Read or Die

Review of Barry Lyga and Morgan Baden’s THE HIVE

The Hive by Barry Lyga

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to applaud Mr. Lyga and Ms. Baden. They tackled the concepts of cyber-bullying, social media distraction, and the involvement of politics in both in a thoroughly plausible manner. At no point do you find yourself uttering the thought, “Impossible.” Instead, you feel chills of reality creeping down your spine, and your fingers curl away any time you need to pick up your phone. It’s brilliant and eye-opening and should be considered mandatory reading for anyone, especially the younger generation who can’t go five minutes without consulting their various social feeds. A quick scan of any controversial post or tweet verges on the tipping point of a Hive Mob.

And Cassie is nothing more than a realistic teenager. She doesn’t possess special, superhuman powers. Nor does she think any differently than you’d expect her to. Her responses are those of almost anyone thrust into that kind of situation. It brings the horror to life, and I thank the authors for their consideration in making Cassie nothing more than REAL. (I also tip my hat to them on their casting of the president. It provided humor where it was needed, and there’s no question where they drew their inspiration. I give you a standing ovation for that – though you scared me to death when you granted him two terms. No one wanted that contemplation, okay?)

Had the authors NOT ended the book as they did, I’d have delivered a full five stars. Turning that final page? I wanted to scream and throw the book across the room. And while I can understand the logic of their decision – to drive the conversation – it only prompted exasperation and anger in my reader/writer brain. You CAN’T handle something so brilliant in this manner. The abrupt crash unforgivably undid all of their work. Seriously, guys, you needed to rethink it.

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