Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Quarantine: The Loners

   Author Lex Thomas
   Genre YA, Science Fiction
   Publisher EgmontUSA
   Publication Date July 10, 2012
   How I Got This Book NetGalley
   Electronic Copy 410
   Stand alone or series Series
     My Average 26 pg/day
     Reading Difficulty 2
(on a scale of 1-5 5 = dictionary vernacular)

The Forgotten

It's Will's first day of high school and he can't be more excited, his brother David, though, just wants to crawl under his sheets and go back to bed. Things turn for the worse after a massive explosion leaves the students scattered, the teachers dead, and the doors and windows of the school locked. There is no leaving McKinley High. After a few days of not knowing anything, the government steps in and informs the students that the reason they are in lock-down and have all lost their hair and all the teachers (and some of the students) are dead is because they are all carriers of a deadly virus that kills adults instantly. Once a teenager enters into adulthood, he/she is no longer immune and begins to slowly die.

I am going to change things up for this review.

It Has:
1. Sex (sort of)
2. Violence
3. Drugs
4. Vivid descriptions of smells & sounds
5. A great idea!

It's Missing:
1. A strong plot
2. A definite main character
3. Showing -- instead of telling
4. More Science-y stuff (that's the technical term!)

The NeverEnding Story meets Children of the Corn

This novel tripped over the realistic line into the, It-would-never-happen-this-way realm. Once you get past the idea that there is a virus that uses teenagers as carriers and kills all adults... there are many other things to hurdle over. 

Issue #1 There is no regulation of the children. Parents, humanitarians and many other nosy adults would have put their foot down on the way the students were treated in this novel. No way the government would only drop food and leave the kids to fend for themselves.

Issue #2 The lack of leadership throughout the school. I don't believe the clicks would have split up into separate militia the way they did. Yes, there will be clicks because they already existed. People are comfortable with what they know. But, I believe the "Varsity" crowd would have set up a hierarchy with Sam as the leader and everyone else peons (sort of like King Arthur). Food would have been rationed out, of coarse Sam would have gotten the best and most amount of food, and some might not have gotten more than a morsel... 

Issue #3 Where are all of the babies? There is rampid sex throughout the school during this novel. Yes, there is mention to condoms... but who is supplying them? Surly they aren't arriving in the care packages from the government. And there is no way every single teen is using protection. 

I try not to dwell on the different writing styles of authors... but I have a hard time when the first word of every sentence in a 7 sentence paragraph starts with "She" or "He." This lands in the same field of "show me, don't tell me." I felt like there was a lot of telling the scene instead of showing.

An interesting way the author could have added more science fiction to the novel, since they shifted from viewpoint to viewpoint anyway, would have been to see the events from the scientist's perspective. What happened, what are the adults doing to fix the problem?

Rating: D+
Probably half the reason I didn't like this as much as some is because I am lacking that Y chromosome. This novel really appeals to the male sex. 
If you like Outbreak; Ashes, Ashes; The Way We Fall, & Survivors, you might like this novel.

About the Author

Lex Thomas is the pen name for the writing team of Lex Hrabe and Thomas Voorhies. Lex received a BA in Drama and English from the University of Virginia and has worked as an actor, director and writer. Thomas graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design, and now writes, and exhibits his realist oil paintings in Los Angeles. Lex and Thomas met in a writers' group in Los Angeles. Their friendship developed as they tried to blow each other's minds with clips from bizarre movies. In 2005, they became a screenwriting team, and found that writing with a friend is much more fun than doing it alone. Quarantine: The Loners is their first novel.


  1. Gosh I love a good review - even if it's not a book that's high rated! Honesty is always key for me in my book reviews, so it's refreshing to find someone else who posts as honestly as I do!:) Just wanted to let you know that I posted a link to this post on my blog today:

    Have a great Wednesday!

  2. I haven't yet read this book, so I can't speak to it's quality, but those of us with the Y chromosome dislike poorly written books just as much as those of you who lack it.

  3. I really like how you laid out this review (and now I want to nose around your blog and see if you always write them that way). :) I have been hearing this sort of "not so great" about the book ever since I bought it... *sigh* :) I will still read it but do not have my hopes up as I once did.

    1. I hate to give a bad review... but I hate to read a bad book even more. I'm glad you are going to attempt to read it any way. Good Luck. Hope you find it more appealing than I did.