In the dark the one guy with a candle is an easy target.

—Sam to Sanjit

Samuel "Sam" Temple is the main protagonist of the series. He is the main character in the first six books, and has a cameo in Monster. It is implied he will return in Villain.


Sam is of medium build with tanned skin, has dark brown hair with lighter streaks, has "sky blue" eyes and is described as being quite handsome. Sam is also described as being happy-go-lucky. Before the FAYZ, Sam lived in Perdido Beach, CA with his mother. Sam did not like his home, especially his bedroom because it was dark and he was scared of the dark. He remained under the social radar at school, not belonging to any clique, and having only one true friend, Quinn, due to their shared love of surfing.

Sam first realized he had the Power when he accidentally burnt off his stepfather's hand, because he thought his stepfather would hurt his mother. Sam is known as "School Bus Sam" to the kids at school. This is because of an event from seventh grade, in which the class was on a field trip, when the bus driver had a heart attack while the school was on a field trip. Sam managed to take control of the bus, and saved the lives of other kids by driving the bus safely to the side of the road. This is what leads to Sam becoming the leader among the children of Perdido Beach. The arrival of Caine weakened some children's loyalty.

Powers and abilitiesEdit

Sam has the power of generating light. In his youth, he discovered his power when he burned his step-father's hand off accidentally, trying to defend his mother. He was somewhat afraid of the dark then as well and in this fear, he accidentally created a floating orb of light, which he hid from everyone, until the start of the FAYZ. Later, in Lies, the kids of the FAYZ would call them Sammy Suns, using them as lights after the electricity was shut down. He is also capable of shooting out deadly blasts of light from his hands. These blasts are capable of easily incinerating anything they touch. He uses his powers many times when he needs to defend himself throughout all of the books. He also seems to be able to control his powers depending on his anger. He can focus his light and make it go wide, while at the same time he is still vulnerable to it.



After all the adults have disappeared, Sam, Quinn, and Astrid begin searching for their parents at their houses. Finding nothing, they went to the town square where Sam helps rescue a girl from a burning apartment building. But while he is trying to rescue the girl, she shoots fire from her hands. In retaliation, Sam uses his powers on her, subsequently killing her. Once the fire is put out, everyone assumes that the girl died of smoke inhalation. Sam, however, knows that he could have killed her when he used his powers but does not mention it.

After this Sam, Quinn, and Astrid go to Clifftop Hotel to look for Astrid's younger brother, Litte Pete. Here they meet Edilio and discover the FAYZ wall, but not Little Pete. The next day the group goes up to the Nuclear Power Plant. There they find Little Pete and a map showing the levels of radiation in the area that reveals that the highest radiation is where the FAYZ wall is. The group decide to spend the night at the power plant.

Sam wakes up and finds the manager's iPod. As he is sitting at a desk a rat runs across his feet. He backs up quickly, accidentally slamming into a trophy case, causing a tremendous crash. This startles Little Pete and he uses his telekinesis to choke Sam. He uses his power (killing green lights), missing Little Pete. Being deprived of air, Sam passes out.

After the Coates kids come to town, Sam is put in charge of the Firehouse due to the earlier event in which he tried to save a young girl out of a burning building in the FAYZ.

Sam learns that he has the Power (his ability being that he's able to create deadly heated green-white light from his palms) and that Caine (the leader of the Coates kids) is actually his fraternal twin brother. He is betrayed by Quinn, but when Quinn learns that Caine intends to dispose of his brother, he rescues Sam.

Sam, Quinn, and Edilio pick up Astrid and Pete and go to hide in the wilderness. They meet Lana, and help her from the coyotes, but Drake and Jack find them and take them to Coates to be plastered. Astrid makes Pete remove the blocks of cement, and Sam burns Drake's arm off.

Back in town, Sam is preparing for Caine's retaliation. Bug approaches him and gives him Caine's proposal. Sam reluctantly agrees, and the battle for Perdido Beach begins. Sam does nothing other than fight Caine, and he wins but refuses to kill Caine. Sam becomes the mayor of Perdido Beach.


Sam is beginning to accept his role of authority. Although he is doing it grudgingly he seems to be doing a good job, despite a few slip-ups he is managing well, especially with Astrid at his side. In Hunger, Sam is in charge again, helping the kids find food. He receives a tip saying there is food in the farmlands, just rotting away, and tries to take advantage of it. But when E.Z., one of the volunteers, goes into the cabbage field, he is savagely attacked by zekes, leaving him little more than bones.

