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The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch

Hirsch, Jeff.
The Eleventh Plague 557 Broadway, New York: Scholastic 2011. Pgs: 278
America is destroyed. Cities that once thrived are now nothing but rubble. A savage disease has killed more than two-thirds of the population. Those who are left are forced to fight against others for food and supplies. In The Eleventh Plague, Jeff Hirsch creates a post- apocalyptic world in which survival is the only way. The Eleventh Plague grips one and plunges them into a tale of suspicion, deceit, and desperation. This book was like a magnet. Once or twice I felt a physical need to read it, and as someone who doesn’t read books often, that is mind-boggling.
In The Eleventh Plague, a boy named Stephen must fight for his very survival after his family dies from a murderous disease in a shattered, broken wasteland that was once America. Soon he meets a group of people that take him to a sheltered paradise of real houses, food, fresh water and modern conveniences called Settler’s Landing. There he meets Jenny, who convinces him to play a prank that goes horribly wrong. Soon people are dying on all sides, as Stephen falls into an all-out war that will change his life forever.
Hirsch has a created a reality seems only too realistic. What he has crafted could happen tomorrow, a disturbing truth. What is only fiction could become reality, and that is an impressive accomplishment. I can’t relate to these characters because they have had to fight to live, but the cast Hirsch has created is masterful. I love the characters in this book, one day they are going to school, the next they’re fighting a war. These people feel like they could be the people I sit through algebra with and hang out with over the weekends. They are fantastic. Also, I like that throughout the story, there is a strong sense of individuality, but near the end Stephen must join the people of Settler’s Landing to save each other. The theme here might be “alone we will fall, but together we survive.” I have always felt like without others to run the
race of life, I would never finish. For a debut novel, Jeff Hirsch has proven himself a top-of-the-line writer. This story
ranks among some of my favorite books so far and for anyone who likes survival or after Armageddon novels, this is for you. This is a great look at what could be or would have been, and a gripping read. You can be sure Hirsch’s sophomore effort will be just as thrilling as The Eleventh Plague, and I hope to see it soon.





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