Wednesday, January 18, 2012


by Michael Grant

Grade: 4 stars
Story: Now in addition to hunger and coyotes and all the other nasty things, the poor kids of FAYZ have to deal with extreme thirst, man-eating bugs, the most disgustingly horrible flu ever, and the release of evil evil EVIL Drake from his prison, plus their own despair and loss of faith.
See the first three books: Gone, Hunger, and Lies, and the sequels: Fear and Light.

Review: As with the past three books, this one gets very intense--almost too intense for me sometimes, which is unusual. This one almost seemed worse than usual too, I'm not sure why. Maybe it was my present mood, or maybe it was the disappointment of a couple characters not turning out the way I'd hoped (more on that below in the spoilers section), or maybe it's simply the culmination of all the horrible things over all four books.

But it was still completely absorbing and captivating, and Sanjit and Edilio are still awesome! Woot!


--Astrid's loss of her Faith. I hated it. Ok, I know that happens sometimes when people go through horrible things, but part of it was the manner in which she lost it. It mentions that "She knew all the right answers. But the will was gone." Right, that's fine. Faith is a matter of will, and you can know the truth and logic of it, but still refuse it. But then she starts this argument against Brittney:

"'God decides right and wrong.' [Brittney speaking.]
'No,' Astrid said. And now, despite everything, despite her own exhaustion, despite her fear, despite her self-loathing and contempt, she realized she was going to say something she had never accepted before. 'Brittney, it was wrong to murder even before Moses brought down the commandments. Right and wrong doesn't come from God. It's inside us. And we know it. And even if God appears right in front of us, and tells us to our faces to murder, it's still wrong.'
It was that simple in the end, Astrid realized. That simple. She didn't need the voice of God to tell her not to kill Little Pete. Just her Own voice."

So the problem here is that Astrid is presented as someone who "knew all the right answers" and was obviously well-versed in Catholic theology. And yet from this quote above, she clearly has no clue. Right and wrong is inside us, but comes from God. The Catholic teaching of Natural Law means that even people who have never heard of God are accountable for their actions, because it IS inside of us. This annoys me so much because it's the soooo common mistake of thinking of God as some sort of powerful creature as opposed to Existence and Goodness itself. It's why so many people somehow think Evolution disproves a creator. Or that aliens creating life on Earth could be a possible substitute for God. Or that a Flying Spaghetti Monster is as probable as God. Or a multitude of other silly things.

--Caine. I was disappointed. Not exactly surprised, but I do so like redemption in characters, especially when it's so close to going either way. I still have a faint hope for him, especially with Diana's situation.

Speaking of Diana:
What??? What can that possibly mean? Something's gotta happen with that.

--Sanjit and Lana! Woot, wooooot! They are awesome and perfect together, and I sincerely hope they don't die. It would be just like Grant to kill off Lana when she's the only one keeping the kids sane, or to kill off Sanjit, who's the only one keeping Lana sane.

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