Monday 20 July 2015

Light (Gone Book 6) - Michael Grant

Title: Light (Gone Book 6)
Author: Michael Grant
Genre: Science-Fiction
Published: 2013
Formats: Hardback/Paperback/Ebook

Available at:
The Book Depository
Amazon UK

“Light” by Michael Grant is the 6th and final Book in the Gone series. As it is in the final book in the series, I suspect that if you have been read the other books you are going to read this book no matter what I say here. However, I will put down at least some of my thoughts as it may persuade the odd curious reader to give the series a try.

The story picks up from the enjoyable events the concluded the previous novel, “Fear”. The evil gaiaphage has been reborn into human form and is slowly doing all she can to destroy the children who are left inside the FAYZ. Her aim is to kill everyone there and then escape uncontested into the wider world which she can bring under her control. So, begins a final battle begins between her and the final few survivors who must stand together against her.

Closing a long series such as this is no easy task but I feel that Grant has done a great job with “Light”. The adrenaline packed adventure we have been following throughout the series doesn’t let up for one moment, the fast pacing grabs the reader from the first page right to the last. In addition, Grant uses the characters he has wonderfully crafted over the past few novels to expertly showcase a finale that is full of loss, horror, sacrifice, heroism and triumph.

The characters are something I do really want to go into with this book as it is the final one. I have thoroughly enjoyed following what is a very diverse and varied cast, many of whom have their own development arcs that were interesting and at times could be classed as quite risqué in what is essentially a YA novel. For example, he wasn’t scared to show two teenagers having sex as it fitted perfectly with the story he was telling and he wasn’t worried about delving into religious aspects with characters questioning their faith and begin to doubt things. All these type of things helped to ensure that characters actually felt real and were people that I wanted to know more about.

If I have to give you all one minor niggle it is that whilst Grant did a great job delving into quite a wide range of characters, a couple of them do seem to fall by the wayside such as Bug and Computer Jack who were developing along nicely before Grant just seemingly decided to abandon their arcs beyond the interactions needed in regards to the main plot. Not a major problem but it is disappointing when you see the side-lining of characters you were enjoying following.

A final thing I will also note is that this book and the others in the series as a whole do contain a fair amount of gore and violence which may not appeal to everyone. Grant is more than happy to try and shock the reader in a new and more extreme way for each book, so by the 6th book I am sure you can imagine how inventive the deaths and horror can be.

Overall, this was an excellent final chapter in an engrossing and enjoyable series. It is a credit to Grant’s work that I do believe this is one of the best YA series I have read in recent years and highly recommend it to anyone who may be looking for a dark, dystopian story with strong characters and thrills aplenty.

Friday 17 July 2015

Star Trek: The Centre Cannot Hold (Mere Anarchy Book 2) - Mike W. Barr

Title: The Centre Cannot Hold (Mere Anarchy Book 2)
Author: Mike W. Barr
Genre: Sci-Fi
Published: 2006
Formats: Ebook

Available at:
Amazon UK

“The Centre Cannot Hold” by Mike W. Barr is the second book in a six part Star Trek mini-series entitled “Mere Anarchy”. It is set a few years after the disaster seen in the previous novel which badly affected the planet Mestiko. The Enterprise has returned with a plan to help restore the planet’s atmosphere but the Klingon Empire has also now taken an interest in the planet and has offered to help. Kirk soon finds himself once again pitted against Klingon commander Kor, with the future of Mestiko at stake.

This was another enjoyable but short novel in the “Mere Anarchy” series. To be honest, it is probably best described as a novella although the pricing doesn’t seem to acknowledge this. The price I paid for the ebook was rather obscene when you consider the length and I would therefore advise people to look at the various options available to them in regards to reading this series. In particular they should consider buying the book which combines all the individual stories together as this is much better value.

The style and feeling I got reading it was very similar to what I encountered in the previous novel in the series which is quite interesting considering they were written by different people. Simply put, it is well-written and does feel like it would fit in well as an episode in the original series. In addition, the short length means we don’t gain anything new in regards to our understanding of the Trek Universe and its characters but it is a fun read none the less.

Overall, the “Mere Anarchy” series continues to entertain me and if you have read the previous novella you really need to pick this one up as well or just buy the combined edition.