Published: April 2011
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (Harper Collins)
They've survived hunger. They've survived lies. But the stakes keep rising, and the dystopian horror keeps building. Yet despite the simmering unrest left behind by so many battles, power struggles, and angry divides, there is a momentary calm in Perdido Beach.
But enemies in the FAYZ don't just fade away, and in the quiet, deadly things are stirring, mutating, and finding their way free. The Darkness has found its way into the mind of its Nemesis at last and is controlling it through a haze of delirium and confusion. A highly contagious, fatal illness spreads at an alarming rate. Sinister, predatory insects terrorize Perdido Beach. And Sam, Astrid, Diana, and Caine are plagued by a growing doubt that they'll escape - or even survive - life in the FAYZ. With so much turmoil surrounding them, what desperate choices will they make when it comes to saving themselves and those they love?
Plague is the fourth installment in Michael Grant's Gone series. Is it as good as the others? Absolutely! Once again we meet Sam, Drake, Astrid, Dekka, Caine, Orc, Edillio, and all the many other fascinating characters that populate the world of the FAYZ.
This time around things are even more gruesome than the last, if that is even possible. Just when you think things can't get any worse ...... Well I can't tell you what happens, but you will be surprised at Grant's ingenuity. One thing for sure, this story is not for the faint of heart. It is gory, bloody and quite disgusting in some parts - at one point I had visions of the movie version of Starship Troopers in my head, what does that tell you?
But the thing that really amazes me about this book is the depth of human character. The way Grant illustrates the breakdown of society and character. How he shows so clearly the true nature of human beings and how society, and people, break down under the weight of stress and hardship.
'"So I guess the island's looking even better now, huh?" Sanjit asked. "You were right, it's one big open-air asylum."
Virtue nodded solemnly and glanced back at the church. "Yeah, but there's a couple of saints mixed in with the crazies." (p473)
Grant manages to cover the good, the bad, and the extremely ugly within his characters and yet in the end still manages to surprise. The 'X-men' factor of the story adds yet another dimension to the horrors, and the whole package is just amazing. I am loving this series, partly because I have absolutely no idea what is going to happen next. As I mentioned, the content is quite gruesome and frightening, but there is little or no language, and only a hint of sexual content. If you like your supernormal/paranatural with a twist of humanly horror, Plague is definitely for you.
I couldn't find any information on a 5th volume, but I'm really hoping there will be one - ok, with this ending, there has to be one - and we probably won't see it until 2012. Just let me know where I can pre-order please.
Revision - check out the comments below. Straight from the horse's mouth so to speak, there will definitely be a fifth volume 'Fear' and a sixth 'Light', but it seems my pleas couldn't speed the process up at all. Thank you so much Mr Grant for letting us know.