Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Undefined Gamer: "Lies" Review

More reading material!

      The third book in the Gone series finds our heroes 7 months after all
people over 14 "poofed" as a giant dome of energy encased Perdido
Peach, now nicknamed "The FAYZ." It has been four months since there
was any electricity, so kids' only source of reliable food is now fish
caught by Quinn's fleet, game caught by Hunter, who was almost lynched
in Hunger for killing a kid, but was instead banished, or the food
sitting in the zeke-infested fields.
      Many of the same problems Sam, Astrid, Edilio, Albert, and the
others faced in Hunger recur in Lies. Drake is back from the dead.
Zil and his "Human Crew" are still determined to take over Perdido
Beach through their prejudice against the "freaks," or kids who
obtained powers.
      As in Hunger, Caine's gang, now reduced to a rapidly-dwindling 16
members, take a back seat to Sam's ordeals in Perdido Beach. The only
thing notable that Caine's group does is make an unlikely alliance
with Zil. Zil is to provide a distraction so Caine and his followers
can steal some boats and make a run for San Francisco De Sales Island.
      Why? There's no food at Coates Academy.
      The real threat is Nerezza, though you wouldn't know this until
later, unless you've bothered to analyze the book as you read along.
Michael Grant uses what can be at times obnoxious uses of
foreshadowing. This makes it extremely obvious that Nerezza is the
main villain, though Grant's story early on does provide little
evidence saying that she is. Nerezza is an olive-skinned girl that is
strikingly beautiful, more beautiful than she should be, whom nobody
seemed to remember seeing before. In addition to this, Nerezza's
dialogue always seems a bit off for a 14 year old, and she is
constantly cloaked in green and black imagery.
      Green is often linked to radioactivity in this series. One thing
relies on radioactivity to live: the gaiaphage, or Darkness,
previously "destroyed" in Hunger.
      Add this to Astrid and Sam's relationship issues (Sam is
having... manly issues, while Astrid tries and fails to run
everything). And like every other book in this series, the overly
simplistic title alludes to something happening in Perdido Beach that
eventually screws over the kids. To keep people "safe," Astrid and Sam
insist 9n repeatedly telling lies abd witholding the grizzly truth in
order to... keep order.
      Yeah, good work, Einsteins. When has lying ever kept order for long?
      Astrid, who as an 8th grader who is smart enough to already take
AP classes, should've seen this coming. It's like none of these kids
has ever tajen a history course. They're making the same old mistakes
countless dictators make.
      Which is a running theme in Grant's books: inaccurate portrayal
of teenagers.
      Like his other works, realism vs. surrealism is present. Like in
Hunger, Grant develops the book's realism mainly through imagery
instead of pop culture references that were repeatedly used in Gone.
Surrealism, however, is more dominant than in Hunger. This is
partially because its a much darker book. You have little kids almost
jumping off a cliff. "Zombies." Nerezza. Foreign kids. How much darker
can it get?
      Otherwise, the book is fine, though it breaks the pace set by Gone
and Hunger. Whereas Gone and Hunger where books characterized by the
protagonists' desperation and need for survival, Lies is characterized
by their uncertainty. It is not revealed who is the real antagonist
until the end, whereas Gone and Hunger both had clear enemies. Though
I didn't tear through it as fast as Gone or Hunger, Lies' pacing is
still fine, partially because there isn't that many literary devices
in it. Yet it is still compelling all the same, though I am starting
to grow wary of Perdido Beach. All I can say is that I hope the next
three books, Plague, Fear, and Light, shake things up a bit.
      The FAYZ is getting stale.
    Lies gets 4.5 stars out of 6

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