Saturday, 14 April 2012

Fear


Fear by Michael Grant (Hardie Grant)
PB RRP $22.95
ISBN 978-1-4052-5762-6
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

The children of the FAYZ have survived loss, hunger, lies, and plague, all of which were accompanied by fear. Now the word fear takes on a new meaning when Darkness slowly swallows Perido Bay. All the former trials have returned in full force and cruelty and the search for control is transformed into something more horrible than ever. Everything that they had gained and learnt, is now lost within the lack of light.

On the other side of the barrier, Sam and Caine’s mother, Connie, has learnt that the barrier is to be blown up using nuclear weapons, which may kill the children on the other side. Betrayal and lies follow her discovery, but the children’s lives are at stake and she will do anything to prevent the blowing up of the barrier.

The gaiaphage has ordered the invincible Drake/Brittany to find a body for it to be reborn. With Astrid’s brother Pete no longer an obtainable vessel for rebirth, the focus has turned to Diana whose accelerated pregnancy speaks volumes. Her fear becomes terror when Drake comes and drags her back to the gaiaphage’s cave to give birth to her mutant child, which then is transformed into the new gaiaphage, aptly named Gaia.

Caine has paid the price for allowing Penny too much freedom. Her perverse and revengeful nature has turned on him and given him a taste of his own medicine. The rule of King Caine is toppled when the children see he has hands of cement and feet of clay.

Death again comes to the teenage population. It is a constant and accepted horror amidst a life of continuing horrors. Amidst these debilitating and confronting losses, Sam and Astrid at last consummate their relationship, the one beautiful thing amidst all the terror, death, hunger, lies, loss and fear.

Unfortunately, it is too little within the ugliness that results from the clearing of the Darkness. Although the parents cannot hear their children, they can now see them through the barrier. They witness the brutality of their offspring without having any understanding of its role in their survival. None of the children are the same as they were before the barrier went up. They are strangers to their families. On one side is shock and disbelief at the horror they see. On the other side it’s a fact of life. It’s about survival and justice.

This is the fifth book in the riveting and highly successful Gone series. The story concludes with Light, due in 2013. This series comes with a written warning that it ‘contains cruelty and some violence’.

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