Michael Grant, you have sucked me into your world of the FAYZ for the last time and I leave as bloody and broken as everyone else. This series has been addicting and depressing and amazing. I am sad to see it end, but I devoured every page racing towards the end.
Grant pulls no punches in this last installment (as if he ever as). Life is brutal in the FAYZ. Sure the barrier is clear now, but you still can’t cross over. You can see your parents on the other side eating their doughnuts and Carl’s Jr. even while you are starving. The Darkness is now a little girl named Gaia, but she is just as powerful and evil as ever. Little Pete, the only thing Gaia fears, is a disembodied spirit. And everyone else is just trying to survive and wondering about life after. The endgame is here and no one will walk away unscathed.
This is a brutal and brilliant series. I have loved every minute of it as I have despised the characters and cheered them on. The FAYZ has always been about good versus evil and what you are willing to do to survive. In this book the characters start wondering what will happen when the dome falls? What will the outside world think of them? Will anyone be able to understand just what went on in the FAYZ? Who will be blamed for it? This series was a wild ride and the ending was a double loopty-loop with a steep drop. I may have screamed all the way down but I loved every minute of it.
Death, destruction, brutality, fear, hunger, disease…in other words, things are as normal as they can be in the FAYZ. When the countdown begins this time, one word sums it up: endgame. The gaiaphage has a body. Little Pete is disembodied. The barrier is transparent and the rest of the world can see what is happening in the fishbowl that is the FAYZ. The public is shocked at Sam’s actions involving Penny and the baby Gaia; video has circulated around the globe painting him as a killer. Sam’s mother, Connie, knows that if or when the kids make it out, someone will be made to pay for the numerous crimes committed in the FAYZ. The kids inside are getting hungrier as more and more of them gather at the barrier to look out at the world they haven’t seen in nearly a year. Few seem to be willing to work and starvation is imminent if something isn’t done. As if these circumstances aren’t bad enough, the gaiaphage, in its human body, is on the loose and seeking total destruction. Our heroes are at first concerned about the “after”, the time when they are able to emerge from their prison. They quickly realize that they have far more important issues at hand that will make the very concept of “after” completely uncertain. The only thing that is certain is that not everyone will make it out alive. Those that do will never be the same.
I’ve been waiting for this book for a full year now. I’ve read each book as they came out and have grown to love, admire, hate and respect the various characters. Finishing this book was like attempting to pull myself out of the FAYZ. It didn’t really feel like the world should even still be turning. Michael Grant pulled no punches here. This book is every bit as exhilarating and compulsively readable as all its predecessors. The ending is as epic as one might expect and just about every question gets answered. An electric ending to one of my favorite series. It may have been a rough and disturbing ride, but I’m sad to see it end just the same.
Radley is in Haiti when the American People’s Party takes control of the US government. When the president is assassinated and martial law invoked, Radley decides she needs to return home to be with her parents. She arrives in the US with only her backpack. Her parents are nowhere to be seen. The banks are closed; her debit card useless. She has no cash, no charger for her dead cell phone and no means of getting home. Radley begins to walk.
When she does finally get to her house, she finds it completely empty. There are no signs of her family anywhere, but news reports indicate massive numbers of citizens imprisoned and/or fleeing the country. Radley has no idea what happened to her parents, but hopes that they got out of the country. With this in mind, Radley begins an even longer trek to Canada. Along the way, she meets another girl traveling with her dog. The girl, Celia, is desperately sick and Radley nurses her back to health before the two move on. Over time, Radley and Celia learn more about each other’s past as they struggle to create a home for themselves in a ramshackle abandoned schoolhouse just past the border of Canada. They can’t survive in the schoolhouse forever though, even with the frequent gifts of kindness left by a local woman. Radley, tired of waiting for her parents to appear, leaves for home as soon as news arrives that indicates an end to martial law in the US. Sometimes, though, you can never really go home.
