This book is honestly one of the best I have ever read. It’s one of those books that makes you ask ‘how does this author have such a superior imagination?’ I just want to get inside Grants mind because the storyline is insane and throughout the whole book there isn’t a single dull moment. Weirdly, my favourite thing was how disturbing and pure revolting it was, but I’ll get onto that later.
Hunger is the second book in a series of five (a quintology?). I read the first one a couple of months ago and I liked it, but not enough to rush out to buy the next, but I am so glad I finally did. I can remember being really put off by how violent the first book was, with kids killing each other and growing mutated whip hands etc., but either I’ve become weird and cynical or I got over the initial ‘ew this is morbid’ mind-set. Hunger is just as revolting as Gone and boy oh man oh uncle does Grant know how to do revolting. He slays it. Imagine listening to the most talented, soulful trumpet player in the world tooting away; that’s what its like to read Grants vomit worthy scenes. I can’t really express how passionate I am about them so I’m just going to say oh boy oh man again.
That brings me on to my next point of praise; despite the fact that Grant got old enough to lose all his hair many years ago he has the teenage vernacular down to a T. The way the characters speak makes them (and their weird mutant powers) much more believable. I feel like they could all really exist. Popular teen authors (coughJohnGreen) can overdo the dialogue and make these sweaty spotty teenagers speak in heartfelt poetic melodies that are completely unrealistic, but there’s none of that in Hunger.
Onto the actual novel. It’s fast paced and full of shocking things, as in Chapter 1 starts with a kid called E.Z getting eaten from the inside out by toothed worms, the remaining bones then burnt to ashes by Sam. You can feel everything building up to the climax at the end and it’s so intense. There’s a lot of tension with Zil forming a ‘Human Crew’ and attempting to kill anyone with mutations, Coates kids planning to break into the power plant and feed the gaiphage, Lana planning to kill the gaiphage and Sam trying not to go insane or think about Astrid in the shower. On top of all of this is an excruciating hunger felt by everyone, causing them to turn violent. When I was reading it I constantly had so many questions about what was going to happen, which is a sign of a brilliant book.
It’s dark and disturbing and brutal, and overall exciting to read. It’s definitely aimed at boys so I felt a bit weird about how much I was loving it but it didn’t stop me. There are so, so many characters but it’s actually not a problem keeping track of all of them (although some characters e.g. Orsay kind of disappeared). The diversity of the characters and their individual mutations shows how creative Grant is and allows you to hate some people (hello Zil you snot nosed bastard) and love some people (Lana!LANA!!!) This has become one of my favourite books and I’m actually scared to read the rest because they have so much to live up to. If you’re a fan of The Maze Runner trilogy, Lord of the Flies or The 100 (my beloved) then there’s a chance you’ll love this series. I have no idea how it will, end but I am definitely buying them all. Grant owns my soul now.