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Villain

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It’s been four years since the events of GONE. The Perdido Beach dome is down, but the horrors within have spread, and now all of humanity is in danger. The alien virus-infested rock that created the FAYZ is creating monsters–monsters that walk the cities and countryside, terrorizing all. There are tanks in the street and predator drones in the sky, doomed efforts to stop t It’s been four years since the events of GONE. The Perdido Beach dome is down, but the horrors within have spread, and now all of humanity is in danger. The alien virus-infested rock that created the FAYZ is creating monsters–monsters that walk the cities and countryside, terrorizing all. There are tanks in the street and predator drones in the sky, doomed efforts to stop the disintegration of civilization. Into this chaos comes a villain with the power to control anyone with just the sound of his voice. Dillon Poe wanted to be a comedian once… but everyone made fun of him. Dillon the loser. Dillon the freak. Now he’s sending thousands to their death. Who’s laughing now? The only people who can stop a superpowered villain are superpowered heroes. Dekka, Shade, Cruz, Malik, Armo, and a new mutant with unmatched powers, are all that stand in Dillon’s way. But when the lines begin to blur between hero and villain—some begin to wonder who’s really the monster. The fight will be bloody. This isn’t another battle, this is the war to save the human race.


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It’s been four years since the events of GONE. The Perdido Beach dome is down, but the horrors within have spread, and now all of humanity is in danger. The alien virus-infested rock that created the FAYZ is creating monsters–monsters that walk the cities and countryside, terrorizing all. There are tanks in the street and predator drones in the sky, doomed efforts to stop t It’s been four years since the events of GONE. The Perdido Beach dome is down, but the horrors within have spread, and now all of humanity is in danger. The alien virus-infested rock that created the FAYZ is creating monsters–monsters that walk the cities and countryside, terrorizing all. There are tanks in the street and predator drones in the sky, doomed efforts to stop the disintegration of civilization. Into this chaos comes a villain with the power to control anyone with just the sound of his voice. Dillon Poe wanted to be a comedian once… but everyone made fun of him. Dillon the loser. Dillon the freak. Now he’s sending thousands to their death. Who’s laughing now? The only people who can stop a superpowered villain are superpowered heroes. Dekka, Shade, Cruz, Malik, Armo, and a new mutant with unmatched powers, are all that stand in Dillon’s way. But when the lines begin to blur between hero and villain—some begin to wonder who’s really the monster. The fight will be bloody. This isn’t another battle, this is the war to save the human race.

30 review for Villain

  1. 4 out of 5

    Emily May

    2 1/2 stars. Hmm. I didn't expect to have much to say about the second book in a spin-off series of another popular six-book series, but I guess there's still things I want to talk about. I'm a huge fan of Grant's Gone series, and also enjoyed the first book in this spin-off - Monster. I love the action, the grit, the diverse and flawed characters. I've definitely had some issues with parts of it but, overall, the positive has outweighed the negative. The problem is that this book makes it feel li 2 1/2 stars. Hmm. I didn't expect to have much to say about the second book in a spin-off series of another popular six-book series, but I guess there's still things I want to talk about. I'm a huge fan of Grant's Gone series, and also enjoyed the first book in this spin-off - Monster. I love the action, the grit, the diverse and flawed characters. I've definitely had some issues with parts of it but, overall, the positive has outweighed the negative. The problem is that this book makes it feel like the series is losing steam. Monster appeared to breathe new life into the story by introducing new characters and higher stakes... yet this book feels like filler, propelled by mindless action and ever more ludicrous additions to the mutants. I think the addition of cyborgs is an odd choice and doesn't quite work-- it reads like a desperate attempt to drag something new into a series that is running out of ideas. I also felt nothing towards the villain. I'm not talking about Drake - who gets very little page time here - but the new guy, Dillon, who Grant tries to turn into a complex villain. His story is somewhat interesting at first, but he quickly became lame and comical. His decision to cause so much trouble and kill people is done almost on a whim. A lot of this book feels a little like that - pointless action and gore without meaning or something bigger behind it. And a quick warning-- this book is gross. It is gory and graphic and there were scenes that literally made me feel ill (view spoiler)[like the opening chapter where Dillon forces a man to lick vomit off the floor (hide spoiler)] . There's descriptions of Drake's torture victims, some of which he even crucified. This is truly one of the most gruesome books I've ever read, and I don't just mean in YA. Also not sure why we need to be reminded every chapter that Dekka is a lesbian. Like, I get it. Your rep of LGBTQ characters has been noted already. Let's move on. I do think Grant is a great writer, but I also think I'm ready for something new from him. Mindless action scenes have never really been my thing and sometimes the most important part of writing a good series is knowing when to stop. Who knows? Maybe the story will get a boost in the next book, but right now it feels stale. Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tyler