Interspersed with photos taken by the author (though presented as photos taken by Radley’s mother), this is an interesting take on a possible future. This book does not focus on the political machinations that took place, nor does it linger on the state of affairs in the rest of the world. This story is almost purely character-driven. Radley is saved mostly by the strength she learned in Haiti, living with the poorest of the poor children. Celia is an interesting character and only becomes more intriguing as her story progresses. Many of Radley’s motives are unclear, which makes the story frustrating at times. I kept wanting to know more about how the US had gotten to the state that it is in by the time Radley leaves Haiti, but since the whole martial-law thing is more a framing mechanism than anything else, world building is kept to a minimum. The writing is spare yet fluid and a few tragic turns near the end will add to the emotional weight of the book.
In the future the earth is plagued with Aether storms that destroy people and crops. The survivors have divided into two groups. Those that live in pods and spend most of their time in psuedo-reality Realms and those who live outside in tribes surviving however they can. Aria lives in Reverie, one of the pods, with her mother Lumina. Lumina leaves Reverie and Aria doesn’t hear from her for over a week. This leads her to a dangerous plan that ultimately gets her kicked out of the pods. She has never been outside and doesn’t know how to survive. Peregrine, Perry, is an outsider, a savage to Aria. He teams up with Aria in order to save his nephew who has been kidnapped by the pod people or moles. Together they must learn to trust each other and survive the outside world. Along the way they discover things about each other and their world.
While Under the Never Sky doesn’t really break any new ground in the dystopian/post-apocalyptic/sci-fi genre it is an entertaining read. Aria and Perry are both very interesting characters set in their ways and forced to realize that things are exactly how they thought they were. I enjoyed their journey, both the physical and the mental one. I’m glad that Rossi didn’t go for the immediate romance angle. Aria is understandably frightened of Perry and her situation at the beginning, but they grudgingly learn to trust each other and their romance progresses naturally. I was also intrigued by the outsiders enhanced senses. They seem like some kind of natural genetic mutation caused by the Aether storms. I like the fact that these mutants have status and power in the outsider societies. I guess my complaints about the book are the lack of explanation for how the world came to be like it is, what exactly the Aether is and what caused it, how the world became divided and how the pod-people live most of their lives in the Realms but still move around their physical environment. These things might be explained in future books in the series. Even though I had a lot of questions it didn’t take away my enjoyment of this story. It was entertaining and intriguing.
After her panic attacks/hallucinations and nightmares get too bad, Faye’s parents ship her off to Holbrook Academy. It’s really more of a prison than a school and residents are locked in their rooms at night, pepper-sprayed when they talk back and drugged indiscriminately. Faye and the rest of her “Family” (a seemingly random group of 5 students) seem different from the rest of the kids though, particularly since they keep waking up with their formerly locked windows open and their hands stained red. Only one member of the Family is really set apart and Faye begins to suspect that he may know much more than he is letting on. In fact, Faye is fairly certain that he might be trying to kill everyone.
While this book is, for the most part, rather entertaining and unusual, it is also a bit of a hot mess. The setting is somewhere in the not-too-distant future. Oil has peaked out and most forests have been clear-cut. Holbrook Academy, however, appears to have avoided the worst of the clear-cutting as it is heavily wooded (evidently a rare sight in this world). The headmistress of the academy, Dr. Mordoch, is constantly spouting Buddhist phrases that somehow support the “goals” of the school. It’s honestly the first time Buddhism has ever sinister to me. Anyway, the Buddhist symbolism is more or less completely dropped by the time the second half of the book rolls around. And so does the tone. Ecological themes begin to play an increasingly important role and then an ancient culture comes into play. I get where the author was headed with some of this stuff, but it still feels muddled and far-fetched. Bonus points, however, for the author’s notes indicating that the ancient race mentioned in the book did actually exist (though very little appears to be known about them). An interesting debut novel though, flaws and all.
If you ever wonder what might happen when this stage of world life ends, this is the book to read. Interestingly, many of the things mentioned seem to already be happening! Every time I hear of a meteor heading toward the Earth I will wonder if it is the one to bring an end to things as we know them. The one in this story landed in the Pacific Ocean near southern California. The resulting waves wiped out a large part of the West Coast, countless islands, like Hawaii, caused huge damage to all ocean-lying areas all over the world, and, of course, sank most of the ships in the water. Many water creatures were also killed.Volcanoes erupted and earthquakes were felt almost everywhere. Many of the surviving people were withough any power, transportation, homes, or much food.