All around the FAYZ, kids are starving; they kill pets, dig through garbage, and begin to take sides with or against the Freaks. A new side rises from the ashes of Caine's group, calling themselves the Human Crew. Sam also has to put up with the fact that Caine, Drake, Diana and Computer Jack try to take over the power plant, Perdido Beach's source of energy. Sam loses and everyone loses electricity. When Sam visits the power plant in order to stop Caine, he is cornered by Drake, who threatens to cause a nuclear meltdown unless Sam willingly dies. He is nearly killed before The Breeze arrives and cuts a part of Drake's whip hand off. Sam also gets badly whipped by Drake's 'whip hand' and almost dies, but thankfully is healed later by Lana.

While Sam is being whipped by Drake, Lana is being taken over by the Gaiaphage. Edilio and Dekka try to collapse the mineshaft; Caine soon appears with Drake, Jack and Diana. During that time, Lana (who is still taken over by the Gaiaphage) shoots Edilio, coyotes attack Dekka, Brianna is exposed to radiation, and Sam is still lying on the floor of the nuclear power plant, suffering from the whip marks. Sam staggers out of the plant and gets the attention of Quinn. They go to the mineshaft. Brianna gets Duck (a mutant whose power is to sink or float by controlling his body weight) to help Sam and Caine fight the Gaiaphage. Sam recovers from the marks of Drake's whip with the help of Lana. Sam is still the mayor of Perdido Beach but Astrid develops a council to help.


Electricity is out in the FAYZ and the water supply no longer works. Sam is walking the streets at 2 in the morning, unable to sleep with the Human Crew on the prowl. Down on the beach he sees Orsay, a mutant who can see other people's dreams. She's with a group of other kids and claiming she can see the dreams of those on the other side of the FAYZ wall. Sam also sees a girl called Nerezza, who he does not recognize. Orsay tells Sam that she's dreamed of Sam's mother, who wants to tell him that there's a time when the world no longer needs heroes. And then the true hero knows to walk away.

Sam Lies UK trailer

Sam discovers Jill in the grave

Sam discovers 9 year old Jill, a girl with Siren-like powers, bound and gagged in a grave.

The next day in the Mall, a boy called Francis tells Sam and Astrid that he's going to step out of the FAYZ on his fifteenth birthday. Before Sam can say anything, Francis disappears. Astrid calls a meeting of the newly appointed council: Sam, Astrid, Edilio, Dekka, Brother John, Albert and Howard. Astrid is furious Sam lied to her about Orsay. The council agrees to tell everyone Orsay is lying. Sam and Astrid later have an argument and Sam moves out of the house they both live in. Afterward Taylor tells Astrid that someone claims to have spotted Drake on the beach. They also find a boy with Drake's whip marks all over him. Later on, she tells Sam that the supposedly-dead Brittany is alive and in Howard and Orc's house. Sam, not knowing what else to do, asks Brianna to look after Brittney.

Sam discovers it is Zil who set fire to the town and sets out to kill him, ignoring both Edilio's and Astrid's warnings. However, he soon finds himself back at the power plant, where Drake had tortured him, and knew that's where he'd end up all along.

In Perdido Beach, the inhabitants manage to stop the fire but many kids are killed. At a cook off in the plaza, Mother Mary claims she saw Drake, who soon arrives and causes mass panic. At the same time, Nerezza convinces Mary to take the children to the cliff over the beach. Nerezza then tries to kill Little Pete, Astrid's autistic little brother and the person who caused the FAYZ, but she fails. Astrid arrives at the cliff and sees Mary and a line of children holding hands at the cliff edge. On the moment of her fifteenth birthday, Mary sees her mother and steps off the cliff to try to get to her, pulling the children with her. Sam arrives, but no one can help because they are rendered helpless by Nerezza, who tells Jill to sing. However, Sanjit's helicopter arrives and drowns out the singing. Mary vacates, but the children are saved by Dekka and Brianna. Then Brittney arrives, slowly transforming into Drake. Drake attacks Sam but Sam uses his power to burn Drake. However, Drake soon turns into Brittney again and Sam is not able to kill the innocent girl. He asks Brianna to grab some ropes and chains to hold Drake. At the same time, Little Pete finds that his Gameboy, the favorite thing he owns, smashed on the ground. He reacts by screaming and causing the FAYZ wall to disappear for a split second. Astrid sees adults staring on the other side before the wall returns.

