Fear by Michael Grant
Just finished reading Fear by Michael Grant and spent a few horrifying days accompanying the kids in the Fayz. If you haven’t read the rest of the series this review may contain spoilers.
I must hand it to Michael Grant, every book I read in this series I finish up thinking how on earth will he come up with something new and every book he amazes me by doing so, yet again. He’s created this amazing, insane and horrifying world. It’s like the X-men if Stephen King wrote it or Lord of the Flies made into a Hammer House of Horror movie. What the hell – I have no idea how this can end – particularly in a way where we all reach the end of the yellow brick road, click our ruby slippers and say ‘I want to go home’. I got a bad feelin about this!
So we start the story, the town is divided – we have the kids on the beach ruled by King Caine and the kids at the Lake looked after by Sunny Sam. They’ve reached a sort of balance. They’re growing food, fishing, working, there’s a bit of internal politics going on, relationships – you could be forgiven for thinking mmmm, now what, as you drum your fingers impatiently. But, you know this calm just isnt going to last. In this instalment the Fayz is like a little island trapped inside a snow globe, everybody is playing nice together, things look calm and it makes for a pretty picture until something or someone tips the globe and then the storm arrives.
Fear – yet again Grant manages to instill more than one meaning into the title of his book. This time we have the darkness – looming and threatening to ruin everything that the children have accomplished in order to survive. Imagine complete and utter darkness. No moonlight, no stars, nothing, just pitch black. You could step off the edge of the road to your death down a deep ravine, you can be hunted by the things that can smell your fear. It’s just so fundamental to most children’s basic fear – the reason why they want to sleep with the door open or have a night light. On top of that we have all your own personal fears – spiders running over your bodies, massive wasps chasing you, worms eating their way out of your body, being buried alive, anything, you name it. Your own inner demons and one particular inhabitant who has the ability to make you live them out in a very realistic way – fear!
So, basically, Grant manages to chuck everyone right out of their comfort zone all over again. The Gaiphage is back with his machiavellian scheming. We’ve got the usual characters and we get to see how they’re developing as they realise just how responsible they are. We also have casualties because Grant isn’t afraid to kill off characters for the sake of the story. Sam has to come to terms with his own fears, his own feelings and his own status. We see Caine have a bit of a change of character, okay, he’s not turned soft and fluffy but I actually felt sorry for him at one point! Yet again, we have the evil baddies – the ones you love to hate and we also have the inspirational ones – breezing in and out at will! On top of this we now start to see things from the other side of the globe – we’re with the parents on the underside. We’re watching what’s going on out there as the secret forces try to figure out what’s going on and just exactly how much of a threat it could be.
I can’t/or won’t say any more. I enjoyed it. Did I enjoy it as much as Plague – not sure. I thought Plague was a bit horrific (in terms of YA anyway!) I definitely didn’t enjoy it more but it was good and I’m looking forward to the conclusion. Anything is possible with Grant. I’m not picturing happiness and joy though!
I have included Fear as part of my Once Upon a Time event – this is a not-a-challenge event being hosted by Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings. Check out the review site here – such a lot of great recommendations! Happy reading.