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Bring Out Your Dead

In the latest Gone novel, Plague by Michael Grant, the kids in the FAYZ are now faced with a severe flu outbreak.

Bring Out Your Dead

BOOK REPORT for Plague (Gone Book 4) by Michael Grant

Cover Story: These Books Look Like They've Been Left Behind
BFF Charm: Yay
Swoonworthy Scale: 4
Talky Talk: Fast & Furious
Bonus Factors: Diversity, Them!
Relationship Status: My Love Is a Traveling Man

Cover Story: These Books Look Like They've Been Left Behind

So one of the most consistent things I hear from people who haven't read this series is that, judging by the covers, they looked like part of the 'Left Behind' series. Reading them, I always wondered if they would turn into some sort of tool for proselytization. So far, so good, and this one --I think-- put those fears to rest.

The Deal:

Things in the FAYZ (Fallout Area Youth Zone) just keep going from bad to worse as the kids have battled all the grownups being Gone, almost dying from Hunger, and trying to suss out which of them is being used by the Darkness to tell Lies. Now they get to add pestilence to the growing list of why life sucks so much.

Tired of struggling to help the kids at Perdido Beach --and of fighting with Astrid-- Sam accepts Albert's suggestion to go off in search of a fresh-water lake. Oh yeah, they're also running out of water. Again. Little does he know that as soon as he's gone, Drake (aka Whip Hand) is going to escape, and there will be a terrible outbreak of a flu so severe that it causes kids to cough their lungs up. Literally.

Meanwhile, Astrid struggles with the growing question of what would happen if her little brother --who created the FAYZ in the first place-- were to die? Would the FAYZ cease to be, leaving everyone free to go back to their old lives, or would they be stuck here forever?

BFF Charm: Yay

The kids in the FAYZ are collectively starting to question what would happen if they COULD go back to the normal world. Could THEY ever be normal again? They've seen death. Some of them have even caused it. Sam has a running scenario in his mind where he stands before a judge, accused. But Sam, you did what you had to do. In fact, you're so full of mercy that it's caused waaaay more problems --not that I blame you. The decision to sentence someone to death is one I hope I never have to make. Astrid has a complete crises of faith and morality, finally. And man, do I wish I could show up and big sister her a little bit, because geez, girl! get a grip! No one's perfect, so deal with that. And also, go make up with Sam.

Swoonworthy Scale: 4

Poor Sam. All he wants is a little lovin', but Astrid is too... Astrid. There is some s.e.x. in the book, and a little sweet romance develops between two pretty awesome characters. Still, there's far more heart-pounding suspense than there is romance. What with all the impending doom and all.

Talky Talk: Fast & Furious

Much like the testosterone-fueled Vin Diesel films, these books are super-fast paced, and might not leave as much time as some would like for character development. Unlike The Fast & The Furious these books are rich with plot. (I mean, maybe I'm being unfair to the movies. I haven't actually ever watched one.)

As an adult reader, I feel it's time for Grant to wrap up the series. If I was a 12-year old boy I might feel entirely different, but as an old I don't want this series to go the way of so many tv shows that should have stopped at season 3, even though I fear for the wrapping up, because somehow I don't think Grant has ice cream and cookies waiting for his characters at the end. But even if he doesn't, this is a series I HAVE to finish.

Bonus Factor: Diversity

Grant writes diversity in this series the way it should be: effortlessly. Different races and sexual orientations exist in the FAYZ just like they exist in every day life.

Bonus Factor: Them!

Although I kind of wish it had been Van Morrison's early band of the same name --because who wouldn't want an impromptu rendition of "Gloria"? G-L-O-R-I-A-- but evil bugs the size of buses? Pretty close second.

Relationship Status: My Love Is a Traveling Man

See, I normally like it when the book I'm with has to travel a lot for business, because that keeps things fresh (as well as giving me my space, which is totes important). But the longer we're together, and er, the older we get, the more it almost feels like this book's a stranger each time it comes home. We have to spend some time reacquainting ourselves, and it's a little awkward, where we used to just hop into bed and stay there a while. So while I have no plans to break up with this book, I do feel that things are a little strained between us, and wonder how long we can keep it up.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my review copy from Harper Collins. I received neither money nor cocktails for writing this review (dammit!). Plague is available now.

Jenny Bird's photo About the Author: Jenny grew up on a steady diet of Piers Anthony, Isaac Asimov and Star Wars novels. She has now expanded her tastes to include television, movies, and YA fiction.
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