Apr 1, 2013

Review: Light by Michael Grant


Title: Light
Author: Michael Grant
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publishing Date: April 2, 2013
Pages/Format: 432, ARC

It's been over a year since all the adults disappeared. Gone.

In the time since every person over the age of fourteen disappeared from the town of Perdido Beach, California, countless battles have been fought: battles against hunger and lies and plague, and epic battles of good against evil. And now, the gaiaphage has been reborn as Diana's malicious mutant daughter, Gaia. Gaia is endlessly hungry for destruction. She yearns to conquer her Nemesis, Little Pete, and then bend the entire world to her warped will. As long-standing enemies become allies, secrets are revealed and unexpected sacrifices are made. Will their attempts to save themselves and one another matter in the end, or will the kids of Perdido Beach perish in this final power struggle?

Light, the sixth and final book in the New York Times bestselling Gone series by Michael Grant, creates a masterful, arresting conclusion to life in the FAYZ.


Initial Reaction of Book in One Word: HOLYSHIT

This review contains some spoilers, most of which will be marked. If you haven't read this series, then proceed with caution. If you haven't read this series, then what are you waiting for?

Michael Grant is not a nice person. If you've read any books in the Gone series, then you know exactly what I mean. You never know what to expect in these books; he shocks you page after page. He makes you like a character. And then they die. He makes it seem like something good is going to finally happen. Then something bad gets in the way. He makes you think two people are finally together. Then he finds a way to break them apart for all eternity. Michael Grant is one of those evil masterminds who probably enjoys the pain and feelings his readers feel when they read about all the horrible thing he puts his characters through (he shies away from nothing). And that's part of what makes the Gone series so unique and different and out there, and what brought that series to its epic conclusion in Light.

There's really nothing to dislike about this book. The writing isn't my favorite, but it kind of fits this series. I could say I didn't like some things that happened, or certain deaths (WHYYYYYYYYY and NOOOOOOO), but that would be stupid, because that's how this series is, and thus how Light was. This book, this series, has everything: death (via murder, suicide--you name it, it probably happened), romance, mutants, killer animals/creatures (coyotes, giant bugs, bugs that eat you from the inside out), an evil being that isn't quite a being, sarcasm, comedy, horror, thrills, action (tons of fighting), drama, cannibalism, drugs, everything--AND IT ALL HAPPENS TO KIDS THAT ARE FIFTEEN OR YOUNGER. Not your average series, is it? This series is, from what I've seen, unlike anything on shelves right now. And I like that. This series is cray cray, and kind of a big huge mindfuck.

In Light, I was looking for answers, especially one: will the kids of Perdido beach FINALLY get out of the FAYZ? I've been looking for this answer for five books, and now that I'm at the sixth and final book, I expected something big to happen. (And big definitely happens.) Here's where we are after Fear: Diana gave birth to her and Caine's child, the spawn of Satan, Gaia (aka the gaiaphage, the Darkness). If you thought the usual villains and sometimes-bad-decision-makers of the FAYZ were bad, then you haven't seen anything until the Darkness takes on a human form: she's one bad bitch, and not in the good, badass way. And of course she has powers. So while she's running around and going all Godzilla and destructive on the FAYZ, the good guys are trying to figure out how to destroy her and how to get out of their doomed dome. Sam and Astrid are very much together (thank youuu!). Drake is still Drake. Caine steps up and down. And then the book progresses and things happen. But of course those things are unexpected and twisted and don't include cake and balloons and rainbows and clouds. As usual.

