Hunger is the second book in the Gone series, following ‘Gone’. It’s been three months since the sudden disappearance of all the adults in the small beachside town of Perdido Beach, and tensions are rising. Water is scarce and food is scarcer still. How long more can the residents of the town survive with new mutations cropping up all the time, and the tensions between the freaks – those with strange, supernatural powers – and the normals rising? And amidst all this chaos, in the depths of a mine, a far greater, more destructive creature lurks, and he too needs to be fed…
Hunger was gripping. It had a thick plot, much like the first book in the series, and strong characters once again. We are introduced to several new characters, including a new antagonist by the name of Zil, who is strongly against the ‘freaks’ and wants to do everything in his power to destroy them, claiming victory for his band of ‘normal’ people and ultimately gaining power. It almost seems as if Caine, the major bad-guy from ‘Gone’, takes a step back during this novel to make room for Zil.
Sam is still a strong character, although I can’t help but feel that he’s, at times, a bit fake. I find it highly unlikely that a regular fifteen year old guy would react to a situation like this in a manner like Sam, with so much integrity and responsibility and leadership. The other main characters are pretty strong too, although I felt Astrid was a lot less likeable in this book compared to the first. Albert was another main character who appeared as a pseudo-antagonist. Although he is on Sam’s side, I’m not a big fan of his character due to his attitude and the things he does: especially his motives for those ‘things’ that he does.
The character’s were well-created, so well created that, at times, the lines between good and evil were blurred, and I found this really interesting. For example, the main antagonist, Caine, and his leading lady, Diana, often seemed to be genuinely nice, as if they weren’t bad enough. I felt this was especially true for Diana; it was as if she was just acting bad for Caine, and really wanted to break free onto the more respectable, noble side. Drake, however, was downright nasty in this novel, and is probably the true antagonist. He scares me. A lot.
Once again, Grant expertly managed to juggle several plots all at once without losing focus or making the novel too messy. There were times when I was utterly confused about what was happening, but all in all Grant’s plot remained strong. However, I often felt that some decisions or actions made by characters made absolutely no sense as they were not explained very well, but this was only a minor issue.
All in all, Michael Grant has once again created a memorable novel with strong characters and a thick plot; one that definitely deserves to be called a sequel to ‘Gone’.