Title: Quarantine: The Loners
Author: Lex Thomas (Lex Hrabe and Thomas Vorhies)
Release Date: Available
We, compared to many people in the past, lead a cushioned life. Not many choices we make involve life, death and basic survival. So imagine the shock of suddenly being sealed off from the outside world because of a lethal virus that only kills people 18 and over. These teenagers are completely alone, with no one to tell them what to do. As you can imagine, chaos ensues. The kids must join a gang and fight for their survival on a daily basis or face death by starvation or wounds inflicted in some sort of fight. Thus, the stage is set for Quarantine.
The setting in Quarantine is a rather large but otherwise nondescript high school. One might think that this would not provide a sufficiently gripping setting for brutal Darwinism that evolves from the chaos but the authors, Lex Hrabe and Thomas Voorhies, transform the school. Mazes of corridors and secret little hiding places provide the small details which in turn give detail to the larger landmarks, such as the courtyard where food is dropped by the government or the marketplace where anything and everything is sold. An immensely complex picture of the school takes shape as the book continues and each new location provides some new facet.
The characters were unpredictable, which is to say that they had more depth than mere archetypes. Standard story roles are filled, such as the object of the protagonist’s love, and the antagonist in the position of power. However the protagonist and his younger brother have an interesting relationship. The younger brother does not hate his older brother per se but he is jealous and somewhat peeved at his older brother. He is jealous because of the aforementioned romantic entanglement and peeved because his brother became extremely unpopular within the school right before they are locked in and subsequently it is harder for them to survive. This, combined with several other factors, makes for a relationship that is as rocky as any siblings’.
The plot moved quickly and in unexpected ways. This reflected the chaos of life, how it does not progress in a logical and linear manner but change will always come when it is least expected. In the book gang leaders rise, prosper and fall as others rise again. These unpredictable patterns keep the book fresh and gripping.
This book, while somewhat gruesome, was very enjoyable. The characters provide depth to the story while the setting provides the minute details that make the larger picture so enjoyable and the plot caps it off with a twisting plotline that never falls into predictability. I can’t wait for the sequel.
Review by Jake
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