Thursday, June 07, 2012

Just As I Feared, Things Are Not Well in the FAYZ ...

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

(Note:  While this review will not contain spoilers for Fear, it may inadvertently reveal plot surprises from earlier books in the Gone series.  As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.)

The FAYZ is many things—violent, scary, strange, dangerous—but there's one thing it never is:  peaceful.  And yet, four whole months have passed without any major problems.  It's almost ... boring.  Sam Temple, leader of the kids at Tramanto Beach, can't quite handle it.  He should be thrilled with the relative calm, but he feels jittery, too keyed up to just relax and enjoy the unexpected break in the chaos that usually defines life in his crazy, domed world.  Maybe it's because Astrid, the one person who keeps him sane, has decided to strike out on her own.  Or, because he doesn't really trust Cain, the self-appointed king of Perdido Beach, to not be up to something.  More probably, it's because Sam, like every other kid trapped in the FAYZ, knows nothing good ever lasts in the nightmare land they call home.

When Astrid returns to Tramanto Beach bearing disturbing news—a weird darkness is crawling up the walls of the dome that encloses the Perdido Beach area, slowly squeezing out all available light—chaos returns in full force.  The thought of eternal night scares everyone, especially Sam.  Desperate to control his own fear, Sam throws himself into finding a solution to the dwindling light problem.  In the meantime, there's plenty of other things to worry about, among them Diana, who's pregnant with a very powerful baby; an out-of-control Freak playing lethal mind tricks; the ever-present Gaiaphage; and a little boy who's playing God with the "avatars" in Perdido Beach.  So much for peaceful.  

But that's life in the FAYZ.     

It's no secret that I love the Gone books by Michael Grant.  It's not the best written YA dystopian series out there, it's true, but the story never fails to engage me.  And surprise me.  Just when I think the author must be out of horrifying ways to torture his characters, he comes up with something—or someone—even more sinister.  Fear, the 5th book in the series, also offers a glimpse of what's happening on the outside, which creates greater chaos, bigger risks and an even more absorbing story.  I know I'm not going to shock anyone when I say I loved it.  Because I did.  I do.  No matter how bleak and awful it is, I adore the Gone world and can't wait to see how Grant wraps it all up in the next—and last—book.   

(Readalikes:  Other books in the Gone series [Gone; Hunger; Lies; Plague] by Michael Grant)

Grade:  B

If this were a movie, it would be rated:  PG-13 for language (no F-bombs), violence and sexual content (more implied than graphic)

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find      

3 comments:

  1. Sigh. Another series you loved that I didn't. I read the first one and gave up. It was intriguing but if you're going to create a kill or be killed world then make characters that will actually kill!

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  2. As usual, I always find something to add to my TBR list. Thanks so much, and have a nice Sunday. :)

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  3. I read the first two books in the series and have been putting off finishing. It was a little too violent for my taste and I couldn't see where the answers were heading. I may have read the third one, too, I can't remember. Anyway, if there is eventual contact with the outside world, maybe I will pick it up again.

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