17 April 2012

Review: The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch

The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch

Published: 1 September 2011 by Scholastic

Pages: 288 (hardcover)

Genre/s: Young Adult, Post-Apocalyptic

Source: Own library

Check it Out: Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ The Book Depository

Synopsis

The wars that followed The Collapse nearly destroyed civilization. Now, twenty years later, the world is faced with a choice—rebuild what was or make something new.

Stephen Quinn, a quiet and dutiful fifteen-year-old scavenger, travels Post-Collapse America with his Dad and stern ex-Marine Grandfather. They travel light. They keep to themselves. Nothing ever changes. But when his Grandfather passes suddenly and Stephen and his Dad decide to risk it all to save the lives of two strangers, Stephen's life is turned upside down. With his father terribly injured, Stephen is left alone to make his own choices for the first time.

Stephen’s choices lead him to Settler's Landing, a lost slice of the Pre-Collapse world where he encounters a seemingly benign world of barbecues, baseball games and days spent in a one-room schoolhouse. Distrustful of such tranquility, Stephen quickly falls in with Jenny Tan, the beautiful town outcast. As his relationship with Jenny grows it brings him into violent conflict with the leaders of Settler's Landing who are determined to remake the world they grew up in, no matter what the cost.

My Thoughts


The Eleventh Plague is one of those books that are a great idea, but lack that certain spark in the execution.  I won't resummarise the story, but in short it is what I call a 'soft apocalypse' - although the world is harsh and survival is an ongoing battle, there's nothing overly disturbing about this book.  The world building is OK - there is information on how the world ended up in the toilet, but there's no real sense of struggle or atmosphere and it reads more like a small-town saga.

Stephen is an average lead character - he is loyal, brave and smart, but there's no real sign of a personality underneath those characteristics.  Jenny isn't as much the firecracker I expected from the blurb - she's a rebel in Settler's Landing but the attempt to make her witty and smart-arsey falls a little flat in places.

The writing was probably the high point of the story for me, free-flowing and uncomplicated, there's a feeling of continuity even in the slower passages.

Overall, there's no screaming faults with this book, but it's not going to be a memorable read for me.

4 comments:

  1. I feel the exact same way. My initial interest was in the characters, and unfortunately, my biggest issue is that I didn’t really connect to the them at any point throughout the story. The setting was great though. Reminded me of The Book of Eli (movie).

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yep, you perfectly hit the nail with your review. This book was just this, mediocre. I was expecting more from him... The biggest problem I had with the characters, I just couldn't connect with them and his Girlfriend Jenny? I couldn't like her at all...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I expected this absolute fire-cracker with great one liners and a daredevil 'tude. But it just didn't come through.

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