    Me: It’ll be hard for Grant to top the disturbing, psychologically and physically violent nature of the BZRK series. Me, after reading Villain: Oh

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mark Kielty

    So, I wandered into one of my usual bookshops in Dublin City to find, sitting on a shelf, two copies of Michael Grant’s Villain. After reading Monster I was excited to read the follow up and I thought that other people would be too - So why were there only two copies out? I shrugged my shoulders, proceeded to the checkout and bought the book. I went online to check out the reviews. That’s when I found out that the book isn’t out yet! I don’t know why the book was out on the shop floor, maybe it was So, I wandered into one of my usual bookshops in Dublin City to find, sitting on a shelf, two copies of Michael Grant’s Villain. After reading Monster I was excited to read the follow up and I thought that other people would be too - So why were there only two copies out? I shrugged my shoulders, proceeded to the checkout and bought the book. I went online to check out the reviews. That’s when I found out that the book isn’t out yet! I don’t know why the book was out on the shop floor, maybe it was a mistake, but I’m glad it was because I was not disappointed with Monster’s sequel. Here’s the deal, I’m not going to spoil this story for anyone, but if you’re one of these people who likes to know absolutely nothing about a story before you read it, well you’ve been warned. And anyway, if you really are one of these people then you shouldn’t be on Goodreads looking up books that haven’t come out yet. Villain! “He contemplated an amazing fact: he, Dillon Poe, was quite likely the most powerful person on earth.” Michael Grant so aptly named this title, Villain, and so, the book is just about that. Villains in general and a villain in particular. And man is Dillon Poe sick! One piece of advice they give writers when introducing a villain to a story is to have them do something bad just to show how evil they really are. Well, Michael Grant decided to dedicate a whole first chapter doing this. Like I said, no spoilers, but what I will say is as a grown man, I cringed through the first chapter, thinking whoa, I don’t know how Dekka, Armo, Shade, Cruz and Malik are going to handle this guy. But man I had a lot fun finding out. My advice, have a light lunch before getting into this one. Marvel VS DC VS Michael Grant: People often compare Marvel and DC when it comes to the comic book/movie superhero scene. Marvel is often described as fun, optimistic and humorous and DC is described as dark and more serious. Then Michael Grant came along and said, “You think DC is dark? Well here’s Villain!” Michael does not let up on the gory details, nor is he short on ideas of how innocent people can be tortured. What makes this more eerily dark is the fact that Dillon Poe is a wannabe comedian. So he tries to find the funny side to the absolute carnage happening around him and it makes for a disturbing yet entertaining read. Dekka is back! Dekka, who was a lot of people’s favourite character from the Gone series, is back, doing what she does best. Leading. Fans can also look forward to other Gone favourites, such as none other than Sam Temple and Astrid Ellison. The scenes with Dekka are what to be expected. Her and her unlikely companion, Armo, make for some intense action movie type scenes. Shade, Cruz and Malik also get up to some daring stuff. Shade’s sharp mind gives the US government exactly what it needs. A huge kick up the arse. Also did I mention the cyborgs? Yeah, there’re cyborgs. Conclusion: So if that rush you get when you watch a high impact action movie is what you’re after then Villain is the book for you. Monster set up the scenario and introduced you to the characters. Since all of that all of that is out of the way, watch their stories unfold in this thrilling sequel. And explosions. There are lots of explosions. Note: If you liked this review, then add and follow me. I’ll be getting more reviews up in the not so distant future.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Tomjack

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Mr. Grant, I'm talking to you because you have liked every 5 star review I have left about each of your books. What.The.Heck. I think you have finally hit my limit of death, carnage and blood. And yet, despite feeling like I was going to vomit multiple times, I read this entire book in one day and I will read the next one. And probably anything else you write. Because evidently I have become a masochist. But seriously, that was amazing and I'm glad it wasn't 500 pages because that would have bee Mr. Grant, I'm talking to you because you have liked every 5 star review I have left about each of your books. What.The.Heck. I think you have finally hit my limit of death, carnage and blood. And yet, despite feeling like I was going to vomit multiple times, I read this entire book in one day and I will read the next one. And probably anything else you write. Because evidently I have become a masochist. But seriously, that was amazing and I'm glad it wasn't 500 pages because that would have been... dare I say it... overkill. ;-)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    I really enjoyed the Gone series, but the author has taken the concept entirely off the rails. As a result, Villain is action packed with no discernible plot. The altered humans that are bent on destruction seem to be drunk on their powers and throw cataclysmic temper tantrums, leaving the novel down a ridiculous path. I wish that author Michael Grant had ended with the original series, as I have become increasingly disappointed with the sequels. Villain is the last book for me with these charac I really enjoyed the Gone series, but the author has taken the concept entirely off the rails. As a result, Villain is action packed with no discernible plot. The altered humans that are bent on destruction seem to be drunk on their powers and throw cataclysmic temper tantrums, leaving the novel down a ridiculous path. I wish that author Michael Grant had ended with the original series, as I have become increasingly disappointed with the sequels. Villain is the last book for me with these characters, as I will not be reading any more of them.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Huff