It is finally revealed that the evil creature called the Gaiaphage is behind everything. It needed both Brittney's immortality and Lana's healing powers to bring Drake back from the dead. However, Brittney's willpower stopped Drake taking over the body they shared completely. Nerezza is not human at all; she's the Gaiaphage's avatar, brought to life using Little Pete's impossible powers, which was tricked into thinking he was playing a game. The Gaiaphage had used Nerezza to try to kill the young children Mary pulled after her, which would have broken the kids of the FAYZ, but the tactic failed, and |Astrid almost kills Nerezza by choking her, but realizes it is not the answer and stops. Brittney/Drake needs no food or water to survive, so Sam locks them in Howard and Orc's basement. In the end, Sam catches the flu, which is a hint as to the plot of the fourth book, Plague.


Sam is first caught drunk, attacking the FAYZ barrier, unsuccessfully. Taylor arrives, and they kiss. Later, Sam is pulled over by Albert and asked to go up and look for a lake, since the FAYZ is suffering from drought. He agrees, and sets off with Taylor, Dekka, and Computer Jack. He later discovers Toto, or Subject 1-01, who is a freak who can tell the truth from lies. They discover crates of Nutella, noodles, and Pepsi on their journey. When they get to the lake, Sam sees Drake, and attempts to kill him, unsuccessfully. He later escapes, and sends Computer Jack to kill Little Pete in order to stop the FAYZ. He, Dekka and Toto attempt to blow the Bugs up by floating a container full of missiles up the FAYZ wall, but when his plan fails, he is left with no other method for saving everyone from the insects.

Sam Plague trailer

Sam using his power to kill the bugs in Dekka's shoulder

He later saves Dekka's life by performing last minute surgery when the bugs hatch inside her, and Lana helps to keep her alive. At the end of Plague, Caine and Sam force people to choose a side; those who go with Sam go to the lake, while those with Caine stay in Perdido Beach. One third of the FAYZ goes with him, among them Dekka, Brianna, Diana, and the Brattle-Chances as well as Lana, who promise to 'try it out’; although Sam suspects the bulk of the kids following him are only doing so because of the promise of food and water.


Sam is shown that the barrier is becoming stained black by Sinder and Jezzie, two gardeners. Sam was afraid of the dark as a child, so he worries about when the barrier is completely black. Sam quickly becomes bored with his job, considering there is not much to do now that peace has finally been accomplished. He decides to get rid of the missiles down on the beach. He takes Dekka, Jack, and Brianna with him. When they arrive, Sam notices all the missiles have been stolen, and the case is booby trapped. He wants to set off the trap so no one gets hurt. Brianna helps him with this, and later he strongly suspects that Caine has stolen the missiles, and he is sure this will cause war to break out between Lake Tramonto and Perdido Beach.

Soon Astrid returns with news: the barrier is turning black. She and Sam finally becomes a couple again. Later Astrid runs off to deliver a note to Caine about plans for when the barrier turns black, without permission. Sam is outraged that Dekka let her get away, and Sam and Dekka fight over sending Brianna to get her. Eventually they agree not to send Brianna after her.

Drake takes Diana and Justin to shore in a boat, taking her to the Gaiaphage for her baby. Sam catches them leaving too late, and Edilio refuses to let him leave. He is angry that Brianna is not here to catch them and doesn't know where she is. Jack meets Drake and Diana and Justin, but Drake whips him across his neck and leaves him lying in a pool of his own blood for Orc to carry back to the lake. Orc bring him to Roger, who patches him back up. Sam lets Dekka and Orc go after Drake, hoping Brianna will appear and help (who is supposed to be watching Jezzie and Sinder so she was close by but she is off fighting coyotes).

Sam goes to Perdido Beach and helps Caine battle Gaia, Drake, and Penny. Caine kills Penny. Then, the FAYZ wall becomes transparent so that the world outside, along with Connie Temple, sees Sam burn Gaia. Astrid then states after the battle where Gaia, Diana, and Drake flee that the judgmental way the adults feel towards them is terrible.

Sam states that he knew it would come, and leaves with his group to presumably chase after Gaia and the others.