During this time, two societies developed. One, led by the Devil’s advocate, Mark Beaulieu, who has unearthly powers and takes over the Oval Office. He triess to squash his opponents in the Christian Resistance Movement, led by John Edwards.The clash at the end of the world is outstanding, and, thankfully, with a good outcome.
Living under a strict code of conduct in an all-female community 500 years after the earth’s destruction, a sensitive teenaged girl raised to be a hunter discovers forbidden relics from the Time Before.
An okay book, a bit draggy throughout. I didn’t enjoy this as much as I thought by looking at the cover and synopsis.
The human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials–engineered organic beings identical to humans–has decimated the population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by RM, a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island while the Partials have mysteriously retreated. The threat of the Partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to RM in more than a decade. Our time is running out.
I love science fiction based books so this book was very appealing to me. Another take on what could happen to future of humanity, I enjoyed reading it. If you don’t like science fiction or apocalyptic tales, then this is not for you.
Now here’s a very interesting twist on the zombie genre…an EMP (electro-magnetic-pulse) bomb goes off, fries all electronics and scrambles the synapses in the heads of the vast majority of the population. Alex is out in the woods, preparing to release her parent’s ashes while she still can. Alex has an incurable brain tumor that has already taken her sense of smell and left her with a death sentence looming over her head. She is out camping when the EMP bomb (or series of bombs) goes off. With her is a young girl, Ellie and her dog, Mina. Ellie has recently lost her father to active military service in Iraq and has now seen her grandfather die when his pacemaker is taken out by the EMP. Alex and Ellie continue their trek through the woods, hoping to find a ranger station and get help. Along the way they meet Tom, a young soldier on leave from Afghanistan. Together, the three attempt to survive in the face of diminishing supplies, violent survivors and the brain-scrambled “zombies” who are all the more scary for their adaptive capabilities. About the only thing actually going in Alex’s favor is the “zap” scrambled her brain such that her sense of smell returns better than ever. In fact, she can smell threats coming…
So much goes on and happens here that there are about a zillion questions that the reader will have left by the end of this installment. How long can the three survive? How long can they survive alone? What really did happen to Ellie, Mina and Tom? What’s with the uber-strange town of Rule? And who the heck though it was a good idea to set off a series of EMPs anyway? Here’s hoping the next book offers more answers. I was getting pretty frustrated with Alex by the end, so I hope she pulls herself together and becomes the protagonist we all wanted her to be.
As the book begins, Alex has just had a fight with his family about going to visit his cousins in Illinois. He gets his way and stays home for the weekend. As he’s playing World of Warcraft, the power goes out and the noises begin. The next thing he knows, a giant projectile has crashed through the roof of his house and set it on fire. He manages to escape the burning house, but quickly realizes his problems are just beginning. Yellowstone has just erupted, and it’s the largest eruption in human history. Even though Alex is over 900 miles away in Cedar Rapids, IA, he is deafened by the ensuing noise. By this time, ash is beginning to fall from the sky and the light is diminishing rapidly. As soon as the noise dies down, Alex decides he is going to find his family. Thus begins a 140 mile trek across an ashen wasteland, populated by the occasional farm house with gun-wielding occupants, impromptu small town refugee centers and large-scale FEMA camps.
This is very dark and gritty. The threat of starvation and exposure appears to bring out the worse in the vast majority of those affected. Alex struggles to retain his humanity in the face of dire circumstances, which makes him an admirable character. Recommend this to fans of survival fiction, they won’t be disappointed.
Dead and Gone is a little ebook novella set between Dust and Decay and Flesh and Blood. In it we meet Riot aka Sister Margaret. She is running away from the Church of Night zealots who want to return her to their life. Along the way she fights zombies and tries not to starve in the desert. Then she meets Jolt and Gummi Bear. They are survivors with a different mentality…they don’t kill. They see the world and survival as a game to be played and enjoyed.
