Lies. by Michael grant

March 18, 2012
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“Lies” is the third book in the “Gone” series, and follows on from the previous story “Hunger” We find ourselves introduced to the idea that someone within this dome that has trapped kids under 16, the FAYZ- Fallout-Alley Youth Zone, a certain girl has developed the power to communicate with the adults outside of the FAYZ. The main protagonist of the book, Sam, investigates to find that this woman, Orsay, has managed to attract a few people to tell them what their loved ones outside of the dome are saying, thinking and feeling. She seems to have gained a rather forceful devotee, Nerezza, who is insistent on referring to Orsay as the “Prophetess”. The Prophetess foresees Sam's mother telling Sam to let go, stop being the hero, and she soon starts to cause problems for the council of Perdido Beach, as many residence feel as though “popping out” of the FAYZ once they turn 15 is a much easier choice .Nerezza has also caught wind of a new freak, Jil, whose ability is to sing and make people forget everything. Interested, she visits the Day Care, and “adopts” Jil. Concerned with what to do with Orsay, Astrid, head of the council, decides to tell everyone that Orsay is a fake. She wants the council to lie to the people of Perdido Beach

Meanwhile, we find that Sam is still suffering from the terrible ordeal of the battle between Drake Merwin, a cynical “freak”- (the generic term for all those within Perdido Beach with mutant powers), with a whip-like hand given to him by the gaiaphage, a mysterious force giving these freaks their powers. Concerned, Sam visits Lana, a “Freak” with the power to heal, earning her privacy from “The Human Crew”, a group of normal concerned with riding Perdido Beach of all “freaks”. Sam want to know whether the gaiaphage really has died, despite being around when it was killed, but Lana is unsure. Sam has also seen Brittney and Drake walking around, although both were supposed to be dead. The prospect of Drake alive again scares Sam too much, so much so he keeps the knowledge of Brittney alive again away from the council, a secret that soon leads to a huge argument between Sam and Astrid, his girlfriend.

Divisions between the kids at Perdido Beach and Coates Academy have increased, since the battle between Caine and Sam, both equal strong in their power abilities, “four bars”. Food is scarce up at the academy, yet Caine has heard of an island further out at sea full of food, and devises a plan to hijack a boat, controlled by the kids at Perdido Beach. He tells Zil, the leader of the “Human Crew” to launch an all-out attack against the “freak”. Caine means to use this as a diversion to get to the Beach and sail out towards to island. Zil believes this will allow him control over Perdido Beach, and sets fire to buildings, knowing water is scarce. Enraged, Sam sets after Zil, vowing to kill him if he gets a chance, blaming Astrid for not letting him do so earlier. Sam's power is the ability to form bright light from his hands, allowing him to burn things or light a path. Sam begins to burn through every member of the “Human Crew” he can, yet after losing Zil, he disappears, deciding he no longer wants to play the role of the hero, and heads toward the nuclear power plant, the place he was whipped until Drake had him begging for death.

Caine and his group make it to this island, where they find it already inhabited by 5 children. The children offer Caine food, yet they plan on escaping the island to fly to Perdido Beach.

The council is left to deal with the aftermath of the fire, yet no one trusts Astrid, after the lies she told about Orsay. Astrid is now able to understand the pressures Sam had gone through, and she misses him dearly. Insistent on taking with the people, she calls a town meeting, yet is constantly heckled by Howard, a council member. Astrid set up a plan to gain everyone's attention, in which food is cooked out in the open and attracts everyone. Astrid explains the laws she had put in place, before she steps down as head of the council. Enraged that the last law applies to Zil and the “Human Crew”, and after following the persuasion of Nerezza, Zil launches another attack on the “freaks”. However, at the same time, Drake has been spotted in the Day Care centre. As per the prophecy delivered by Orsay, Mary, the head of the Day Care, leads all the little children towards the Clifftop, safe in the knowledge that in a few moments, she will turn 15, and “pop” out of the FAYZ.
Astrid's little brother, Pete, shows Astrid an insight into the game he has been playing constantly, Pete is without doubt the most powerful person in the FAYZ, and only a few know he is the reason the dome has been caused. Astrid learns the gaiaphage has reached Pete through his game, and that the game he seems to be playing on a dead console is being replicated in real life. Astrid is shown that Nerezza is the gaiaphage personified. Alarmed, she calls Brekka, a freak with to power to stop gravity within a certain area, to stop Mary form jumping of the cliff and leading all the little children to their deaths. . Brekka is distracted by Zil, who has been told, by Nerezza, to stop Brekka at all costs. Sam returns, yet gets into a fight with Drake. Although burning him, Drake seems to be able to regenerate body parts. Worried that Sam will reduce Drake to ashes, Nerezza urges Jil to sing, and for a moment, time seems to stop, except for Nerezza and Drake. Although Sam can tell what is going on, his brain seems to be working at a much slower rate, and he realises Drake will kill him.

Mary's 15th birthday arrives, and she sees the person she most loves, her mother, urging her step out of the FAYZ. Mary does so, steps forward, and pulls the children off the Clifftop with her.

I think “Lies” is a perfect follow on from “Hunger” and the whole series addresses the problems
children may face if left to look after themselves. The mix of some children developing powers is a great stimulus, as it allows confrontations of superiority to occur, as is inevitable between teenagers. The book is a fast paced story, with problems arising at every moment for our heroes. The dramatic tension created allows us to feel sympathy for those suffering, either from painful memories or the aftermath of fights.

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