Sam spends the majority of the book hunting down Gaia and worrying about his relationship with Astrid and the crimes he would be charged with. He soon finds Gaia and is then beaten by her. He is saved the by Quinn and is healed by Lana.

Sam returns to battle Gaia but is defeated again. he watches as Gaia destroys the town and kills everyone. Sam is then saved by Jack who is accidentally shot and killed by Edillio's firing squad who were trying to hit Gaia.

Later, when the FAYZ barrier comes down he turns back to have his final battle with Drake. He defeates Drake and is then taken to a hospital in LA where he is treated for his injuries. Caine later prevents Sam from being charged and Sam later gets emancipated from his mother and decides to live with Astrid and Diana in LA.


Sam became an alcoholic for two and a half years due to trauma which he eventually stops with help from therapy. At the end of the book, he gives sanctuary to Armo and Dekka.



Sam first crushed on Astrid at school, but considered her out of his league. Later, he approached her at the start of the FAYZ to ask her what was going on, and she admitted that she didn't know, so they toured Perdido Beach looking for adults. They quickly develop a romance that becomes stronger throughout the events of Gone, however in Hunger they start to argue about "political" things. Throughout Lies and Plague, they break up, and Astrid ignores Sam as she believes he will come "crawling back" to her, although he doesn't. In Fear, she eventually goes to see him and they sleep together, and after Light they presumably become engaged.

Astrid once described their relationship as "They were both strong-willed, independent people, and so arguments were obviously going to occur."


Before the FAYZ, Quinn was Sam's only friend, as they shared a love for surfing. When that was no longer possible, their friendship starts fading as it becomes clear that they are very different people. Quinn even betrays Sam to Caine, but to his horror Caine reveals that he plans to kill Sam, so Quinn rescues Sam. Sam refuses to allow Quinn to call him "brah", which they frequently do, for a while, believing that Quinn is not his brother. Later, they start to bond again, and remain good friends throughout the series. After the FAYZ, they become better friends than they had been before it.


Before everyone over the age of fifteen poofed, Sam merely found Edilio "potentially interesting". It wasn't long before he trusted and respected Edilio, who rapidly became his "right hand man". In later books, Edilio rose beyond being his wingman and became his equal instead, which Sam was thankful for. After Edilio reveals his immense irritation at Sam for putting his romantic feelings for Astrid before the lives of the rest of the FAYZ, Sam decides to follow his advice. They rarely meet after the events of Light, but remain good friends.


Before the FAYZ, Sam and his mother got on well. After Sam went missing in the FAYZ, Connie was required to take sleeping pills or she'd have terrible nightmares about him when she managed to sleep. After the FAYZ, when he confronts her about Caine Soren and Taegan Smith, they were no longer very close, and Sam moved out.


Initially, Sam didn't like or hate Caine. After Caine kidnapped him and revealed that they were twins, Sam provoked Caine and Caine took the bait. They then fight, and Sam does not want to kill Caine. After Hunger, despite them working together to defeat the Gaiaphage, Sam wants to kill Caine. As the series goes on, he merely hates him again, until being able to tolerate him at the end of Light. Sam does not mourn the death of his brother.


Sam originally didn't know what to think of Diana, but started hating her when Astrid told him she didn't like Diana. He rarely interacts with her after that, offering her a place at Perdido Beach, but doesn't really care when Caine reveals that she's almost dead. Later on, they become friends at Lake Tramonto, and he invites her to live with them after the FAYZ.


Drake does not like Sam at all. He took great pleasure in dragging out Sam's death, and was furious when he learnt that Sam had survived. Sam became terrified of Drake after that, wanted to kill Drake himself. He even fled the town when he learnt that Drake had survived. In Light, when Astrid reveals that Drake had whipped her, Sam, with no power and very weak, went searching for Drake. He fought Drake and lost, however Drake started to come apart. Sam threw his head into the fire and, believing he was dead, left the FAYZ.


Even before the Human Crew, Sam hated Zil. After the Human Crew, Sam angrily stood up to Zil but refused to kill him. Later, Sam was itching to arrest Zil, but Astrid wouldn't let him. After the fire of Perdido Beach, Sam tried to kill Zil, who escaped. Sam was glad to hear that Zil was dead.


