Rated Reads

The Eleventh Plague

by Jeff Hirsch

Rated: Mild

The Eleventh Plague is a survival story, a story of what could happen after we humans have made so many destructive choices and waged so many wars that any sort of governed life is just for the history books. Stephen Quinn knows just how hard this kind of life can be. With no memories of civilized living, all he knows is moving, traveling from one place to another, trying to find enough to salvage to trade for food and trying to stay safe from the roving bands of people who would love to do him and his father harm. Soon, with only his 15 years of hard living as a guide, Stephen is going to have to make some really tough choices in a world where trust is a scarce resource.

I am feeling sort of “meh” about this one. Perhaps I have read enough of these postapocalyptic stories now that I need a really good twist or plot to get me excited. This one does have a place in the genre — a male protagonist may get different kids reading and it’s not as though there isn’t any exciting violent action — but I just was never gripped. The first-person narrative was a little too “tell-ing” for me and the romance fell a little flat. I do think, however, that younger teenage boys might find this a great gateway book to the genre.

Rated: Mild for a couple not-graphic kissing scenes, some violence, seven uses of mild language and one use of moderate language.

— Reviewed by Corinne Edwards

Corinne Edwards is always happiest when a book is in her hand. If her current read needs to be closed for a short time, either in her backpack while she leads her three rambunctious children on adventures, or on her nightstand while she sleeps, that's okay too. Her book thoughts and reviews land at her bookish blog, The Book Nest.

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Eleventh Plague
  • The Eleventh Plague
  • by Jeff Hirsch
  • Rated: Mild
  • Genre: Young adult
  • Reviewer: