Hunger – by Michael Grant
I should probably start by admitting that I have a certain weakness when it comes to authors Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate. Their Animorphs series basically ruled my life as a young teen, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t maintain a certain level of obsession even today. So my opinions of their other books may not be wholly without bias. However, I will do my best.
Hunger is the second book in Grant’s Gone series, the first of which came out last summer. It’s been three months since everyone over the age of 14 disappeared, and more kids are developing mutations – superhuman abilities. The food is running out and tensions are rising, particularly between the kids with abilities and those without. Sam is having trouble solving everyone’s problems and keeping everything running and the stress is wearing on him. On top of everything, The Darkness – the mysterious force living in the old mines – is working on a plan to escape and take over the FAYZ. If it succeeds, no one is safe and no one will have the power to stop it.
I had been anxiously anticipating this book since I finished reading the last one and it did not disappoint. It was exhilarating, action-filled and highly satisfying, while still ending with the vague threat of future danger for the next book. There are so many different aspects of the book to think about and pay attention to – the over-arching threat of the Darkness, the rivalry between Sam and Caine over control of Perdido Beach and the food supply, the friendships and romantic tensions between certain characters, the tension between mutants and “normals,” and the social and political concepts as the kids try to work out a functional system for living together in Perdido Beach. I wasn’t sure at first about the concept of the Darkness – it seemed a little much – but my concerns were quickly forgotten and almost from beginning to finish, I had trouble putting the book down. I’m completely hooked now – on the plot, the characters, everything. I’ll be eagerly awaiting volume three next summer. It’s a long wait, but I’m certain it will be well worth it.