Monday, July 8, 2013

What we're reading: The end of a series

Cecilia from the "Problems of a Book Nerd" blog put this one perfectly for me. We read Hunger, by Michael Grant, in book club, waaaaay back when this series started in 2008. I must confess I found the first book intriguing; Anarda, on the other hand, said she wouldn't want to read another, because of the extreme (and yes, graphically gross-out) violence. But when the second one came out, my curiosity about what happened next, which is always what gets me into trouble, made me reach for it, and then the next, and then the next...

Back in May of last year, I wrote about the series here, so I won't reiterate what I said then (since you can click on that handy link I just provided and see for yourself), except to say that I just finished Light, the final book, and it's been six long years in the FAYZ! (Not really six years there, only six years here, but for all of us, it was LONG.)

The last book stayed true to form, with high energy and gripping twists and turns. It introduced crazy new challenges right up until the end; but then...there was the end. I always have sympathy for the author in a case like this where there has been such tremendous build-up through a rather long story trek. There's no good way to end a series like this, because inevitably some people will be mad at who you killed off and who you let live, others will be indignant that some went without punishment while others were held to too high a standard, and there is always the let-down from high drama back into "regular" life that can be, well, anticlimactic. The most interesting part of this book, for me, is that the dome of the FAYZ became transparent at the end of the previous book, so now everyone inside can see out, and everyone outside can see in, heightening the significance of what's happening for both sides. The most problematic part of this book for me was the question of "powers" and what might happen to them when the FAYZ finally comes down (if it does). That's all I'll say about that, because I don't want to be a spoiler. Anyway, I'm glad I read the last book, just to get the series finally out of my system, but I'm also relieved there won't be any more! And I'd LOVE (are you paying attention?!) to hear from any of you who have also hung in there about what you thought of it! (the last book, the series as a whole, my comments about it, whatever!)

And just for the record, I STILL think the book covers are ludicrous. What would have been great is if they had used the same two models for each cover but made them look progressively worse as each book came out--dirtier, less and less well dressed, hungrier, scarred...right? These ABC Family clones just don't cut it. But--maybe pretty people sell books.

An intriguing twist for me right at this moment is the emergence of a new TV series on CBS called "Under the Dome," which is based on a novel by Stephen King that came out in 2009, a year after Grant's series began. Lest you should think King ripped him off, though, the book is based on an earlier manuscript that King was working on back in the 1970s that he set aside back then and picked up later. And, conversely, I don't think Grant had access to that, so no reverse rip-off either. The similarities ARE intriguing, though--the unexpected descent of the dome, the reactions and interactions of those contained underneath, etc. And apparently there was also a dome in the 2007 Simpsons movie! (The EPA lowers the dome over Springfield to contain the town's pollution.) Is this a case of great minds thinking alike? or is it something more sinister...? Bwahahahahahaha.

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