“In the Hands of Children” by H. S. Stone
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Science Fiction
Source: The author in exchange for an honest review
Summary from Goodreads:
The H5N1 virus was the deadliest disease in the history of mankind. Not only did it spread rapidly, reaching every corner of the globe, but it also resulted in an inconceivable 100% mortality rate among adults. Within a month, almost every human being became a victim of the virus.
All that remains of humanity is a handful of “immune” children. Except that they aren’t truly immune. The virus lurks in their bodies, ready to strike when they reach maturity.
Kyle, Hannah, and Amy are three immune kids who find themselves thrust into a lonely world after losing the people they have known and loved. No longer able to rely on the company, wisdom, and experience of adults, they must survive in the harsh post-pandemic world with only a handful of other immune children. But the trio soon learn that dying from H5N1 isn’t the only thing they have to worry about.
For some reason I tend to really enjoy post-apocalyptic stories involving children. Reading how people work to survive in a world without all of our everyday conveniences is interesting. Reading about children/teenagers doing it is more interesting, in my opinion, because they don’t have all the knowledge and experience that adults do. It’s a bigger struggle for them but it’s also a bigger reward when they succeed. That’s why In the Hands of Children jumped out at me.
I liked the illness of the book. It was a great twist. Illnesses are always a terrifying thing especially when they’re as gruesome as the H5N1 virus. This is one you can’t outrun or escape. Everyone caught it. Now they’re just a ticking time-bomb waiting for puberty to hit (as if puberty wasn’t awful on its own). With other illnesses in similar books, the immune survivors will probably be okay in the end. They’re immune so they’ve survived the worst of it. All they have to do it rebuild the world and repopulate it. Not so with the H5N1 virus. It’s going to completely wipe out the human race. There will be no rebuilding the world and repopulating it. Everyone dies when they’re able to procreate. See? Scary stuff.
I did enjoy the story even if it was a bit predictable. It reminded me a lot of Michael Grant’s Gone. There were many similarities: a problem occurring when you reach a certain age, kids being left on their own, bad kids taking over, the hero opposing the bad kids. This book worked much better for me mainly because it was more realistic than the superpowers of Gone. The author relied a bit too much on telling instead of showing but it wasn’t enough to make me stop reading.
The bottom line? It was enjoyable! If you liked Gone by Michael Grant, you’re sure to enjoy this.