    One of the most gruesome books I've ever read. The fact that this is marketed to children is mind-boggling!!! That being said, such a great story and I could not put it down. I appreciate when an author doesn't pussyfoot around, and Michael Grant never does. This is pure action and carnage from start to finish and I can't sing his praises enough. So when does Hero come out now?

  7. 4 out of 5

    jessica ☾

    For such an action-packed story, this was incredibly dull. I also just can’t find it in me to be invested in all these new characters. The shining moments for me in this book was those that included Dekka, Drake, Sam and Astrid, everyone else just kinda blended together. I am however, extremely excited for the third upcoming book in the trilogy!

  8. 4 out of 5

    E *I tried being resonable I didnt like it*

    This book was fire too bad that next isn't out yet

  9. 5 out of 5

    Aoife

    Another breathless, gory adventure story from Michael Grant. I'm half enjoying, half terrified to keep reading this series; every time I think the stakes can't possibly get any higher, I'm proved wrong. The Battle of Las Vegas is horrifying in every sense of the word. I'm in awe of the way Michael can sow in hints early on, throw away moments that later become very important. It takes real skill and I'm looking forward to seeing how everything pans out in a year. I've taken a star off, though, bec Another breathless, gory adventure story from Michael Grant. I'm half enjoying, half terrified to keep reading this series; every time I think the stakes can't possibly get any higher, I'm proved wrong. The Battle of Las Vegas is horrifying in every sense of the word. I'm in awe of the way Michael can sow in hints early on, throw away moments that later become very important. It takes real skill and I'm looking forward to seeing how everything pans out in a year. I've taken a star off, though, because it's been a year since I read Monster, which had a lot of characters and a lot happening, and it took me a while to remember who everyone was and what the connections between them were. A Previously On or recap would have been very much appreciated. This was a problem with the original series too, though, so I don't expect any progress on it. I can't wait for the next book, but I also don't want this series to be over! Receiving an ARC did not affect my review in any way. "I believe there's a reason for everything that happens, you know? Which means you were given this power for a reason." Saffron looked intently into his eyes. "Things like this don't just happen. This is part of some larger plan. You were meant to have this power, which means you were meant to use it." Dillon nodded along, not quite convinced, and still half thinking he would just tell Saffron to strip off her robe and her bikini and... But his thoughts were not alone in his head; the Dark Watchers, his audience, were listening. And they were liking what they were hearing. He could sense their pleasure, their anticipation. "Well...okay," Dillon said with a shrug. "How do we start?" Saffron smiled. "Let's start with school and work outward." Dillon winced. "You want me to be a superpowered Dylan Kebold? I'm not into killing people, I'm just trying to have a few laughs." "Don't be silly, Dillon. You don't need dead bodies, you need living slaves. And, of course, one other thing." "What?" "A queen, Dillon," she said. "You need a queen."

  10. 5 out of 5

    Beagle Lover (Avid Reader)

    4 stars **** Another exciting book in the "Gone" series from Mr. Grant, who amps up the action, characters and violence. (At times, too much violence.) The antagonist in this novel is a real badass, with absolutely no compassion, morals or remorse. (He does, however, possess a warped sense of humor that only he seems to find amusing.) More characters from the original "Gone" books are involved, and the ending has a great setup for another sequel. If you have a weak stomach for death, horrible d 4 stars **** Another exciting book in the "Gone" series from Mr. Grant, who amps up the action, characters and violence. (At times, too much violence.) The antagonist in this novel is a real badass, with absolutely no compassion, morals or remorse. (He does, however, possess a warped sense of humor that only he seems to find amusing.) More characters from the original "Gone" books are involved, and the ending has a great setup for another sequel. If you have a weak stomach for death, horrible destruction or really rotten antagonists, be warned - this book should be read at your own risk. Some chapters are downright sickening. But they do serve to show the true evil of the main antagonist. The new "mutant" is a truly lovable young character with a mighty power that I see being explored in future books, if there are any. Overall, I enjoyed this book, myself being a fan of most kinds of needed plot violence and death. My hat is off to Mr. Grant for another excellent novel.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kalkunium

