Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Review - Lies

Lies: A Gone NovelWhen Michael Grant first released Gone, I was really excited for it. When he released Hunger, I was equally excited. When he released Lies, I was excited but busy, and it sat behind the till in work for about six and a half months untouched. I finally bought it and read it, which the excitement for Plague building up, because the latter was due out in the near future (FYI, it's out now!).

So, with so much excitement for the book, I had a few expectations. Naturally, Grant and his publishers built on this excitement with the combination of his count-down chapters and the awesome blurb on the back of Lies that made me want to read it even more. Already being a nerd and falling in love with superpowers from an early age, a YA series about kids with powers and all sorts of demolitions occurring in an adult-free society was just the sort of thing I needed. The series escapes the normals of reality while maintaining certain degrees of realism: the kids of Perdido Beach need: food, health care, a government and power. The latter is actually both power in the new society and electricity, both of which come lacking for many.

So what did you think of the book?
Overall, a pretty damn fine novel! Even apart from the other books, this is a brilliant story. Focusing on the idea that the kids need honesty and that lies are very easy to spread, the whole of the FAYZ (Fallout Alley Youth Zone) is susceptible to dishonesty. Everything is in imbalance, and I love it! As readers, we're allowed to know some of the lies and truths, while others remain a mystery to us until the other characters find out what's going on. We're allowed to figure some stuff out, too, ahead of time, but ultimately it's not until the end that the lies begin to unfold entirely for us. Which really just makes you want to keep on reading!

All the while, the diverse range of characters and what they want just keeps everything going. More lies spread, more truths are upheld and typical of Grant more battles are fought. But the more the series goes on - and this is book three - the more we see into the minds of the cast of characters, and the greater the dangers become for them. While they could deal with the loss of the adults, and they found ways of dealing with the hunger, they're suddenly split by themselves. And, from what I can discern of the later books from titles and the trailer for Plague, things are only going to get worse, and new and greater troubles arise in the FAYZ. Naturally, the Big Bad of the series - the Darkness - will be at the heart of these troubles.

How did this book compare to others in the series?
In my opinion, it's the best one yet. While I loved the concept of Gone, that's still carried on in this book, along with the hunger problems. Grant doesn't just ditch old problems, so I'm assuming the books will only get better assuming he doesn't get worse. But as Lies begins the psychological breakdown of the kids of Perdido Beach, it reaches a new height. And of course, the implications of the book's countdown - revealed in its early chapters - become increasingly more problematic as the book goes on.

Who do you recommend the book to?
I sometimes respond with "everyone". Not this time. Obviously, if you liked the other two books, you'll love this one. And obviously if you liked my review, I encourage you to get the book - and probably the other two if you haven't read them already. If you like superpowers, this book gives them an interesting twist, and if you're interested in looking at the fall of a society gradually, then definitely check out the series! Other than that, if you like dystopian novels and/or Sci-Fi, you'll like the Gone Series. (i.e. this series of books).

Looking forward to Plague?
Is the pope catholic? I can't wait to finally get my hands on it. Though that probably won't be for a while.


Some housekeeping: I have exams in May, which I will be busy studying for, so assuming I won't have time to write reviews of the novels I have to read before my English exams, I'll be writing my last review until June next week. This also assumes I won't take time off to read for pleasure. I will, probably, but not during May.

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