While characters have obviously died throughout the first five books, we still get (mostly thorough) answers for the fates of who's left: Sam, Astrid, Diana, Caine, Brianna, Dekka, Jack, Orc, Lana, Quinn, Edilio, Albert, Drake, etc. I'd like to say they all make it out of the book alive, but that's not how Grant puppeteers these books. (And I'll say this: one death completely and utterly shocked me and I wish that it hadn't happened and it made me cry and why did you do that Grant whyyy?) The way I see it, this series has several main characters, but throughout the six books, four are more main than others: Sam, Caine, Astrid, and Diana. I've loved Sam since book one, and not just because he can shoot a deadly light from this hands. In Light he is simultaneously stronger and weaker: he's tired. After almost a year in the FAYZ and seeing all that he's seen and doing all that he's done and always being called the leader and the hero when he doesn't want to be is taking its toll. Sure, he's got Astrid (LOVE THEM TOGETHER), but he's still exhausted. Can you blame him? Astrid is more than just Astrid the Genius. She's part of what keeps everyone together, part of what helps keep people sane, even if she's lost herself. And she's what keeps Sam alive. Diana is still the snarky Diana she usually is, but she, too, is exhausted, and not just because she gave birth to a demon baby. And there's Caine, the other, more evil half of Sam. But is he really evil? Sure, he's done bad things--and A LOT of them--but really, no one in the FAYZ is a saint. He's changed a lot since the beginning of the series, and I've really fallen for Caine throughout the books. However, everyone has changed since book one, book two, book three. These poor kids have had so much crap thrown at them that every minute is a fight for survival. They've grown stronger. They've grown weaker. They've simply grown.

And now, a paragraph in which I full-on talk about everything that happened. In other words, spoilers. In some more other words, if you haven't read the book, I'd suggest skipping to the next paragraph. Where do I begin? Let's start with Gaia. She. Is. Crazy. She has absolutely no boundaries, and she's a murderous little bitch. Hell on two legs and in a body that's half Caine, half Diana, and one-hundred percent evil. She was an usual villain, which makes sense for such an unusual series. I wasn't in love with how she died: for her to be so bad and hard to destroy and to be gone just like that with Little Pete back lacked a bit of fight and epicness for me. And then there were the deaths. Aside from the evil people--Gaia, Drake--that died, there were four main characters that died: Brianna (Breeze!), Jack (Computer Jack!), Orc (poor guy)...and Caine. I was sad when the Breeze died, not quite as sad but still sad when Jack and Orc were gone, but Caine? WHY HIM WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY? I was SHOCKED. Caine's one of the absolute top and main characters, and I was so surprised he died. And crushed. I cried! But it's also how he died: for redemption, by sacrifice. I mean, he's finally back with Diana (those two are so meant to be) and then what does he do? Tells Little Pete to take his body so that the Darkness can be destroyed and Diana, the girl he loves, along with any other survivors, can live. I don't think the Caine from the first few books would have ever done such a thing, sacrificed himself, given himself up like that. It's one thing when a book ends and you can picture the characters post-book, imagining what they're doing. It's another thing when a book ends and a book character is dead and you can't imagine what they're doing because they're dead. And that hurts. And it gives me this sad feeling that makes me want to cry. I just can't believe that--not only is this series over--but Caine. Is. Dead. And I am very sad. But since he's dead, the FAYZ is done: the barrier is down. Part of me didn't want the kids to leave. It's bittersweet. They've been in the FAYZ for what seems like a lifetime; that's how we as readers know them, the FAYZ versions of the kids. And now they're out and the FAYZ is over (is it really? Can you really ever get over such a thing? Can it really just be done?) and the series is over and now what do we do? *mourns the end of the series and all the characters and everything*

I'll be honest: I thought I was ready for this series to come to an end. And it probably was time--I mean, how long can you talk about kids trapped in a dome? How long can you drag that on, how many things can happen before it becomes too much and boring? So maybe it's time for the Gone series to end, and I thought I was ready, but I'm not. I'm feeling this sort of emptiness inside me, because the series over and because some people are dead. Because I started this series forever ago (around the beginning, I believe) and followed it and kept up with and now it's OVER. It's bittersweet, saying goodbye. Actually, it's not sweet, because I don't want to say goodbye. I want MORE. (Hint hint, Michael Grant.) For the most part, I got answers. But there are still a few things I want to know about, people's futures I want to know about. But in the end: Light did not disappoint. It went out with a bang and was a great end to a phenomenal series (even if some things didn't go how I wanted them to). This book made me root for people, laugh, cry, scream, gag, and say a lot of swear words. It had just about everything in it, and it was epic. As I said on Goodreads: "Holy shit and a great end to a fantastic series." (Also, I was listening to this song today and kind of thought it reminded me of Light and the series and everything.)

