Saturday, 4 May 2013

Plague by Michael Grant

Title: Plague
Author: Michael Grant
Publisher: Egmont
Released: April 5th 2011
Pages: 522 (Hardcover)
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US
Add on Goodreads

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?

Sometimes I sit back and wonder why I still continue with this series. It's a bit like marmite - you either love it or hate it...or in my case, dislike it but have this intense desire to find out what's going to happen next. This is what propels me through this book - the constant countdown to the big she-bang at the end.

To be honest, I didn't know what Grant was going to do for this book. Light, the sixth and last instalment  has just come out - but even during Hunger, the sequel, I wondered what else he could throw at them whilst still keeping some of the favourite characters alive. At a certain point in Plague, I didn't think there would be a turning back for Sam and the gang - an infection is spreading throughout the FAYZ, annoying Drake is back, and there are these weird insect-like creatures hatching inside people's bodies - I thought maybe he'd taken it too far for normality (well...FAYZ-normality) to be restored. I guess I was wrong.

Gone and Hunger focused on the mechanics behind the FAYZ - how it had occured in the first place, the weird mutations, the good guys and the bad guys, and the obvious problem of food running out (boring, but necessary). Lies was a bit all over the place, and it felt like Grant was scrambling to create new powers and characters to continue the series on. Plague was just destructive, to be honest, and possibly the worst one yet. There were good aspects to it, but a lot of it was quite repetitive.

I'm really starting to get bored of the characters. I said in my Lies review that "the only people I can stand are Dekka, Little Pete, Mary, Edilio, and Diana". That list is even shorter now - the only characters I like are Dekka and Edilio. Everyone has slowly transformed into hypocritical, annoying characters with ridiculous personalities and superpowers. There are moments where I really want to like a character, but things they've done in their past just prevent me from doing so. Take Caine, for example - he was so much better in this book, and I looked forward to his return - but then he went all crazy and power-hungry again, and it was just a huge eye-roll to any development. Brianna is another good example; again, so much nicer in this book - maybe because she wasn't in it as much - but then I remember how irritating she was before.

It's just getting impossible to like any of the characters, and the new ones are just unwelcome. It's been 8 months of the phase - you'd think that they would have grouped together and gone out and found every last person and resource, but nope, no they have not. Again, Grant just keeps making new places appear - a lake when they're thirsty, computers when they have no technology, food when they have no food...not to sound evil or anything, but I think I'd like to see the harsher side of all this -that maybe getting water wasn't as easy as he made it out to be. I known it's sci-fi and isn't supposed to be realistic, but am I seriously the only person who likes it when their is an element of realism to these things? I always think a good book is when you can imagine yourself inside the story, but just reading about it.

The countdowns for the other books have been pretty significant moments - if I remember correctly, Gone was to Sam's birthday, Hunger was to the mine, and Lies was to Mary's birthday. This countdown - spoiler alert here - was to Little Pete getting rid of the bugs. And how did he do that? I don't know, but he just flicked a switch and BAM! conveniently gone.

Although I like Grant's writing style and the way he sets out each instalment, I think Plague was a little bit of a disappointment, as nothing really key happened. However, I'm still going to continue on to read Fear and then Light - I need to know what happens!
Rating: 3/5

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