Series: Gone (Book Three)
Author: Michael Grant
Summary: It’s been seven months since all the adults disappeared. Gone.
It happens in one night. A girl who died now walks among the living; Zil and the Human Crew set fire to Perdido Beach; and amid the flames and smoke, Sam sees the figure of the boy he fears the most: Drake. But Drake is dead. Sam and Caine defeated him along with the Darkness—or so they thought.
As Perdido Beach burns, battles rage: Astrid against the Town Council; the Human Crew versus the mutants; and Sam against Drake, who is back from the dead and ready to finish where he and Sam left off. And all the while deadly rumors are raging like the fire itself, spread by the prophetess Orsay and her companion, Nerezza. They say that death is a way to escape the FAYZ. Conditions are worse than ever and kids are desperate to get out. But are they desperate enough to believe that death will set them free?
Review: Hmm. I can almost see the confused looks on those who read this. How can a blogger give five stars to the second book in a series, and only three to the next?! Let me tell you, I, too, was incredibly surprised at my rating of the third Gone book. Only three. And I contemplate if it deserves even that! Lies was just…so poorly written, in comparison with the other books in the series thus far. Gone and Hunger were so much better! I couldn’t even tell which was the main character in this book; Sam was hardly mentioned, nor Astrid, or Lana, or Edilio, or anyone previously set as a main character. It felt as though Orsay, Mary, and Caine got the most screen time, with the addition of some new characters, Virtue and Sanjit. However, although they got a lot of book time, I still couldn’t really tell where the book was directed. It was all very distracting and, for the first time in this series, the switching view points took much away from the outcome of the book.
Also, you might recall in my review of Hunger that I mentioned that I liked the inclusion of religion and faith in God in the book in at least one character, that being Brittney. However, Lies bordered on almost…sacrilegious. It bordered offensiveness on those who are religious. A strange leap from the normality of Hunger.
What I Liked: Spoilers!
· As always, a very creative plot with very diverse characters. I still appreciate that. Grant has a big imagination and connects different things to other things and somehow, it all ties back into a real plot; something most authors couldn’t do with so much going on. You’ve heard all this from me before, so I won’t go into it very much. It’s very enticing and creative, so you naturally want to read.
· Caine and Diana kept me sane this whole time. Believe it or not, those two were my anchor of sanity in this book! From the start, I loved their relationship, and the development in this book, however minimal, was enough to really satisfy me and make me happy enough when I read points from Caine’s or Diana’s points of view.
What I Didn’t Like:
· Firstly, the sacrilegious parts of this book. The inclusion of Orsay’s “prophecies” and Brittney believing she’s an angel of the Lord, but she shares this nasty, demon body with Drake…It’s all a bit much. Some of the book seemed like a big, religious allegory, ending up with the religious (Brittney, here) being poorly mistaken, mislead, and deceived. She believes she’s an angel, but she’s actually being used by “the demon”. Tanner, her ray of light, actually seems to be more of an evil being than something good. Orsay is the “Prophetess” and she’s cast down, as Prophets of the Bible often were. Grant got a bit too close to actual religion and making his character seem like a modern-day prophet, with revelations from God (or the demon gaiaphage) than he really has authority to include. I found it strange, yes, but many people could easily be offended at something like that; it’s like toying with religion; something that people just shouldn’t do in this manner. It was strange to a point where I contemplated reading Plague at all.
· Sex and lust are becoming too much of an issue. Sam’s frustrated with Astrid for “refusing” him and she’s cast in a bad light for that. This irks me. Beyond belief. I don’t think characters with moral standards should be put down and seen as the object of grief because they have some standards. That is preposterous! Sam focuses too much on making out with Astrid, touching Astrid, getting angry at Astrid because she tells him no. I admired this series because there wasn’t any of that in the first book and was minimally mentioned in Hunger. Now, it’s really bothering me and has no place here. Why start a series with nothing too mature and then veer that way once you’ve gained the admiration and trust of teenagers who stand against immorality? Before reading Lies, I recommended this to a church-related book club as a “clean read”; now I’m thinking of taking it back.
· I don’t much understand the point of the council. The whole deal with Astrid being in “power” and putting Sam down seemed useless. Although I’ve read three books in consecutive order, that entire thing seemed to pass right by me as being unimportant. Sam was doing a great job as leader, and if the reader was supposed to sense that he couldn’t handle it, Grant didn’t do the best job conveying that. Sam, with the help of Edilio, Brianna, Dekka, Taylor…all those “go-to” characters in the previous books seemed to be doing a great job and made the best decisions for everybody. Plus, the fact that Astrid and the council wouldn’t let Sam go after Zil when he was first becoming a threat made me so incredibly angry. I’m not a person who supports killing; not at all. However, when someone has already committed several murders and plans to keep on going, somebody needs to put a stop to it, even if it means killing that person. In our world, if a person commits a murder, they get a very serious penalty. If there’s more than one, almost surely they get a death sentence. I couldn’t see the sense in the council’s decisions about Zil. It made me really angry; however, that could just be the political side of me influencing my opinion. Other people might disagree with this statement.
· Unfortunately, Grant slipped back into the habit of not using word choice. “Said”, “asked”, “yelled”…It’s getting old. Come on, Grant; I know that you can do better! It felt like lazy writing; it was choppy and if you read it aloud, sometimes you felt like an idiot. It kind of disturbed the reading experience.
Overall: Fans of the Gone series, go ahead and read Lies. As a stand-alone book, I’m not sure I’d recommend it to anybody, except perhaps those who would definitely not be offended by mentions of lust and semi-sacrilegious material. Keep your fingers crossed that Plague is much better than its predecessor.
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