While the first book in a series acts as an introduction to the setting and the character, the following books can delve more easily into the narrative seeing as how the reader is already familiar with most of the material. The writer can focus on things or people who did not feature as heavily in the first story, while still introducing new elements to keep the reader intrigued. Michael Grant’s Hunger is a good example of such a sequel. Read on after the jump.
Hunger takes place just not too long after the initial disappearance in Gone, Grant’s first novel in the series. The Kids in the Fayz are still recovering from the battle between Sam and Caine, and another problem is starting to rear its head. They’re running out of food. Planting crops in the fayz is pretty much impossible, because carnivorous mutant worms have made the soil their home, and they attack anyone who sets foot on their territory. The Coates kids have their eyes set on the power plant, figuring that without power, Perdido Beach will basically turn to chaos. Caine however, after his encounter with the Darkness in the mine shaft, is not the same. The Darkness is gaining power, and it is forcing kids to do its bidding. On the other side of the spectrum, some kids have formed an anti mutant group, with the ultimate goal of getting rid of all the kids with powers, and taking Perdido Beach for themselves. Sam, Astrid, Edilio and other characters, both new and old, have to deal with all these problems, all while trying to keep themselves and the ones they hold dear, safe.
More fast paced than the first novel in the series, Hunger is a clusterfuck of’whatever can go wrong, will.’ Caine, Diana, and Drake are more malevolent than the first time around, which is a good thing I guess, it hints at growth, though perhaps not for the better. The introduction of other characters Like Duck and Zil, who play a major role in this novel, though I won’t spoil it for you is another refreshing point. Grant makes sure that it’s not just the same characters in the same situation, but that Perdido Beach still has many more kids who the reader still needs to familiarize themselves with. Like with Gone, There is a major allegory of teen angst in Hunger. While the entire town is dying of hunger, one characters is willfully starving themselves, constantly trying to shed the next pound. With some of the ‘normal’ kids banding together against the mutants, there’s the sense of discriminatory witch hunts. Violence once again plays a bog role, though I wouldn’t say an unnecessary one within the narrative. After all, fight or flee may be the go to reactions in situations like this. Again, it is a bit freaky to read about young teens actually acting so maliciously towards one another and there’s a bit of getting used to it. In the end, the darkness, the Gaiaphage or whatever you want to call it is a big part of the story as well, how much it is affecting the kids’ attitudes is not yet clear, but I bet that will be more clear by the next book in the series, called Lies. ( Ihave yet to read this one but I got it in the mail today so I’m pretty psyched about it).
If you’ve read both Gone and Hunger, which did you like more? Leave a comment.
You can buy Hunger here: http://www.bookdepository.com/Hunger-Michael-Grant/9781405253543/?a_aid=Jonathandesouza
P.S. If you buy from the Book Depository now, you get a special bookmark that acts as a frame for your favorite book-quote. You can then take a picture and upload it, and you could even win some schtuff. Read more about it here http://www.bookdepository.com/quotemark/?a_aid=Jonathandesouza