Lord of the Flies meets Heroes in this sprawling novel, aimed squarely at teenage and cross-over markets. Its cinematic prose and graphic violence suggest a bid for TV or film adaptations and the deliberately loose narrative ends prepare for a sequel.
The sudden and inexplicable disappearance of all the adults in the small town of Perdido Beach in southern California leaves that void into which the disenfranchised plunge, seeking the power and status which their social aberrations have previously denied them. Caine, self-styled leader of FAYZ, the new order, chooses his henchmen carefully and Drake is a terrifyingly psychopathic right-hand man.
Sam and his friends provide the crusading opposition to Caine’s group and their fear and understated acts of bravery make them a credible opposition. Added to the mix is an ability possessed by some of the characters to channel through their hands a mysterious and hugely powerful physical force – which can be used for good or evil – and the apparently irreversible disappearance of all young people at the moment of their fifteenth birthdays.
The cruelty and violence in this book is often shocking, making it unsuitable for young or squeamish readers. The action is relentless, making for a hectic but sometimes compelling read. Grant has researched his market well and this book taps into popular youth culture and contemporary issues of identity and the abuse of power. Confident and enthusiastic readers with strong stomachs will find much to enjoy here.