Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Review - HUNGER (Gone, #2)

Hunger (Gone, #2) - Michael Grant
Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Fantasy
# of pages: 590 (hb)
Age-Level Rating: 14+ (upper middle school; perfect for high schoolers)

Quick Say: An awesome second installment, heavy on action and suspense. Not quite as strong as Gone (Hunger kind of stumbles with its multiple character perspectives and hectic plots) but still an enjoyable and completely absorbing read!

My Thoughts:
Michael Grant is definitely an author with a knack for action-driven stories that are heavy on suspense and excitement. Gone was a great beginning book for the series: it established the problem (all growups "poof" out and leave kids to fend for themselves) and dealt with the power struggles that ensued between the townies and the dysfunctional delinquents over at Coates. Hunger was therefore able to go more in-depth on the problems of the FAYZ: three months have gone by, and supplies and food are drastically depleted. What was so cool about this book was that - while I was reading it - I forgot that I was reading a fictional sci-fi/fantasy thriller. I was so wrapped up in "oh my gosh! what are they going to DO?!" and really feeling all the agitation and the anxiety that the characters felt. I read this 500+ page thing in 2 days, lordy lord! That's pretty good for me! I seriously could not put it down.

The (main) characters are all so incredibly dynamic. Just wanna give a quick shout-out to Dekka - I absolutely love her "go get'em tiger" personality. SHE needs to lead the FAYZ! Sam/Astrid and Caine/Diana went together very nicely - when I found myself annoyed at Sam and Astrid (and unfortunately, I did at times) I had Caine and Diana to balance the story out. Most of the main characters are portrayed in Hi-Def and so it made it incredibly easy to relate to them - the good guys and the not-so-good guys - and really care about what was going on with them. I personally find it really interesting that Grant has created an antagonist, Caine (cause technically that's what he is) that I actually care about. Maybe Caine's not bad enough - that's more like Drake - but I really enjoyed his scenes. He's such a megalomaniac, but perhaps a misunderstood megalomaniac?
I will say, though, that characterization and plot, two things that Grant knows how to handle really well, got a little hectic in this installment. I *do* like the large ensemble cast of characters, BUT in this story, I think there were a little too many perspectives, too many characters to keep track of. Also, if Sam and Astrid just got together at the end of Gone, it seems a little early (to me) for them to already be having problems. But then again, they didn't have very many scenes together, and the few scenes they did have together they spent bickering. Maybe the spotlight will be on them a little more in Lies.
The same characterization notice also applied to the plots, here. I think there were so many things going on in this particular installment, that they just didn't seem fully covered. There's a major food shortage in the FAYZ. Caine and gang are trying to make a big for power again. The Darkness wants to be fed. Something's up with Petey. Albert wants to keep the flame of capitalism alive. Lots of really cool plot points that didn't really seem to get an even amount of coverage. It's totally cool to have different things going on, but toward the end, things just seemed rushed.
Another awesome installment to a new favorite series. I can't wait to get my hands on Lies.

Final Grade:

Favorite Quotes [3]

Some more favorite quotes!

And last but not least... a little bit of Poe:

Sorry if they're hard to read. Enjoy, and have a great night!
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