It's been three months since everyone over the age of 14 in Perdido Beach disappeared in the blink of an eye and the kids who were left became trapped in a impenetrable bubble that came to be called the FAYZ: Fallout Alley Youth Zone. Sam Temple has been elected mayor of the place, for good reason: in the early days of the FAYZ, he stopped his malicious twin brother Caine's attack on the city and he figured out how people can avoid "the poof" when they turn 15. Now Sam's just trying to hold things together as the food is running out and everyone is getting desperate for something to eat. More and more kids are developing special powers and the "normals" are becoming more and more hostile toward the "freaks." On top of all that, the Darkness in the mine shaft is starting to communicate with kids in their minds and Sam discovers that Caine and his gang are plotting another assault. Sam and his friends don't know if they can handle it all--he's just a kid, after all--but they have no choice but to try.
"If Stephen King had written 'Lord of the Flies', it might have been a little like this." That's how Voices of Youth Advocates (VOYA) describes this book, and I completely agree with the assessment. There's tons of King-like freaky stuff going on: funky mutations, voices in kids' heads, a radioactive monster in a dark cave, nightmares becoming reality, etc. Meanwhile, the kids are turning on each other and getting more savage by the minute. I think that this book is too long (as is "Gone," the first book in the series) and a lot of details could have been cut out. That said, this story kept me on the edge of my seat. I can't imagine how all of the crazy stuff is going to be explained, but I can't wait to read the rest of the books and find out.