This is the second book in the series picking up the story of Gone 3 months on. Gone is based on the children who live at Perdido Beach. Mysteriously all the adults, in fact anyone of the age 15 or above has disappeared and at the same time some of the remaining children are developing strange powers. The first book introduced us to Sam who, due to his level-headedness has become the Leader of the remaining children – well at least the children who are not living at the Academy. The children at the Academy are led by Caine who already understands his own special powers and wants to make the most of them to take control. And this gives an incredibly basic summary of the first novel.
Hunger, as it’s name implies, takes us three months down the line when all the food is starting to run out and the children are beginning to starve. Sam has unwittingly become the surrogate father to over 300 children (some very young) and is trying to keep things afloat whilst having to arbitrate over ‘silly’ everyday arguments such as which dvd is going to be watched that evening. Basically Sam has so many everyday duties to perform and constant worries to try and overcome that he has very little time to focus on the real problems that are swiftly heading his way. This story sees the further development of the characters and the addition of some new mutant powers. It also sees the breakdown of relationships between the children as the real hunger takes hold with the ‘normal’ children starting to feel resentful of the ones with powers who seem to run the show.
This book is an interesting concept – it reminds me of a cross between Lord of the Flies and the X-Men and demonstrates the way that circumstances can vastly alter a person’s nature, that bad can become good and that heros are sometimes least where you expect to find them. I like the way that MG writes, he makes you care about his characters and he packs in a lot of drama and action. I would think though that this book may not be suitable for a younger audience as MG certainly doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to the fighting and conflict scenes.
The only criticism I would really have is that this is a long book – and I don’t particularly have a problem with long books – but in parts the story does seem to drag a little – and strangely enough not because of a lack of action because there seems to be always plenty going on. I think perhaps some of it could have been edited so that you cut to the chase a bit quicker. It almost feels sometimes that there is so much going on that you become almost bored with it – I know that sounds crazy but perhaps there should have been the odd chapter where things were less hectic. That said the ending is very gripping and I practically raced through it.
I’m looking forward to reading Lies which is already sat in wait however I’ll probably read a few other books first. So many books…