Monsters take centre stage

‘Plague’ – Michael Grant


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Plague – Michael Grant

They’ve survived hunger. They’ve survived lies. But the stakes keep rising, and the dystopian horror keeps building. Yet despite the simmering unrest left behind by so many battles, power struggles, and angry divides, there is a momentary calm in Perdido Beach.

But enemies in the FAYZ don’t just fade away, and in the quiet, deadly things are stirring, mutating, and finding their way free. The Darkness has found its way into the mind of its Nemesis at last and is controlling it through a haze of delirium and confusion. A highly contagious, fatal illness spreads at an alarming rate. Sinister, predatory insects terrorize Perdido Beach. And Sam, Astrid, Diana, and Caine are plagued by a growing doubt that they’ll escape—or even survive—life in the FAYZ. With so much turmoil surrounding them, what desperate choices will they make when it comes to saving themselves and those they love?

Sci-fi fantasy meets horror in the next phase of surviving the FAYZ (no pun intended). Monsters and ghoulies are ever-present in this book as Drake continues to haunt Perdido Beach and the children fall ill. But this illness isn’t just a flu or virus: it involves flesh eating bugs that rip through your flesh. Think ‘Alien’, just set on planet Earth. I liked the fact that Grant took a different focus this time and the violence between the children is not the key theme in the development of this story.

I found ‘Plague’ easy to get into and the action started pretty quickly. Still, I think Grant is running out of ideas and the whole Drake storyline was a little boring and predictable. However, readers are given an unusual insight this time – Petey gives his perspective on life and how he feels trapped in his mind, body and FAYZ. Whilst the revelations from the previous novel go completely missed, I did wonder what was in store for the FAYZ with the liberation of Petey.

The reader is still introduced to new characters. Not by the bucket-load, because, of course, by this time, most of the key kids with unusual powers have been discovered. But, combined with the change of setting where Sam and a few others leave Perdido Beach in search of water, this gave the story a new lease of life for me. Indeed, switching between Sam’s travels, the town and Caine’s little paradise island meant that there was plenty of pace in the novel.

I took little notice of the countdown at the start of each chapter, but this time the climax did not disappoint. It was interesting to see how the characters responded and moved on from the latest crisis in Perdido Beach and once again, Grant finishes with suggestions of what will follow in the next book. (I have thought long and hard about the title of the next book but cannot make any useful predictions.) This made it more of a satisfying ending and a pleasure to read.

I’ve given this book another 4/5. I’m finding it difficult to rave about how brilliant it is and I do think that something is missing from the plot. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but think it comes from wanting another perspective, an indication as to what is happening in the outside world. I do hope this comes, because I think this will really enhance the story.

For my reviews on the other books in the ‘Gone’ series, click the links below:

1. ‘Gone’

2. ‘Hunger’

3. ‘Lies’

5. ‘Fear’

6. Light’


5 thoughts on “Monsters take centre stage

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