In the aftermath of a war, America’s landscape has been ravaged and two-thirds of the population left dead from a vicious strain of influenza. Fifteen-year-old Stephen Quinn and his family were among the few that survived and became salvagers, roaming the country in search of material to trade. But when Stephen’s grandfather dies and his father falls into a coma after an accident, Stephen finds his way to Settler’s Landing, a community that seems too good to be true. Then Stephen meets strong, defiant, mischievous Jenny, who refuses to accept things as they are. And when they play a prank that goes horribly wrong, chaos erupts, and they find themselves in the midst of a battle that will change Settler’s Landing--and their lives--forever.
Special Word: Ominous
Level of Amazing: 68%
Book Cover: I thought the cover was interesting. It made me wonder why the specific objects on it, though, such as the car and Ferris wheel. Was this book going to take place in a specific place where all this was related? [8/10]
First Thoughts: Interesting stuff going on in the beginning, lots of emotions, and questions thrown at you. I could really get into this book. [8/10]
First Impression: I didn’t like the idea of the grandfather. Stephen tries very hard to connect dots and stuff about how life was with his grandfather, and how things would be if he was alive, but I didn’t find it necessary. Only because I never met the grandfather, and that didn’t allow me to connect to his character, so I was always wondering why Stephen felt like he needed his grandfather one moment, and was glad he was gone the next one. [6/10]
The Good: It is fast-paced. If you start reading it, you might finish it, because the language is simple. I like the flow of it, though at times it feels like it moves too fast, and you wish it could slow down and explain more in details things that one might find interesting. Too fast, maybe? [8/10]
The Boring: The story falls short in many places. Like you get to a place with Stephen and his father, but then suddenly you have no idea what is going on, or why. There is not enough drama, but the characters try very hard to make it seem like there is, and it doesn’t make you feel like. It’s almost like the characters are teasing you with things they do just to see how you react as the reader. It wasn’t extremely boring, but Stephen not knowing stuff and always doing things to find the answers came out as slow, and sometimes desperate to move the plot forward. [5/10]
The Exciting: There are a few scenes I enjoyed, where there is action, and things you don’t see coming. In the beginning, there is a scene where you actually feel desperate for the characters, and I loved that. I wanted more of that. [8/10]
The Confusing: Stephen’s decisions to get out of Settler’s Landing. Why would he try so hard when those people where obviously just trying to help him and his father? I found his thinking unnecessary at times, and I was always questioning WHY ARE YOU DOING THAT…WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? WHY? WHY? I get that you’re a teenager and desperate, but why? [6/10]
The OMG: The scene when they are in the carcasses of the plane. Thumbs up. [10/10]
The Bad: I GAVE UP. I got to page 190/278 (chapter 24) and gave up, after all the other books I want to read began screaming at me madly. I just found the prank Stephen and Jenny did very stupid, and I have no idea how it got to that, but it made me roll my eyes and close the book, especially after the fire at the barn starts. Like, I had no idea what was going on or why, and neither did Stephen. If he was confused, I was drowning. [4/10]
The Horrible: Everything burns. [5/10]
Final Thoughts: The Eleventh Plague is a well-written book that has some good moments where your heart starts beating fast. After a few events and the characters start facing danger, you crave for more, but the plot of the story takes a sour turn, and you end up hoping to end the book faster than you originally thought. We follow the story of Stephen and his father, who have been traveling the country since Stephen can remember. There is not a lot of background on them, but Stephen occasionally reaches for the past and allows you to peek into it, without slowing down the present. This story was not for me, and I was really looking forward to it, since one of my favorite authors (Suzanne Collins) quoted on it. If you enjoy stories where love is almost forced, you’re confused a lot, and want to finish the book by throwing it against a wall, this one is for you.
Connect with the author:
I live in an extremely Brazilian section of an extremely Greek neighborhood—Astoria, Queens, which is just to the right of Manhattan. (That's as you face Manhattan. If you were, say, lying on your back in the middle of Central Park with your head in a northerly position, we would be to your left) I live there with my wife who has a blog and our two cats who do not. One day I hope to have a very large dog that I can name Jerry Lee Lewis.
I used to write plays (I actually have an MFA in it, which is currently number 8 on US News and World Report's annual list of the top twenty most useless masters degrees) and now I write books for teens. I've written two. One was about a girl who wanted to be a rock star and could graciously be called a learning experience.
The second, is The Eleventh Plague and it comes out Sept. 1, a fact I still find pretty amazing.