Saturday, 25 June 2011

Plague

Plague Plague by Michael Grant (hardie grant Egmont)
PB RRP $ 22.95
ISBN 9781405256575
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

Enter the fourth book of the exceptionally successful Gone series with the fifth, Fear, due in early 2012.

A breeze has begun to blow over Perdido Beach and the FAYZ. It is hair-raising for there hasn’t been a breath of air moving since the barrier came up when all the adults disappeared.  Petrol has almost run out and water is in minimal supply. Albert, a former underdog, has proven to be an astute business man. He has created a food distribution business which has lucrative rewards, but which also keeps all the people of Perdido Beach fed.

Things are extremely tense between Sam and Astrid as Astrid refuses on religious grounds, to consummate their relationship. Quinn, Sam’s best friend, is still head of the fishing crew and has shown that he can step up to the mark when he’s challenged by something that interests him.

But Caine, Sam’s wicked twin brother, and Diana his girlfriend, have been living away from the town in a movie star’s house where luxury, food, videos and fine clothes were there for the taking. It is here that Diana makes the decision to give in to Caine’s coercion, believing that he has changed from the callous murderer to a more compassionate being.

Drake and Brittney now share a body due to the power of the Darkness. Like a split personality, one person merges when the other submerges and this entity is invincible. Drake finally escapes from his basement dungeon, more vengeful and inhuman than ever.

But there is more to fear than Drake now. The Darkness has set its sights on Little Pete, Astrid’s autistic brother. There is something connected to the child’s powers that the gaiaphage desperately wants. When Drake becomes his worshipper, the Darkness sends him on a mission with results more horrifying than before. Parallel to that horror, is the sickness that is claiming children’s lives which began after the breeze started blowing.

But the horror doesn’t end there.  Sam is sent to find water at a new location. He encounters the leader of the Wolf Pack who has something growing out of its body- something grotesque that is extremely contagious. This is followed by monsters hatching out of human bodies at a startling rate. Their size, power and indestructibility appears to herald the beginning of the end for all the inhabitants of Perdido Beach.

Plague is riveting reading but cruel, horrible and violent in places. It comes recommended for mature young adult reading.

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