Hunger (Gone #2)
Publication Date: January 1st 2009
Genre: SciFi, Young Adult, Dystopia
It's been three months since everyone under the age of fifteen became trapped in the bubble known as the FAYZ.
Three months since all the adults disappeared. GONE.
Food ran out weeks ago. Everyone is starving, but no one wants to figure out a solution. And each day, more and more kids are evolving, developing supernatural abilities that set them apart from the kids without powers. Tension rises and chaos is descending upon the town. It's the normal kids against the mutants. Each kid is out for himself, and even the good ones turn murderous.
But a larger problem looms. The Darkness, a sinister creature that has lived buried deep in the hills, begins calling to some of the teens in the FAYZ. Calling to them, guiding them, manipulating them.
The Darkness has awakened. And it is hungry.
Remember in my review of Gone how I said that I hated The Lord of the Flies? Well, Hunger comes very close to getting my Lord of the Flies nightmares back up and rearing. Things go crazy in this book, the first chapter, containing worms that can burrow through skin and eat flesh being a very apt way to start it. Also, seriously don't read that first chapter while eating, one of my worst ideas (And then they gave me nightmares and when I tweeted about them Grant suggested buying steel enforced shoes).
I applaud Grant, however, for taking this situation as realistically as he possibly can. Albert knows what a society needs to work, but everyone is mostly just feeling things out, trying to "fake society" and do what's right and survive all at once. To top this off they all rely on poor Sam to be in charge. Sam reminds me so much of Katniss from Hunger Games in this way, or Trella from Inside Out/Outside In. People want them to be their beacon, to make everything better, and try and do what's not humanly possible: not make any mistakes. Sam is only fifteen years old, yet he is expected to fix everything for hundreds of other kids.
They have to face Coates, mutant animals of all sorts, lack of food and some dark force all on top of society problems they would have had no matter what, made worse by all these other factors. In other words, things are falling apart, including Sam himself.
Grant tackles this just so perfectly, so perfectly I both raced and drug my heels through the book, wanting to know what happened next, but feeling like I was watching a car crash, unable to look away. I have to know what happens next, I have to read the next in the series, and the next, until I'm caught up. I have to know what is going to happen to these kids in the FAYZ, and if the FAYZ ever comes down, and if it does how the outside world has been reacting to all of this.
As soon as I remembered what caused the original fallout at the plant, I guessed what the Gaiaphage must have been and it scared me. The darkness scares me and the fact that it is probably the reason why Pete put the FAYZ up in the first place scares me. There's no way things are over with it, however for now, or at least possibly a book, the kids can deal without worrying over it. The way it took over Lana was especially terrible. She tried so hard to kill it, so hard only to be used by it.
On the flipside I am so proud of Sam and the others for forming the council and realizing poor Sam was working himself to death and insanity. I would not have been Sam for a moment (although we do share a similar name). Everyone was yelling at him all the time and he was doing the best he could. Yet, when he makes one person happy, he makes another unhappy. I have hope that
will be somewhat
okay with the introduction of currency and the council. Of course there still
is a long way to go. Perdido
And of course we cannot forget the Human Crew, there was where elements of The Lord of the Flies hit me the most. Mob mentality in any sort scares the heck out of me (even the caricatured version of it in Series of Unfortunate Events), because even if your argument is as valid, moral and right as can be it means absolutely nothing in a mob. It's also interesting, and disturbing, to see the birth of bigotry about those who had developed powers.
This is a book you keep reading, you have to read, even if it horrifies you at times. If you read and enjoyed Gone continue for all your worth. If you haven't tried out the series, I recommend it, I think it might just be one of the most compelling Young Adult series I have read in the last couple of years.