Hunger is book number two in Michael Grant‘s continuing story of the survivors of Perdido Beach California. Perdido Beach has been re-christened the FAYZ and it is a dangerous place to live. Still trapped under the bubble, they don’t know if there is a world outside or not.
The survivors have lived to fight another day. And to starve.
Food is running out too quickly for the youngsters to replace. Albert, who has taken over the local Mickee D’s and Edilio, the fire chief and soon to be sheriff have decided to harvest the crops that are lying in fields around the town.
Their first attempt ends in disaster when they find that humans aren’t the only things that have mutated in their new little world.
Caine has been in and out of a coma since his close encounter with the evil in the mine shaft. Drake’s been a bit more fortunate in his dealings with the creature in the shaft. He’s gotten a nifty new arm and has become even crazier than he was before.
Sam is rapidly losing his focus as things keep spiralling out of control. Kids are dying, starving and scared. There is a ‘movement’ started by the “normal’s” to take over control from the freaks. Despite help from Astrid, Edilio and Quinn, Sam’s spinning plates are wobbling and falling.
Caine’s now recovering from his fugue and is intent on taking over the nuclear power station. Drake is plotting to kill Caine and Diana is still playing them both against each other. The rest of Caine’s troops have deserted after he killed a boy while he was delirious.
Lana the healer of Sam’s group decides she has to kill the thing in the mine shaft as it continues to talk to her and Caine. She is afraid that if she does not destroy it everyone in the FAYZ will die.
The ‘mutants’ continue to appear and get stronger. But Little Pete is still stronger than anyone realises. He has been making monsters while he sleeps.
But more frightening than the monsters is the fact that Pete is talking to the evil living in the mine shaft. It is hungry and it wants to be fed.
Michael Grant’s story continues to move at break neck speed. Introducing new characters, new problems and solutions. Like Sam Temple, Grant is spinning a lot of plates but they are in no danger of toppling off their stands.
We are given a basic thread of hunger that spreads through every thought and action of all the characters. It drives much of what happens in the book and affects the outcome of things more often than not.
Sam is close to losing control and breaking down despite the strong support he gets from Astrid and his friends.
Both groups have to deal with treachery, civil unrest and madness. Their small captive world is dangerously close to unravelling.
Hunger was another ‘page-burner’ in other words, if I’d turned the pages any faster, they would have caught fire from the friction. Just like the first book in the series, Gone, Hunger grabbed my attention and did not let go until the very last page.
I am still completely transfixed by the two groups and their battles with each other and with themselves. I want to see them win, whatever that entails, and I want to be there when it happens. Lead on Mr Grant, I’m right behind you waiting impatiently for the end.
I will finish by saying that I am amazed that these stories are classed as Young Adult Literature. Like the Tales of the Otori by Lian Hearn, I think that this classification is wrong. Anyone can read these and get carried away by the writing, the story and the characters.
Thank you Michael Grant for writing them.