As much as it pains me to say it...Goodbye, Gone series. First I was Gone, then I had the Hunger, heard the Lies, got the Plague, felt the Fear, and through it all reached the Light. (I've been writing this review for a few hours now because I don't want to finish it because I don't know what all to say and finishing the review means it really is over and ahhh, I love this series!) It was one helluva ride, created by the equally fantastic Michael Grant (seriously, who comes up with this kind of stuff?! If I ever meet him, I'll make a fool of myself when I fangirl). It's been a great several years following this series, and I hate to see it go. As Grant said in his wonderful thanks to his fans (seriously, that's one of the best acknowledgement pages I've ever read): "You are now free to leave the FAYZ." As bad as that place was, I don't really want to go.

*Sad, mournful wave goodbye*

*Exits the FAYZ for the final time*


Goodbye.

Did I like it? YES!
Did I love it? Yep!
Would I reread it? Mhmm.
Would I purchase it? Absolutely!
Would I recommend it? The entire series!

8 comments:

  1. I think they should make movies of these books, i love them so much!!!!!!

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  2. I disagree with the previous comment. I think that this series would be excellent as a television series, with the books as a season, not unlike Game of Thrones. This series. I LOVED it. If I had to chose between the Potter books and the Gone series, I think I might just choose Gone. It was excellent, and Grant killed off his characters in ways that were basically certain to destroy you. The death of Caine. That one hurt, a lot. I did appreciate Grant's use of names with Caine. The first murderer, but also a biblical hero with his birth name of David. Loved your post!

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  3. My favourite character was Lana. I started crying when Brianna died. I was like, tell me this is a joke! So sad :( I personally don't think there should be a movie or tv series out of the books. I think it's best left to the reader's imagination. I'm just so sad to say goodbye, although I'm rereading them again, hehehehe.

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  4. Michael Grant did say that he was planning on a movie, but he is still in the works (finding screenwriters, producers, etc). I personally think that if they can all pull it off just right, then the movie will be more successful than Hunger Games was

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  5. The Gaiphage was a great villain up until it gained a body. I thought it became very weak after that. Wasn't keen on the epilogue either, but Caine and Little Pete's permanent death definitely made me sad.

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  6. I think there should be a series of movies on these books. One that remains true to the story (like Harry Potter). A television series would be great to savor the story but they tend to change way too much about the books (think vampire diaries). These books are incredible! I am still angry and confused about Caine's death! I would've been fine with if it weren't for the last few paragraphs about how Caine had never known love until the last few months of his life. I feel like his life was just starting when it ended. It's so awful! But still a great book and an amazing series!!

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  7. I had one major problem with the series:
    The superpower system was broken.
    Because if you really wants to make epic batlles you need to establish a combat system
    that is balanced.(I know it sounds like its rpg game)
    But really, the battle were very stupid because the individuals couldn’t really interact with
    each other in epic duels.
    I mean, lets take Cain and Sam, fight betwwen them is all about who give the first strike.
    Either sam burn cain. or cain crashes Sam to death. there isn’t much you can do here without making the whole thing unbeliveble.
    And by unbalance I mean it was really stupid, Brianna for example supposedly inferior to Cain or
    Sam becasue she is 3 bars, can acutally kick their ass because she is faster than a bullet
    and untill they managed to lift their hands she could cut their throat like 10 times over,
    So the battles were really unbelievable, which made the action very disaapointing.
    I know that the differnent and wide vareity of superpwers made the series very interesting
    but it totally destroyed the action for me.

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  8. I was really really sad when jack died. He died after using the last of his strength to help Sam.

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