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Friday, March 12, 2010

No Lies: New Gone Book's Got Me "FAYZ"ed

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

(While this review will not contain spoilers for Lies by Michael Grant, it may inadvertently reveal plot surprises from Gone and Hunger. As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.)

Note: Lies will go on sale May 4, 2010. You can pre-order it now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other bookstores.

A lot can happen in 7 months. Especially when there are no adults around to keep things orderly. In less than a year Perdido Beach, California - once a quiet beach town - has turned into a crumbling, dangerous, garbage-strewn mess. Pre-teens roam the streets armed with baseball bats; 10-year-old's dull their fears with alcohol and weed; freaks and normals clash at every turn. And that's on the safe side of town. Welcome to life in The FAYZ.

This is where Lies, the third book in the Gone series by Michael Grant, begins.

Even with Whip Hand gone and the Gaiaphage defeated, there's plenty for the town council to worry about. Unfortunately, worry seems to be the only thing they can do. Astrid's vehement about laying down the law, but first she has to brainstorm ideas, draft the rules, put them up for a vote, and otherwise drag out the process. Sam's sick of stewing about things; he longs for action. Something has to be done about Orsay, for example - claiming to be a prophetess who can communicate with the outside world, she's encouraging 14-year-old's to poof on their 15th birthdays. Astrid swears Orsay's a fake, but is she, really? Then, there's Zil and his gang of normals, out to punish every freak in town. And, of course, there's the issue of Brittney. It's not that the girl's particularly dangerous, it's just that she used to be dead. Now she's not - exactly.

Things come to a head one strange night when the Human Crew sets fire to the town. Out of the smoke steps Sam's worst nightmare - Drake Merwin, once a boy, now a monster. Malicious. Deadly. Terrifying. And dead. At least he was. Not only is Whip Hand back on the scene, but so is a skeletal Caine. Everyone's fighting for control of the town. It's a mad turf war, a battle that could change everything in the FAYZ. If the kids of Perdido Beach ever needed a hero, it's now. So, where is Sam? Has he really abandoned his people just when they need him most? Without Sam, does the ragtag town council have any hope of holding out against its foes? Or will evil finally win in this crazy world known as The FAYZ?

Every book in this series races along with heart-stopping action, but Lies takes it to a whole new level. The book is, quite literally, impossible to put down. With new characters, increasingly desperate conditions, and complications between our heroes, there are twists and turns around every corner. At the risk of being spoilerish, I have to mention that in Lies, we finally get a glimpse of what is happening in the outside world. Even though Grant does it in a way that only heightens the drama, I'm still not sure what I think of this. What's your opinion - do you want to know what's happened to the rest of the world or would you prefer to remain in the dark (since, you know, electricity's a thing of the past in the FAYZ)?

I accused Grant of slowing down and getting redundant in Hunger - well, no more. Lies speeds along with the kind of furious intensity that will have you burning through pages as fast as you can. And when it ends, well, I guarantee you'll be begging for more.

(Readalikes: Gone and Hunger by Michael Grant; Life As We Knew It and The Dead & The Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer)

Grade: A-

If this were a movie, it would be rated: PG for violence; underrage smoking, drinking and drug abuse; some sexual innuendo; disturbing images (you don't even want to know what happens to Panda); and brief references to homosexuality


  1. Argh! I really really can't wait to read it.

    It must suck for you having to read it all and not being able to discuss it without being all majorly spoilery (though I'm thankful for that!)

  2. By the way am I right that the book is shorter than the predecessors? Maybe this had a hand in 'speeding up' the storyline?

  3. I've heard a lot of great things about this series. I love your movie rating, btw. Great idea! :)

  4. Gone Fan - It does suck that I can't discuss it with anyone. I considered waiting to post the review until the book came out for just that reason, but I just couldn't help myself :) I had to rave about it. Not sure about the length of the books - didn't even pay attention to that.

    Em - It's a good, engrossing series. I'm really enjoying it. Glad you like the movie ratings. I hope it's helpful.

  5. Good news, Gone Fan and others interested in this series - I will have copies of LIES to give away very soon. Stay tuned!

  6. I am in the middle of Hunger and really enjoying it, so cannot wait for Lies!


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