“No. I believe in free will. I think we make our own decisions and carry out our own actions. And our actions have consequences. The world is what we make it. But I think sometime we can ask God to help us and He will. Sometime I think He looks down and say, 'Wow, look what those idiots are up to now. I guess I better help them along a little'.” -Astrid Ellison
Hunger is the second installment in Michael Grant's breath-taking saga, and is sure to leave readers stunned by the impact of this sequel to Gone, and dying to read the next coming book. Hunger, much like Gone, is not for the weak stomached, as it will leave you invouluntarily gasping, shuddering, wincing, and cringing. Hunger is sure to leave you hungry for the next part in Michael Grant's Gone series.
The FAYZ has been slowly starving, because of the initial waste of food. Sam Temple, the mayor of the town, tries to find various ways to solve this through some agriculture. However, his efforts are hampered by the fact that no one wants to work, and that food is distributed evenly. His attempts are furthered harmed when it is discovered mutated, territorial worms with razor sharp teeth (zekes) hiding near the cabbage patch, a main supply of food. Sam eventually has to bribe Charles "Orc" Merrimen, who is mainly made of stone and may be invulnerable to the worms, with beer so that he will gather cabbages.
Meanwhile, Albert Hillsborough, who ran the old McDonald's before the food ran out, starts a dance club, where you must pay an entry fee of toilet paper or batteries in order to get in. Sam and Astrid arrive, but Sam decides to let the McClub, as it's called, stay open. Meanwhile, Quinn Gaither also starts a fishing business with Albert. Albert eventually ponders on creating a monetary system.
Caine Soren, Sam's enemy and fraternal twin brother, has spent months in a state of insanity due to his interaction with the Gaiaphage (also known as 'the Darkness'). Diana has nursed him back. Caine then resumes command of the Coates kids, although he must put up with Drake's planned rebellion.
Almost immediately after he awakes, Caine devises a plan to break into the nuclear plant to control the electricity of Perdido Beach. Caine also has Diana go to town and get Computer Jack to assist them. They succeed but become trapped in the plant after Sam's soldiers surround them and Caine realizes that he has barely any food. Diana then begins to question what this plan was meant to accomplish. Caine then receives a message from the Gaiaphage telling him to feed him. Caine has the horrible realization that his entire plan may have just been him unconsciously obeying the Gaiaphage.
Meanwhile, Lana has also been receiving messages from the Darkness telling her to come to it because it has need for her. She devises a plan to destroy the mine shaft using Hermit Jim's truck. She goes to the mining town with Cookie and manages to back up the truck to the cave mouth and kill Pack Leader, but is stopped by the gaiaphage before she can blow it up and is brainwashed.
While this is all going on, a mutant called Hunter Lefkowitz, who is able to fire waves of heat from his hands like a microwave, has a fight with his roommate Zil Sperry and accidentally kills their mutual friend Harry. Zil sets up a group called the Human Crew, who are all normals and believe all freaks are evil and should be killed. They capture Hunter and try to hang him in the plaza. Astrid, with Little Pete in tow, try to stop them but are captured and Little Pete receives a blow to the head. Sam finally shows and, after freeing Hunter, gives a speech about how he doesn't want to be in charge anymore.
During this Edilio Escobar and Dekka Talent are on their way to destroy the mine shaft. They arrive and are met by Lana, under the control of the gaiaphage, who tells them to stop and then shoots Edilio under the gaiaphage's will. She then retreats into the cave and leaves Dekka to protect Edilio and herself from the coyotes, who is then attacked. It is then revealed that the gaiaphage plans to use Lana's powers to create a new body for him, one that, if destroyed, reveals an even more deadly monster, like a nesting doll. He will achieve this after Caine arrives and feeds him the raw uranium. Astrid discovers the gaiaphage is in contact with Little Pete, using him to give it the idea of a near invincible body. She also works out that the gaiaphage is the result of an accident at the plant thirteen years ago, when a meteorite hit. She theorises that a virus may have been alive on the rock when it hit, and virus plus radiation has caused the mutations. The accident might have affected the kids as well, giving them their powers.
Thanks to the distraction in town Caine is able to use his powers to levitate a uranium rod to the mine shaft, with Diana and Jack. Drake stays behind to deal with any one who follows. Sam receives this news and heads to the plant to fight Drake. He arrives but Drake tells him that with a push of a button he can release the radiation and destroy everyone, unless Sam kneels before him and takes a brutal beating. Sam, with no other choice, follows through. He is saved by Brianna who attacks Drake and stops the radiation by skimming the radiation core and grabbing the remote. Brianna gets radiation poisoning. Drake then flees to Caine. Sam, who is gravely injured and barely alive, tells Brianna to take Duck Zhang to the mine shaft. Duck Zhang is a mutant who can control his density, and may be the only weapon they have that the gaiaphage doesn't know about. He then gets picked up by Quinn and gets taken to the mine shaft where he meets Dekka, Edilio, who is still injured, Caine, Jack, Diana and Drake. Diana is injured by Drake and in a fit of rage Caine hurls the uranium rod at Drake's chest, knocking into the mine shaft. Then he collapses the entrance, and appears to be dead.
Brianna then arrives with Duck and together they devise a plan to get Lana. The climb over the shaft and Duck uses his powers to make a hole in the ground to the gaiaphage. Duck, Caine, and Sam go in and Caine uses his powers to hurl Duck over the gaiaphage. While Duck is in the air, he becomes heavier than a mountain and smashes into the gaiaphage, creating a massive hole that drags him and the gaiaphage down. Quinn then enters and finds Lana dazed, Sam passed out, and Caine stunned. They then use Lana's powers to heal Diana, Edilio, Dekka, Brianna, and Sam. Diana and Caine then head back to Coates.
In the aftermath they mourn Duck who saved them all. Zil and his gang run wild, the kids negotiate with the Zekes, and Albert reveals his new system of money. Sam and Quinn then head out into the ocean on their boards, with Dekka on a boat, who uses her powers to create waves for them. The book ends with Brittney, a soldier who was manning the power plant and has the power to regenerate, alive in her grave with a pale slug attached to her while she asks her dead brother to pray for her.