be cut off from the world in a FAYZ-like manner to  not have heard of or read Hunger and Gone.  Rating: 5/5. 

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