BOOK REVIEWS

The Eleventh Plague Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-08-19 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 234 user ratings
ISBN:0545290155
LANGUAGE:English

"Originally posted on my blog: http://libraryladyhylary.blogspot.com ! Check it out for more reviews!

In the not too distant future, fifteen-year-old Stephen Quinn and his father are scavengers living in the desolate wasteland that is now the United States. After a plague known as P-11 wipes out most of the population of North America, the survivors now live on the brink of starvation, constantly trying to evade capture by the Slavers: mercenaries who seek to sell their captives to the highest bidder. After the elder is gravely injured, Stephen and his father find themselves being taken to Settler’s Landing: a small town that managed to survive the plague and is now home to other survivors as well. After his father slips into a coma, Stephen lives with a local family to help care for him. Stephen is reluctant to partake in the seemingly normal life of Settler’s Landing, but eventually gets used to attending school and playing games, even though he is far from welcome by Will, the son of the town’s leader. When he meets Jenny, a fellow outcast, Stephen feels like spending his life in Settler’s Landing might be a possibility. But when Stephen discovers that a practical joke has lead the town to the brink of war with a neighboring village, will he be forced to leave his father in Settler’s Landing and return to his life in the harsh wilderness?

Despite its slow-pacing, The Eleventh Plague offers an interesting perspective on a very real possibility for the future of the United States. Stephen struggles with normal teenage issues while tackling the realities of his situation: coping with the loss of his mother, his grandfather’s recent death, and his father’s injury. By including Stephen’s grappling with things like crushes, bullies, and feeling like he doesn’t belong, Hirsch creates a believable character living in a very harsh future. The novel focuses almost exclusively on Stephen’s thoughts and feelings, leaving the supporting characters slightly underdeveloped. Jenny, Stephen’s love interest, has a small back-story to explain why she is also an outcast in Settler’s Landing, but story could have been improved by working to expand upon the people Stephen encounters. Overall, however, The Eleventh Plague is an enjoyable read for fans of dystopian novels, especially into a post-apocalyptic setting.

I wanted to like this novel more than I ended up enjoying it. I thought the teenage perspective on a post-apocalyptic future was interesting, but the pacing issues in the plot really hampered the story at times for me. I wish the author would have expanded more on what caused the plague and describing the post-apocalyptic environment. I think the author did a good idea of inspiring the reader to contemplate the “what-if’s” of Stephen’s future: what if the America of today experienced P-11. Although it is unclear if this novel is part of a series, I look forward to seeing more of what this author has to offer.
" said.

"‘The Eleventh Plague’ unfortunately was not one of the epic dystopian that was released in 2011. When compared with the titans that are ‘Divergent’, ‘Enclave’ and ‘Ashes’ this novel falls somewhere in the middle, with just a mediocre entertainment value. There are so many good novels in this genre that I felt a little put-out after reading ‘The Eleventh Plague.’ Don’t get me wrong, the premise was interesting, the writing was compelling, what threw me through a loop was the main characters. I felt like we were just following two idiotic teens making stupid choices and getting everyone around them hurt. That didn’t go over well with me. It’s one thing to see transition, it’s another to feel overwhelmed by stupid choices.

REVIEW:
The world is decimated by an event called The Collapse and twenty years later a fifteen year old boy called Stephen Quinn is trying to get by with his father. He has watched his mother and his strict grandfather die and now after a series of unfortunate events, is about to watch his father slowly die if he doesn’t get any help. He does get help, in the form of a group of people that have banded together in an area called Settler’s Landing. The survivors have gotten together and formed a community in the midst of chaos and are trying to hold on to a slice of what life used to be, by educating their children and even holding on to what was once American traditions. Stephen quickly bonds with a girl called Jenny Tan, beautiful, but Chinese which are the people that let loose the P-11 virus on America. Together it is them against the world…

This one went on my TBR because I read a rave review or two about it. I thought this would be more interesting then the rest of the crowded dystopian genre because it was more post-apocalypse than actual dystopian. I’m always a big fan of a little apocalypse action. Unfortunately it just ended up being a filler piece for me, something to pass the time. The only way I can describe it is “underwhelming”. It dragged at parts and focused so much on the internal struggle of Stephen to realize there is HOPE in life and we must be good people that it seemed almost like an after school apocalyptic special. But, all the while the boy is realizing he must fight for good – he is making these terrible choices and doing just ridiculous things that he has to run and fix and then mess up more things. Then the author would minutely focus on one plot point while all these other things were occurring that were wrapped up in a few sentences. It just fell flat for me, but was written well enough for me to finish.

My positives on the book was the background story. I thought the author had founded a good idea and would have like to see him expand on it. I also enjoyed his messages and thought he had wonderful intentions, I guess I was just looking for a little more action. This would make an excellent SyFy movie!

Recommendations
Recommended for young teens that would like a more internal focus apocalypse stories.

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" said.

" Korrektül megírt világvége sztori, de semmi extra. " said.

