Thursday, 10 June 2010

Lies by Michael Grant

Target Audience: Teens/Young Adults
Genre: Dystopia/Thriller

Lies (Gone, #3)***Contains Multiple Spoilers***

WOW! I am so glad i ordered this and didn't wait for it to be released in the UK, otherwise i'd have been waiting a stupidly long time (yes, to me, 2 months is a long time!). Just when i thought Grant couldn't surprise me anymore, he goes and does it again, and i was left gaping with shock on several occasions at the twists and turns the storyline took, none of which i found predictable. To me it just seems as if this novel is one big roller coaster and there's no way, as a reader, i wanted to get off.

In order to give a bit more understanding i'll summarise some of the plot as succinctly as i can (i hope). Lies picks up a few months after Hunger finishes. The darkness is presumed dead, Drake is dead also and the 'human crew' are living on one side of town whereas the 'freaks' and 'friends of freaks' are living in the other. Things appear to have settled down, but cracks begin to show as the town council can't decide anything, Sam is frustrated with Zil and his crew and then to make matters worse Caine also gets involved, the result being a terrible fire that rages through Perdido Beach. As if that isn't enough Sam, and several others, glimpse Drake, the boy from most peoples nightmares, through the smoke of the burning town...

As well as the heart-racing plot there is also some fantastically written character development throughout. As a reader i found it fascinating to see the different sides of some of the more well known characters. Sam and Astrid were perhaps the most contrasting in this installment. Sam showing his very vulnerable yet resolute side and Astrid daring to admit that she's capable of failure and messing up. Other minor characters take more centre stage as well. Characters like Orsay and Mother Mary play extremely important roles to the plot this time, and in the case of Little Pete, once again he is a major factor in the events that occur.

With regards to character relationships, Sam and Astrid were once again a centre couple, even if they do spend a lot of the novel split up, thats only because it's extremely necessary to what happens and for the character development. My other stand out was Diana and Caine, their relationship is so unique (and slightly creepy) i can't help but wonder where it will go.

One of the most amazing things that occured to me was that fact that Little Pete, the little boy suffering Autism, is the one that in fact has the most power and manipulation. All the so called 'normal' kids are more often or not powerless to some extreme, yet this one little boy has the ability to change things. The idea of that to me is wonderful and if interpreted in a particular way sends the message that anyone can do something if they put their minds to it. Lets face it, it's all to easy to pick a dangerous character from someone whose strong and tell, a young child makes for a more unpredictable and interesting story.

There are, without doubt, some scenes that some readers will find disturbing, with themes such as suicide, starvation, cruelty and brutality. However, there is no doubt in my mind that the whole book has been cleverly and intelligently written. All i would say is that younger or sensitive readers read with caution!

Anyways, the next in the series is called Plague and i think it may have something to do with the illness thats starting to spread throughout this book, although i can't be sure. Still, i like to guess.

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