Thursday, September 26, 2013

Quarantine: The Saints

Quarantine: The Saints
Lex Thomas
400 pages
Released: July 9, 2013
Publisher: Egmont
Source: the publisher

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

WARNING: This review contains spoilers from the first book in the series.  Don't spoil it for yourself!  If you want to check out my review of the first book instead, you can find it here.

Quarantine: The Saints picks up right where Quarantine: The Loners left off, Will and Lucy are just about to escape McKingly high and its violent hallways, when the unthinkable happens... a bus slams into the school's exit, trapping the remaining students in the school once again.  But there are new students on the bus and their entrance into the school brings with it the ability to get better supplies, which leads to huge parties and a whole new dynamic in the school.

At first I couldn't get over how Lucy and Will were so close to freedom only to have it taken right from their grasps.  I was concerned that The Saints would be the same thing as The Loners (which don't get me wrong, I loved The Loners a lot and its Lord of The Flies-esque drama) but I was hoping for something more from The Saints.  Happily, I can report I got something even more amazing in The Saints.  The simple introduction of a few new characters completely changed the living situation in the high school.  In fact, it was Gates who changed the whole school.

Oh, Gates.  Gates, the leader of the new group, had a very distinct personality.  I'm quite sure he had some sort of mental disorder going on, but I'm not a doctor so I can't diagnose.  He was very clingy to those he loved, he loved power, and he loved to show off.  As a result, he had the adults of the community, who also show up in this book, wrapped around his little finger.  He demanded all kinds of supplies and used those supplies to throw parties.  Gates' parties were pretty epic at McKinley high, you'll have to read for yourself to find out about all the random things he used to do.

Still, like I said, his presence really changed the school.  With his ability to acquire supplies, the tension around finding food and bartering relaxed, and so did the cliques.  Sure, you still have your distinctive groups, but there was a lot less group-on-group violence in this book.  But don't think this installment is weak - far from it.  There was one death in particular that stuck out to me as particularly gruesome.  Yiiiikes.  Teenagers left to their own devices with almost anything they could ask for - it's a dangerous combination.

And yet, despite it's uniqueness, The Saints still had some of what I loved the most from The Loners, particularly Will and Lucy.  Their relationship continues to be on again off again and I loved watching them, rooting for them to get it together and be together.

Four stars!  Quarantine: The Saints was a superb follow up to Quarantine: The Loners.  I was really impressed with the plot and how the authors were able to change the dynamic at McKinley high simply by introducing a new group of characters.  And the ending of the book!  I'm on the edge of my seat, again, waiting for the next book in the series.  I'm definitely hooked and if you haven't had a chance to check out this series, give it a look; I don't think you'll regret it! 

PS:  When I finished reading Quarantine: The Loners last month, I knew I had to get my hands on the sequel as soon as I could, so I'm grateful to Egmont for sending me a spare galley they had.  Even though the book was sent by the publisher, this did not affect my review and I wasn't compensated in any way.

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