    Well shit and fuck. This went about as well as it could have. At first I wasn't sure how I felt about how aware they were of the hero/villain roles (probably because of my personal preference for books where there isn't necessarily a 'good' and a 'bad' side), but it grew on me. You have a bunch of kids who get powers and the world is going to shit in a speedboat, and they're dealing with it using what information they have, namely comic books and movies. And just the fact that they are aware rai Well shit and fuck. This went about as well as it could have. At first I wasn't sure how I felt about how aware they were of the hero/villain roles (probably because of my personal preference for books where there isn't necessarily a 'good' and a 'bad' side), but it grew on me. You have a bunch of kids who get powers and the world is going to shit in a speedboat, and they're dealing with it using what information they have, namely comic books and movies. And just the fact that they are aware raises other questions that I won't go into because formulation and spoilers (find me when you've read the book, maybe I'll still remember some of my vague thoughts).

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nele

    I had some troubles getting back into the story. This is better read just following the series, but since only one comes out per year... But you can see that I finished in 2 days. That's only because I was in the hospital yesterday to get all 4 wisdom teeth out. I had to wait quite a while because of some mix-up. So that goes to show once again (!): ALWAYS bring a book!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jeannine Kranz

    Fantastic follow up series to the gone series. Can not wait for the next instalment.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Continues the series brilliantly - I can't wait to see what happens to all my favourite characters next.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sophia Johnson

