LEX THOMAS is the combined names of writing duo; Lex Hrabe and Thomas Voorhies. Quarantine: The Loners is their debut novel.
(Picture of the Authors: Lex Hrabe and Thomas Voorhies)
A science classroom in disarray. Two hooded figures in the center. The word: Quarantine. Need I say more? Having graduated high school two years ago, I understand the need to want to escape and the fact that the title suggested otherwise had me itching for a read.
It was just another ordinary day at McKinley High—until a massive explosion devastated the school. When loner David Thorpe tried to help his English teacher to safety, the teacher convulsed and died right in front of him. And that was just the beginning.
A year later, McKinley has descended into chaos. All the students are infected with a virus that makes them deadly to adults. The school is under military quarantine. The teachers are gone. Violent gangs have formed based on high school social cliques. Without a gang, you’re as good as dead. And David has no gang. It’s just him and his little brother, Will, against the whole school.
In this frighteningly dark and captivating novel, Lex Thomas locks readers inside a school where kids don’t fight to be popular, they fight to stay alive.
[WARNING: Spoilers are featured in this review…]
This story may have the savagery of The Hunger Games but it isn’t a dystopic novel. I actually first read about this book on a list that was compiling the top ten must read dystopic novels which didn’t make sense. A dystopia is the worst possible version of reality. This story takes place in our reality but it’s a really bad, singular and not overall, situation that has taken place. “Reality” (i.e. outside the high school walls) is still pretty normal. If anything, this novel could be the beginning of a dystopic society but it isn’t there yet. It’s a just a crappy situation that happened to a group (a very large group) of people.
The plot is great. You have everything people hate about high school and then it’s exaggerated 1000 times over. It was gripping and it was frightening because it’s infused with the probability that, if such a thing were to happen, kids would go around killing each other to survive. You never really knew what was going to happen (or if you were like me, you wanted certain things to happen *cough cough* Sam meeting an unhappy end) and the end was a little hazy there but it was a good read.
It was alright. There were unnecessary uses of exclamation marks when the sentence had already conveyed the emotion. Moments of redundancy occurred when it came to description and the works but it didn’t hinder the story. The fact that it didn’t look like it was written by two people is a bonus for the guys.
What I love about this book is that it’s driven more by the characters than the plot itself. The characters aren’t you’re cut and dry good or bad. They’re people put in a terrible situation and are behaving accordingly. I like that they’re not who they were when things first started out and sometimes that frustrated me (*cough cough* Will…). There were moments that made me sad but there were moments that made me want to kill particular characters like Will’s juvenile attitude toward his brother, Sam’s psychotic thirst for blood (not in the vampire sense but the murder one) and Hilary’s manipulative antics.
The plot was a tool for the characters’ development which is exactly what we need in writing.
Memorable or Forgettable
This book could be memorable but then I think about books like Michael Grant’s Gone series that was based on a similar story (instead it’s a town surrounded by an invisible barrier and filled with kids)…it’s hard to tell. It didn’t tug – no rip – at my heart strings the way the first Gone book did which might could have it leaning towards the forgetful side of the spectrum. Oh well, only time will tell.
I give this book 4 savage Geeks out of 5.
Keep on reading,
A. A. Omer
The opinions expressed here are mine and readers are welcome to disagree. In fact, I encourage it! I never believed in putting particular books or authors on some sort of universal pedestal but you’re free to put it on your individualized pedestal because I most certainly will.