Monday, 29 December 2014

Hunger by Michael Grant (Gone, #2) - Book Review

4/5 Stars

The clock is ticking for Sam Temple and the kids of Perdido Beach....


Edition: Paperback
Pages: 586
Chapters: 48
Publisher: Electric Monkey Egmont

Book Links: Goodreads
                      Author's Website


I love the fact that the Gone series' titles represent the major themes prevalent through the stories. Gone focuses on the disappearance of all adults, while Hunger, well it's practically self-explanatory. But it doesn't just center on the very literal definition, but extends to the Hunger for power, for love, for help. It's Hunger that drives the main protagonist and antagonist in their goals. I enjoy this entry. I feel it's too drawn out, much like the first, but everything inside the novel plays a part, and that's what keeps the star rating high for me. While there's a massive quantity of things running at the same time, it never feels wasted; you never forget a thread.

We return to the FAYZ, and Sam Temple has stepped up into the role as leader.
But things aren't going well.
Sam is almost single handed in running things, and the burden is becoming too much. Hunger has set in, and the hundreds of kids within the FAYZ don't understand why. They don't understand how Sam can't help them, why Sam isn't fixing it, why Sam is pissed. They refuse to work, they refuse to do anything to help themselves, it's not their problem they say, at the end of the day, they're just kids.
But Sam is just a kid too, and there are more important threats rising. His brother Caine is plotting Sam's downfall, 'normal' kids are turning on 'freaks' with powers, and an unknown powerful being is brewing underground.
And all of it, is being thrown on Sam. It's up to him to solve every problem, but the pressure's too much and he's close to a breakdown, and if that happens...
God help the residents of the FAYZ...

Hunger takes its title seriously, and it works wonders with it. The book has an intense sort of immediacy to it, even more so than Gone does. Problems pop up faster than solutions can be found, and you actually feel overwhelmed as the reader. Not in a bad way, but in an empathetic way, as if you're there with the kids. We learn a little more about the overarching plot, like the origins of the FAYZ and of the rising creature everyone's afraid of. It's an intriguing plot, and one you're not likely to put down.

I think I've made this comparison before in another review, but it seems to be a common theme within YA: Minorities. Gone touches on it, but it's far more fleshed out in Hunger. People without strange abilities turn on those with them, even when the only reason they're still alive at all is because of those 'freaks'. It highlights jealousy, and ignorance in a way that might not necessarily be original, but tantalizing all the same. The author plays it well, and lets it grow naturally rather than a sudden shift.

I feel majorly sorry for Sam in this entry. He's been slightly forced into being the go-to-guy, and while he desperately wants to help, he can't stop the resentment that most of the problems before him can be sorted if the people around him just do something. Not his immediate circle, but the hundreds of starving kids. Everyone wants food, but no one will lift a finger to do it. It's extremely effective in connecting us more closely to our main character, who I feel in Hunger is being overwhelmed with the amount of old and new characters.

There are a ton of them added into Hunger. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but I sometimes felt POV whiplash from the amount of times we switch and switch and switch. It's tempered though with how well they're written. I love them all, Mr Grant has a great knack for humanising his characters and connecting us, the readers, to them fairly quickly. Duck anyone? Love that plot line. The little hero he is.

While I love Gone, Hunger has a more settled and comfortable feel to it and it's holding my interest.

Time to move onto the third book: Lies. Hmmm, I wonder what it will be about...

Previous Instalment: Gone
Next Instalment: Lies

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