Kirkus Reviews QR Code
PLAGUE by Michael Grant


From the Gone series, volume 4

by Michael Grant

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: April 5th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-06-144912-3
Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Readers who have stuck with the Gone novels up to now will perhaps find enough in this fourth installment to satisfy them on the road to the conclusion that’s likely another 1,000 pages away. Others, not so much. With very little recap of life in the FAYZ, it’s easy to become mired in the tedious goings-on of the endless cast of nearly indistinguishable, unlikable, power-hungry characters who are beset by dual plagues—flu and an infestation of parasitic insects that become giant, metallic killer bugs on a rampage. Clunky writing is at times reminiscent of a B movie, at others of a romance novel: “Yes, yes, she wanted him. She wanted to be in his arms. She wanted to kiss him. And maybe more. Maybe a lot more.” The distinction in the FAYZ between Freaks and Normals is not made clear, at least not before this dialogue: “ ‘You and me, we’re normal people. We’re not black or queer or Mexican And we’re the ones digging toilets’...‘Astrid’s a normal white person’... ‘Sam’s a freak, and I think he might even be a Jew.’ ” Pete, an autistic boy at the heart of the battle with the Darkness, is referred to as a “mutant retard,” “freaktard,” or just plain “ ’tard.” Utterly missable. (Science fiction. 12 & up)