*Though there will be no spoilers for Hunger, there WILL BE SPOILERS FOR GONE (BOOK 1)
Gone, on it's own was a very well-constructed novel. (If you're unfamiliar with this series, you can find my review for Gone here)Though fear of having a horrible sequel did exist in my gut, I was mostly excited to see what would happen in the aftermath of Gone. So, let's just straight into the review!
Author: Michael Grant
Series: Book #2 in Gone Series
Preceded by: Gone
Followed by: Lies
Genre: YA/teen dystopian
Published: May 26, 2009
Links: Amazon | Goodreads
Book Description (courtesty of Goodreads):
"It's been three months since everyone under the age of fifteen became trapped in the bubble known as the FAYZ.
Three months since all the adults disappeared. GONE.
Food ran out weeks ago. Everyone is starving, but no one wants to figure out a solution. And each day, more and more kids are evolving, developing supernatural abilities that set them apart from the kids without powers. Tension rises and chaos is descending upon the town. It's the normal kids against the mutants. Each kid is out for himself, and even the good ones turn murderous.
But a larger problem looms. The Darkness, a sinister creature that has lived buried deep in the hills, begins calling to some of the teens in the FAYZ. Calling to them, guiding them, manipulating them.
The Darkness has awakened. And it is hungry."
For reviews on sequels (or subsequent novels in a series), I believe the main concern of the audience is how the current novel compared with its predecessor(s). For that reason, I'll focus on comparisons of Hunger from Gone. The review will be relatively short and free of the long story/short story segments for that reason
Similarly to Gone, this book shifts perspectives, and I loved it. The shift kept me on my toes and it just makes you able to picture the goings in the FAYZ really well. The experience of reading this novel is almost as if you're watching a movie.
Pacing of Hunger is very fast. The start of the novel isn't quite high-action or high-stakes, but it definitely pulls you in from the start and before I knew it I was already halfway through it. As with Gone, I hardly notice that these books are nearly 600 pages a piece. Definitely page-turners.
Grant is really great with his characters. He crafts them in such a manner that they are very believable and either likable or not likable. It touches on the basic quality that no human is either entirely good nor entirely evil. That is the nature of humankind, and these characters followed that. I even started to appreciate Quinn (and if you read my review for Gone you would understand how big of a change that is).
Hunger does introduce some new characters into the mix as well as giving greater focus on characters from Gone that faded into the backdrop. I personally loved how much more attention Albert got. You also get more of Brianna ("Breeze") as well. Whereas, I want to say Sam got about 70% of the focus in Gone, I think Hunger brought that percentage down to around 50%. However, he is, without a doubt, still the head honcho in this series.
Hunger actually seemed to dial back from the romance that Gone initiated. The romantic moments still exist but it's mostly present at the start of the novel, and dissipates to very infrequent mentions. I personally appreciated the lessened focus on romance. The main focus of the novel is on starvation and the desperation that results from it, so it's only appropriate that the romance gets taken out of the spotlight as a result.
I would say when speaking comparatively to Gone, Hunger has the same balance (if not more) action. Since Gone involved the setting of up at the situation, which was all non-action-y, the higher action motions (the big fight with Caine) mostly took place towards the end. With Hunger I would say the action moments were more disbursed throughout.
If you're curious about "the darkness" that was introduced in book 1 (as I was), this book does go into more detail about it. But that's all I'll say. (;
Final Verdict/Will I read the third installment?:
Very good sequel. I will definitely be reading the third installment, Lies.
If you liked Gone, you will like Hunger as well. It's a very consistent sequel that will pull you in immediately.