Tuesday, 7 May 2013


Light by Michael Grant (Egmont)
ISBN 9781405257589
PB  RRP $22.95
Reviewed by Nean McKenzie

Light is the sixth and final book in the YA series about the FAYZ (Fallout Alley Youth Zone) — an isolating dome in California, under which no one is more than fifteen years old. The many characters, each with a unique mutation, follow on from the previous books: Gone, Hunger, Lies, Plague and Fear. Under the FAYZ, kids continue to struggle for survival against starvation, each other and the evil presence of the Gaiphage, now in the human form of a scary girl called Gaia. The big difference in Light is the dome is clear, enabling adults from the outside world to look in. And they're horrified.  

With the dome clear, there are new problems under the FAYZ. Kids who can see their parents, stop working to produce food. Sam (the main character) and his friends are not confident they will make it out of the dome, even though the end is in sight. It is more likely they'll starve or be killed by Gaia who is growing in strength. She now possesses all the powers of each kid, including Sam's laser-shooting hands and Lana's healing powers. But they must unite and fight against her.

This story is about redemption and facing consequences. In the back of each kid's mind is the same question: what happens if they do get out? They know the adults will not understand the sometimes terrible things they have done. But first there is the difficulty of surviving. In the end a key character must be sacrificed to save not only those inside the FAYZ, but also the world outside. The 'end game' comes quickly.

Light is a long book, at 434 pages. (The whole series is around 3000!) The story is not for the squeamish with decapitation, severed limbs and cannibalism. There are some violent fighting scenes as well. There is a  recommended age of 13+ but it will depend on the teenager. Light is fast paced and jumps between the many characters skillfully.

After the conclusion there are four end chapters called 'aftermath,' which describe how the survivors of the FAYZ fare in the real world. This ties up loose ends and enables readers, who have stuck with these characters for the whole series, to finally say goodbye.  

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