‘Hunger’ – Michael Grant
Suddenly it’s a world without adults and normal has crashed and burned. When life as you know it ends at 15, everything changes.
An uneasy calm has settled over Perdido Beach. But soon fear explodes into desperation as starvation sets in. More and more kids are developing strange powers and, just as frighteningly, so are the animals in the FAYZ. And in the background, in an abandoned mineshaft, lies the greatest danger of all – and he too needs to be fed…
So the adventure continues in the FAYZ (Fall-out Alley Youth Zone) and the second phase indeed focuses on the hunger that is tearing the children apart. The novelty of not having any adults around or any structure in society has dwindled and Sam and his loyal friends find themselves as playing at being Mum and Dad to everyone in Perdido Beach.
Just like the first novel, the chapters are counting down to the end and it is not clear until the last few chapters what this end will be. Again, I didn’t find myself paying much attention to this until there were just minutes left, and this coincided with me not being able to put the book down because I just had to find out what would happen next. This time I don’t think the book reached an anti-climax, and I wasn’t frustrated by the ending; instead I felt that the conclusion marked the end of the desperate hunger the characters were enduring and that the next novel will start with a (hopefully) brighter community for the children.
Indeed, the dark thoughts from the children are quite disturbing and I think Grant has considered interesting behaviour patterns when children are left on their own. Society is breaking down as a result of this desperation and the differences that are drawn up between the children do not seem far fetched nor remote. The idea of being different and not “the norm” is abused by the children and it is frightening the lengths that they consider to go to.
That being said, there remains a divide between Sam and Caine in the community and throughout this book I was always hoping that this divide disappeared. I don’t know how far Grant can take this division between Sam and Caine without it becoming repetitive, so I am looking forward to seeing what he does next with these characters.
More powers are revealed in this book and I hope this is something that continues in the next instalment as it is interesting to see how the characters adapt. I also found it enjoyable to read how the children are trying to rebuild a working community and I did find myself hoping that they succeed.
Like many novels that have several in a series, whilst some loose ends are tied up at the end of ‘Hunger’, there are course a lot of questions that remain unanswered. I found this book a lot more enjoyable than ‘Gone’: either because the characters were more developed or I was more prepared for what this next book had to offer. Either way, definitely give this a read if you found the first book partly enjoyable as this is a pleasant surprise and one worth spending some time on.
For my reviews on the other books in the ‘Gone’ series, click the links below: