The Loners by Lex Thomas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Genetic engineering gone badly wrong motivates the focus in this action-packed YA adventure thriller. On his epileptic young brother Will’s first day at Pale Ridge’s brand-new high school, David expects trouble because on Saturday he had punched out a rival for his girlfriend’s affections, and opened a vendetta among his former football teammates. But moments after entering the school, that becomes a minor problem, as first an explosion destroys the east wing of the high school, then teachers start falling dead in gory fashion, while the students remain untouched-for the time being. Nearly instantly, armed military SWAT teams appear beyond the confines of the school compound, shooting students who approach too close, and welding shut the doors and windows of the remaining wing.
Now every two months a military helicopter drops supplies onto the quad, for the survivors to fight over. One student kills another, while the seniors also begin to die of the same virus that killed the faculty. Even David and Will, so close up to this point, begin to fight as Will turns tough guy to overcome his epileptic vulnerability.
Rugged and uncompromising, “Quaranteen” is a not a book to be read in the dark or while alone, but it does deserve reading. Very well-written, very compelling, this novel will be virtually unforgettable.
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Reviewed for Great Minds Think Aloud