Sam likes Lana, but usually leaves her alone, understanding that she is generally traumatized and angered. She likes him, but because of the Gaiaphage she can't usually stop herself from wanting to shoot him.


Sam at first likes and respects Albert, until Albert opens the McClub. Sam starts becoming wary around him, but is still shocked when Albert runs away to the island to escape the chaos when the FAYZ goes dark. He doesn't really know what to think of Albert after the FAYZ but doesn't like him.


Sam appreciates Dekka, and she is a good friend of his. He cuts her open to try and save her from the gut-roaches, and tries to help her with her feelings for Brianna.


Sam originally didn't like Orc. After Orc's "evolution", Sam avoids him but tries to see him as a human being. Orc is incredibly loyal to Sam because Sam got him beer, and stays this way after he stops drinking.


Sam and Jack are friends. Originally, Jack fled to Sam, pleading for him to save him from Drake and Caine. Sam later refused to let him turn on the phones for a good reason, but this made Jack angry. Sam started seeing Jack as a problem until Jack helped save Perdido Beach in Lies. He takes Jack with him in Plague, because of Jack's intellect and strength, and is friendly towards him. By Fear, he has gotten annoyed of Jack's cluelessness but is scared that Jack will die after he is attacked by Drake. Jack dies trying to save Sam, and in Jack's last moments Sam reflects on how Jack never wanted anything other than his computers.


Sam and Brianna are good friends. Sam, at her request, always refers to Brianna as Breeze. He is almost as upset about her death as Dekka is. Sam is often annoyed with her for her impatience and recklessness and often wants to "hug her, then shoot her in the stomach."


Sam likes Taylor until Plague, when she kisses him and then provokes him about Astrid. He doesn't seem to particularly mind when she vanishes after the FAYZ.


Sam first met Sanjit in Fear, and immediately respected him. They rarely interact, but Sam likes Sanjit for his caring personality, his understanding of what has to be done, and his willingness to do it.


Sam originally liked Mary and was her roommate for a while, until she started unraveling. He tries to stop her from killing the prees, in which Mary does not succeed.


Sam rarely interacts with Dahra, but he respects what she is doing. He does not seem very affected when she dies, although he had a lot on his mind.

Little Pete

Sam takes care of Little Pete for short times throughout the start of the series. He suspects Little Pete of creating the FAYZ, but makes no attempt to kill him when he receives proof. He doesn't seem to care when Pete dies, either the first time or the second.


Sam wants to punch Bug for the fact that he's smug when he acts as a messenger, knowing that Sam will likely die. He doesn't trust Bug and is constantly agitated that Bug is around. He once asked Bug why he was on Caine's side; Bug shrugged and said that he didn't really care, and would go with Caine because he was a better leader than Sam. Sam doesn't care when Bug joins their side, still resenting him, and eventually starts to take Bug in stride.


Sam sees Toto as incredibly useful, "except when he wasn't". He gets annoyed by Toto's mad nature a lot, and even burns "Spidey".


Sam does not like Howard, but was still angered when he died, although he didn't otherwise care. He saw Howard as a spineless worm, but he and Howard generally understood each other.


Sam and Hunter get along well. Hunter once helped Sam when Sam was running from Drake, and Sam considers joining Hunter in the forest before Hunter reminds him what he is to Perdido Beach. When he learns of the gut-roaches, Sam pays a visit to Hunter, and kills him out of mercy. Sam is haunted by the act of killing Hunter.


  • Sam, like his twin brother Caine, was born on November 22nd.
  • He is the only character to appear on every original book cover.
  • Sam first created a Sammy Sun when he was home alone and was scared of the dark while the power was out.
  • He first used his power when he overheard his mother and stepfather fighting, and thought his mom was in danger.
  • Sam is sixteen by the end of the series. He does not mention this.
  • Sam is older than Caine.
  • Sam considered joining Hunter in the forest, to which Hunter replied that he was Hunter and Sam was Sam.
  • Sam is not afraid of the dark in Hunger. He likes it.
  • It is suggested at the end of Monster that he will become one of the protagonists in Villain.[1]


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  1. Monster, page 445 - ""Well, Dekka, maybe it's time that I was your strong right arm instead of the other way around," Sam Temple said."
Town Council
Sam Temple | Astrid Ellison | Albert Hillsborough | Edilio Escobar | Dekka Talent | Howard Bassem | John Terrafino | Ellen