"Originally Reviewed on The Book Smugglers

When P-11, a souped up version of influenza concocted and weaponized by the Chinese government, was unleashed on North America, global society had already long been in the process of collapse. After the nukes the United States unleashed, after the economic meltdown, and constant atmosphere of fear and distrust, the plague was just another symptom of a sick, dying world. Stephen has never known the world pre-collapse; his whole life he has salvaged and kept to the rigid structured rules set by his ex-Marine Grandfather and his father. The rules are simple and absolute: there is no straying from the established path. No approaching other people. Always think of the future, salvage, and survive. When his Grandfather dies, Stephen and his father are left without the old man's constant rule-making, and for the first time, Stephen's father decides to deviate from the old man's path, daring to intervene and save a woman and child from a group of "slavers". The rescue goes horribly wrong though, and Stephen's father is gravely injured in the process. Desperate for some kind of help, Stephen scrambles for supplies and aid, and stumbles across a group of survivors - some of whom offer to help Stephen and his father.

Following the new group to their settlement, Stephen sees a world he could hardly have imagined. These survivors have built themselves a town with actual houses, beds, food and water. They play baseball and go to school. They still sing the national anthem and have Thanksgiving. Stephen is an alien to this strange new world and struggles to fit in while his father recovers - but while everything looks happy on the outside, he knows that like everyone everywhere else, these people are still ruled by fear. Some settlers inherently distrust outsiders like Stephen and think he's a spy - and then when trouble really comes on the heels of a harmless prank, Stephen must decide what kind of life he wants, and what he's willing to fight for.

I read a great review for this book that compared The Eleventh Plague to the (sadly canceled) TV show Jericho - and now having read the book, I can completely agree with that comparison. Well, kind of a Jericho meets Survivors (a British television show that was pretty awesome). Post-apocalypse novels are a dime a dozen and are growing increasingly prevalent in the YA world, but I feel like many of them are set in the distant post-collapse future, or have an SF or supernatural influence. The Eleventh Plague differentiates itself because it is actually very grounded and disturbingly familiar. In this apocalyptic landscape, there hasn't been a zombie infection or the eruption of a supervolcano - there has been a war and the release of a biologically engineered superflu, but for the most part, society's collapse has been nudged along as an extrapolation of tensions that currently exist in our social, political and economic landscape. In other words, The Eleventh Plague isn't too much of a stretch - which is, in my opinion, the book's greatest strength. Jeff Hirsch creates a terse, bleak environment that is believable because it is so understated.

Because of this, however, there is less of a plot or action-driven focus for the novel, and The Eleventh Plague is much more of a character piece, following Stephen as he navigates a world without the constant berating presence of his Grandfather, and trying to keep his father (and himself) alive. He goes through a crisis of hope in the book as he struggles with the rules that his grandfather so strictly enforced and the bleakness of survival on the road, separate from anyone else, and the new life he finds in the settlement. While it is Stephen's internal struggle that characterizes the novel, the standout character that steals the book (for me at least) is Julie - an abandoned Chinese baby that was rescued by one of the settlement families, but has to deal with the constant jibes and bigotry of others because of her appearance and ethnicity.Julie is an explosive character, prone to acting without thinking which brings trouble - but she's also raw and emotional, and her struggles to fit in with her adopted family and the town is wonderfully portrayed.

On the negative side, the book, though slim, does falter and drag once Stephen starts to adjust to life off the road, and overall is a little underwhelming. There isn't much that truly happens, and while the protagonists are well detailed, other characters feel two-dimensional - more like vehicles to get across a Point (about Hope and Life and America and the Evil of War and the Importance of Literature). While I agree that all of these are worthy messages, it felt ham-handed and obvious, which detracted from my reading experience.

These criticisms said, though, I still enjoyed this quiet and insular story about a version of the end of the world, and how people rebuild in the face of disaster. It's not quite as crazy fun or detailed as Jericho (or as dark as Survivors), but it's a fine, contained novel in and of itself. Recommended for those looking for a more subtle type of post-apocalyptic/dystopian novel.
" said.

" Honestly, I like hear more about how the apocalypse happened but it was mostly about his life. " said.

" This book is great for anyone who loves horror stories. The book is about a plague that sweeps across America and kills almost everyone. The book also has many fights. For example, the most intense fight is when the town of Settlers Landing and the Henrys have a battle. The book also has many sad moments. A very sad moment in the book is when the main character’s dad dies. I would give this book a 10 out of 10 because I love books that are action-packed. " said.

"***SPOILER ALERT***

I did not enjoy this book. It was boring and slow and the characters acted like they were 5 years old in the sense that they never really thought about or grasped their situation. It had the potential to be a great dystopian novel, but it just wasn't.
Stephen and his dad are alone after his grandfather dies from the plague. Then, guess what? His father dies, too. Stephen then meets a rebel girl whom everybody dislikes and of course has to fall in love with her, and then, of course they have to do something stupid and end up as social outcasts, because that is just what happens in a book as predictable as this one. I would not recommend this book.
" said.

"Enjoyed this book so much. It ranks high up there with any of the dystopia/end of the world because of a virus or zombies books. This one did not have zombies featured, instead a virus known as P11(Eleventh Plague) took most of the worlds population with the exception of a few as you usually see in these stories.

You see things from a teenager's point of view, in this book. Through his trails, losing his family, learning how to live without them in this harsh and cruel world. Who to trust, who not, when to act, when not ect..From being born into this world, and trying to survive along with his father, to becoming a father himself.
I highly recommend this for anyone! Teens and adults will love this one.
" said.

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