Friday, September 24, 2010


Michael Grant's Hunger is the second book in the Gone series for young adults. I loved the first novel about a group of kids trapped in a 20-mile-long bubble along the coast of adults, weird mutations, talking coyotes, anarchy, and a mysterious monster. Hunger begins a few months after Gone ends. Food is running out. An uneasy peace has existed between the two factions of kids, one of which was defeated in the big Thanksgiving battle and is biding its time, waiting for a better opportunity to seize control. Sam is the unwilling leader of the majority of the kids, and he tries the best he can. But a 15-year-old can't be a father to 300 hungry children. As more kids begin to develop special powers, fighting breaks out between the "normals" and the "mutants." And as the kids get hungrier, so does the mysterious monster living beneath their feet.

This is a great series. This is the second book, but there's one more after it, so far. The creativity, numerous and varied characters, unique setting, and real danger make this an exciting read. Despite gore and violence, it's age appropriate in all other ways but not dumbed down for its audience. Adults will be intrigued too.

Michael Grant goes all out in creating a realistic (as far as mutants and monsters can be realistic) world where it's kids against kids and nature. People get hurt and die although Grant pulls some punches when it comes to major characters (Those baddies just won't give up!). But good characters is what makes these books so gripping, and old and new bad guys keep the stakes high.

Hunger is sort of William Golding meets Frank Peretti, a little bit Lord of the Flies set in a world of evil incarnate. You have an island-like setting with two groups fighting each other and a bigger evil...hmm, you could almost call it TV's Lost for kids. One thing's for sure, Michael Grant tells a good story all his own. The next book in the series is called Lies and was out in May of this year.


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