Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch

The Eleventh Plague
By: Jeff Hirsch
Release Date: September 1, 2011
Source: Won from From The TBR Pile
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"The wars that followed The Collapse nearly destroyed civilization. Now, twenty years later, the world is faced with a choice—rebuild what was or make something new. Stephen Quinn, a quiet and dutiful fifteen-year-old scavenger, travels Post-Collapse America with his Dad and stern ex-Marine Grandfather. They travel light. They keep to themselves. Nothing ever changes. But when his Grandfather passes suddenly and Stephen and his Dad decide to risk it all to save the lives of two strangers, Stephen's life is turned upside down. With his father terribly injured, Stephen is left alone to make his own choices for the first time. Stephen’s choices lead him to Settler's Landing, a lost slice of the Pre-Collapse world where he encounters a seemingly benign world of barbecues, baseball games and days spent in a one-room schoolhouse. Distrustful of such tranquility, Stephen quickly falls in with Jenny Tan, the beautiful town outcast. As his relationship with Jenny grows it brings him into violent conflict with the leaders of Settler's Landing who are determined to remake the world they grew up in, no matter what the cost." (summary from goodreads.com)

Jeff Hirsch's The Eleventh Plague is about Stephen Quinn, a fifteen year old boy living in a world that was destroyed more than twenty years ago from war and disease. Stephen travels across a ruined America with his father and grandfather scavenging what they can. However, Stephen's life is turned even more upside down when his grandfather suddenly dies and his father is seriously injured in an accident. Stephen soon finds himself in Settler's Landing which is a small town that seems to be unaffected by what is occurring outside of it's gates.

I enjoyed The Eleventh Plague and finished it only a few short hours. I really like the premise and found it to be really interesting as well as realistic. I sympathized a great deal with Stephen because he has grown up never knowing any other life. He only hears stories about what life used to be like and when he goes to Settler's Landing he feels out of place. Jenny is a complicated character who I didn't like until the last couple of chapters. I did enjoy the other kids in Settler's Landing such as Jackson and Derrick and wish they were in the story a bit more.

The first page immediately captured my attention and I liked that the mystery surrounding the world Stephen lives in as well as what happened to his family slowly unravels in the first couple of chapters. The setting is definitely creepy because Stephen travels across a destroyed America where everything has either rusted or has weeds wrapping around it. The last few chapters were my favorite part of the book as well as the most exciting. The Eleventh Plague is an excellent debut and I enjoyed going on this journey of survival with Stephen.

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