Quarantine: The Saints, is the second book in the Quarantine series. Something that intrigues me about this series is that it is written by two authors! Lex Hrabe and Thomas Voorhies use the combined pen name of Lex Thomas. I would love to hear about their process and how they make this work so well. When I read the series I forget it’s written by two people as it’s seamless. It doesn’t seem that they alternate chapters as the voice is true throughout. The fact that they live on opposite ends of the country is also fascinating to me. I have always thought of fiction writing as a very solitary pursuit and unique to one person’s vision, but these guys prove me wrong.
The series is like The Breakfast Club meets Lord of the Flies and continues the story of the kids trapped in McKinley High as they carry a virus that is deadly to all adults. Will’s older brother David, the hero of the first book in the series, has ‘graduated’, meaning that he has reached an age where he is no longer contagious to adults, but instead of being allowed out, he had to escape because of the events in the first story. Epileptic Will is left to carry on his brother’s legacy with the Loners, one of the school’s many gangs who were just misfits until brought together by David. Also still left in the school is Lucy, who had become David’s girlfriend briefly before his departure, but Will is desperately in love with her.
A new group of kids from a private high school breaks into the school and is helping the McKinley students before a truck comes crashing through the exit blocking everyone’s escape, including the new kids who will be tagged The Saints by other gangs. However, most of Will and Lucy’s group, the Loners, made it out before the crash, so with the numbers down to 10% they and the rest of the group have to make tough decisions about how they will survive the brutal life inside the school. However, at least they won’t starve anymore, as they were on the verge of doing when the military stopped the food drops, as now some parents have arrived to continue the food drops, though they are not able to let the kids out because of the deadly nature of the contagion and the fact that the military would shoot any kids they find outside. The reduction of their gang is not the only hazard they must face, the leader of the Varsity gang, Sam, still wants to murder Will, and he has killed before, yet he might not be the only psychopath running amok in the school. How Will and Lucy navigate these changes makes for a very gripping and sometimes violent adventure. As each book has ended with a real cliff hanger, I am impatiently waiting for this author duo to finish writing book 3.