It was nice to meet new characters in the Rot & Ruin of the world. Riot was interesting in a very damaged sort of way. Not sure what I think of Jolt and Gummi…they are interesting and fun characters but their philosophy just seems strange in the world they are living in. I am sure we will find out more about the Church of Night as they cause trouble for Benny and the gang (which I am sure they will). Can’t wait to read the next installment.
It’s two weeks before the 21st of December, the end of the world for many 2012-ers. For Dr. Gabriel Stanton, a prion researcher at the CDC, it’s just another regular year. L.A. is quiet, and everything seems to be normal. However, by the end of this normal day, Stanton has discovered a prion disease that threatens to wipe L.A. and possibly the rest of the major cities in the world off the map. Chel Manu, a descendant of the ancient Mayans and a Guatemalan American researcher at the Getty Museum possesses a stolen Mayan codex that coincidently was acquired through two men who are now dead from the newly discovered prion disease. After translating the first few pages, she starts to believe it holds the secret to why the ancient Mayan kingdoms of her ancestors vanished. A race to save all of humanity begins as Gabe and Chel attempt to combine their knowledge together to understand the Mayan tragedy and discover a cure to the disease that threatens to extinguish modern day civilization.
12.21 was a great read from beginning to end. Thomason combined medical knowledge and Mayan history into an action-packed book that was difficult to put down.
So the Gladers went from a horrible maze with creepy, blob-like creatures to a wasteland of endless desert wracked with solar flares, lightning storms and crazy humans that have the Flare, a virus that apparently eats away at the brain and makes people irrationally violent and very dangerous. The desert, better known as the Scorch, is the Gladers next trial. They must make it across the Scorch in two weeks to a safe haven – about 100 miles of dry land to cover. Even worse, there is another group consisting of all girls that went through a maze trial very similar to the one the Gladers endured and they are out to get Thomas, the main guy from the first book. I feel with this book the reader becomes more aware of who WICKED is and what the group’s role is in all of the “trials.” It was more informative than the first one as they reveal more of Thomas’s lost memories. I was certainly more excited about the second book, as it goes further into detail why the things in the first book happened the way they did.
The Maze Runner had such potential that was just wasted in the later books, which became convoluted messes. I had hoped that The Kill Zone would clear up some of the confusion created in the last book of this trilogy. That’s what prequels are supposed to do afterall. I wanted to know all about WICKED and how and why the maze was created, what role Thomas and Theresa played in it, and the rational behind everything. But we don’t get any of that. If The Kill Zone was a stand alone novel I would say it is pretty decent. There was lots of action and suspense, the world ends as we know it and there is a shady government organization wiping people out. But it doesn’t stand alone and that is the problem.
Instead of Thomas and Theresa we get Mark, Trina, Alec and a bunch of other people. When we meet them they are surviving in the Appalachian Mountains after escaping from New York. Then a berg appears in the sky and starts shooting people with darts filled with a virus. Some people die right away and others take time to die and still others turn crazy. The gang decides they need to find out what is going on and follow the berg’s flight to a secret bunker. Along the way there are more villages like theirs, new crazy religious cults and all kinds of other fun stuff. This is non-stop action and pretty much every chapter includes a fight of some kind. In between the current events we get Mark’s flashbacks/nightmares of what happened when the solar flares hit and they were stuck in New York.
What I liked most about this book was the flashback sequences. I am a sucker for the end of the world and the world died pretty spectacularly in this book. Solar flares basically cooked everyone outside, then the polar icecaps melted and sea levels rose dramatically. So our intrepid survivors had to stay indoors in a flooded world. The not so great parts were the trek through the woods to find the answer to the virus. There wasn’t really any new ground covered here. Of course you had crazy people killing everyone and people who found a strange religion and cannibals and what not. What else are you going to have at the end of the world? We don’t really get any good intel on the shady government or their rationale behind the virus. And since it is non-stop action there isn’t a whole lot of character building. I wanted more from this book and was a bit disappointed when I didn’t get it. But it isn’t a bad book and if you forget the rest of the trilogy it is even a little better.