I knew this was going to be a great book after I finished reading the first page. Jeff Hirsch has a writing style that is unique and refreshing. He’s not a writer; he’s a story teller. His use of descriptive language is amazing. Look how he described his grandfather’s hand, “…it was a desert plain, the tracks of the veins like dry riverbeds winding up the crags of his knuckles.” Talk about descriptive! The whole book is filled with these images that are more than mere words on a page. His words truly paint images in your mind as you read. It’s been a long time since I read something that had that effect on me.
Now, if the title doesn’t offer you a clue, please don’t think this is a cutesy-fluffy read. It’s not. It’s disturbing and down right haunting at times. Could you imagine the world as we know it after a biological warfare attack that left 2/3 of the population dead? What if America (and democracy) as we know it was a distant memory? Or, the military suddenly went from an entity designed to protect to a force of evil? Doesn’t exactly make you think of rainbows and kittens, does it? The thought provoking nature of this book was great! I can’t even begin to talk about it, because it would ruin the book. Someone needs to read this so I can talk about it! This book deserves to be discussed. As a matter of fact, I would love to see it juxtaposed alongside Lord of the Flies. (Yeah, it’s that good.) Man, the discussions that would follow!
So, obviously the plot is incredible, but that’s not the only great thing hidden between these covers. The characters are great. All of them. Even the ones you despise. Everyone is layered and brutally honest (to an extent). Within this small village of Settler’s Landing, you encounter every type of human emotion and the darkest (and best) natures of mankind. Steven and Jenny are complicated. You’re never really sure what’s going with them. It’s obvious there is an attraction between the two, but it’s not just physical. (It’s not very physical at all.) There is a connection. Maybe it’s because they are two outsiders that make the members of this small community nervous. Or maybe, it’s because they are the catalyst for the inevitable change that will come. Every stereotype and fear of the community is illuminated in the eyes of Steven and Jenny. It’s major.
I really hate that I can’t talk about this one in any detail! There are SO many things going on in this book that it deserves to be discussed. If you like Lord of the Flies (I adore it) then you will like this book. I guaranty it. There were moments when I was reading The Eleventh Plague that I was thinking about poor Piggy. But most importantly, Jack’s final thoughts (while he was waiting to be rescued) about his experience on the island and the evil that lurks in the hearts of man resound in this book as well. It’s moving and thought provoking. Actually, it’s downright scary because I can imagine it really happening. Read the book and you’ll see what I mean. People are ugly by nature, and this book shows how vile we can really be.
- excellent story
- very thought provoking