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. So that was very violent - a lot more gore than in the entire Gone serie and worse than Monster - description of torture, mass murder, massacre... - but the storyline was interesting. It definitely was better than the precedent book, “Monster”, whose storyline was rushed and included too many useless, repetitive fights. The characters get a better development in this one, I liked the fact that none of the protagonist were “perfect”. I also liked how there were many antagonists (DiMarco, Justin D So that was very violent - a lot more gore than in the entire Gone serie and worse than Monster - description of torture, mass murder, massacre... - but the storyline was interesting. It definitely was better than the precedent book, “Monster”, whose storyline was rushed and included too many useless, repetitive fights. The characters get a better development in this one, I liked the fact that none of the protagonist were “perfect”. I also liked how there were many antagonists (DiMarco, Justin DeVeere, Tom Peaks, Dillon Poe, Vincent Vu, Drake Merwin...) and that some of them were truly despicable, but that at the same time most of them were quite different- had different motives, different concerns, different strengths, different “styles”... The pacing was pretty good, it wasn’t too slow and didn’t have too many useless descriptions; unlike in “Monster”, the majority of the gory scenes did serve a purpose. I enjoyed a lot some of those (however I thought some were exaggerated- like the babies’ brain used by the government... that’s just plain disgusting and totally unnecessary). I liked Dillon’s story and thought he was an interesting character - but I felt that it all went down way too quickly with him, that there seemed to be no reasons for his sudden killing spree, like most reviews noted. It really feels that we’re missing a part of the story. I mean, first chapter, he’s presented as that one unlucky loser-like that young man who gets no respect from his peers and that everyone makes fun of; he’s a survivor of the Fayz but that happened something like five years ago, and since then it seems like he hasn’t done anything special until he gets that “Perdido beach rock” and manages to eat it. And then with no explanation, he starts using his power to make random people try to eat each other, kills two cops on Saffron’s suggestion (whose violent side also seems to be coming out of nowhere); when he’s nearly caught by Dekka and Armo, instead of ordering people to help him (would’ve been a lot smarter), he tells them to kill, without any more precision. I would’ve really liked it if instead, he was presented as a more or less neutral person at the beginning of the story who then slowly develops a taste for violence and gradually gains power over more and more people before attempting to “take over the world”... and it would’ve been better if he was slightly less dumb - having a stupid bad guy is a nice change from the usual evil geniuses, but Dillon could’ve done so much more with his power, it’s a little frustrating! All this said, I loved most of the battle of Las Vegas. It was intense and with quite a few twists along the way, making it more special than the battles in other stories. That giant fight had multiple factors - the hundreds of civils either caught in the battle or forced to side with Dillon before getting massacred by the army, the fact that it was happening in a big city, the social medias, the public’s opinion, the smaller conflicts within the fight, Cruz’s doubtful decision... Oh and by the way, all my apologies for that but I found it sort of funny when Tom Peaks made that one enormous mistake... so much for redeeming himself and getting a chance at seeing his family again! Yep, sorry Peaks, but finishing the enemy’s job at burning innocents will not make you a very liked person. So overall I liked Dillon as an antagonist but felt that he had more potential for a story than that. Like I mentioned earlier, I also thought the protagonists get a deeper development - I liked Malik’s tragic injury and near-death, and the state he’s now stuck in, as well as the guilt Shade felt for having completely screwed up his life. However, as many other people noted, sometimes it feels like the author is trying too hard to have “diversified” characters. One of the protagonist is a Black and lesbian woman, and throughout the book, although it’s actually not that useful (considering she doesn’t seem to have any love interest), those two facts are repeated over and over again. (Also, I didn’t like Francis - I felt that she was useless.) Something else that bothered me (and again, which has been noticed by many other readers) is that some characters from the original Gone serie who were important were completely forgotten, such as Diana who, if I remember correctly, was not mentioned once in this book. She only got one short moment in “Monster”, and not much happened there. While it’s a good thing that the characters from Gone are not being re-used too much and that there are interesting new characters, I’d prefer if some of the “old” ones weren’t erased off the story. But what pissed me off royally was the nicknames. Those goddamn nicknames. I know that it seems to be a detail that the author likes to include in his stories, but now it’s just getting really annoying and ridiculous. Already in the whole Gone serie I hated the nicknames, but here it’s much worse because all of the major characters are supposed to be adults (don’t know if that really counts for Drake, as he stopped growing up after his first “death”, but anyway). I mean, one of the antagonist is a 19 or 20 years-old art students named Justin DeVeere - who calls himself “Knightmare” when he morphs. Really? That’s the kind of nicknames only someone less than 10 years-old would give themselves! And Tom Peaks, who’s supposed to be, I think, in his forties, calls his mutated form “Dragon” and boosts about how the “Dragon” cannot be stopped... *triple facepalms*. Wasn’t he supposed to have worked for the government and to be a serious, organized man? And Dekka, although she doesn’t like it, gets called “Lesbokitty” by nearly everyone on social medias and news outlets... seriously? She’s such a celebrity and yet nobody can remember her name is Dekka Talent? Same for Drake. I never liked the nickname “Whiphand” but now I am dead tired of it. Again, very immature, especially for a serial killer. And again, his actual name isn’t that hard to remember, for God’s sake! And the main antagonist of this book, Dillon, has the nickname of “the Charmer”. Not so bad compared to the other nicknames, but still pretty ridiculous (as well as extremely unoriginal!). It’s not that complicated to remember, dammit! It embarrasses me every time I stumble on one of those names in the story and I scream in my head “no, why can’t their normal names just be used?!?”. And here comes another reason why I won’t give this book more than 3 stars: the title! Nearly as bad as the nicknames! “Villain” is the sort of adjective that is used to describe little antagonists in kids’ stories, not a bunch of crazy psychos! (I didn’t like the title “Monster”, either.) Yes, I understand the idea - that being a hero isn’t easy and that everyone can make mistakes and bad decisions. The thing is, the characters being categorized into either “heroes” or “villains” is very, very clichés and a bit childish. What would’ve been much more interesting would’ve been if Shade, Dekka, Armo, Cruz and the others were actually only pretending to be heroes - while secretly taking many highly morally questionable decisions. I definitely enjoyed the part where Cruz - that one character who was always the innocent and kind one, the insecure one, trying her best to do good but in the same time fighting with great reluctance, preferring to stay shyly behind the leader - let her instincts of survival take over and, for once, acted selfishly and ruthlessly (by deciding that they will interve only later to make themselves look better because they would then be necessary, meaning letting people die). I appreciated a lot that character development; unexpected but logical and adding layers to the character, finally showing another facet of her personality. I liked that we could see how all those events had affected Cruz, and the difficulties awaiting her when it comes to dealing with these types of choices, and the fact that she’ll never be the same. I also wanted to add that I was pleased to actually hear NOT much more about deceased Brianna, because reading about 19 years-old Dekka still kind of loving 12 years-old Brianna was totally disgusting and it really bothered me. That problem of age difference between characters was also, unfortunately, present in the original Gone serie - again, with Brianna being way too young, but she wasn’t the only one. Of course I get that the whole plotline of the story in the first six books is centered around the characters being young - but seriously, some were just way too young. I think all the major characters of Gone should’ve been about the same age: 14 or 15 years-old (after they beat the so-called “poof”). Because, well, it just makes me extremely uncomfortable reading about characters too young having love interests too old for them, being sexualized or being put in extreme situations... like no, that’s not cool at all... and it’s a very important point. It might look like I’ve criticized it too much for giving it 3 stars, but overall it was an enjoyable read, with many original twists, although many elements were annoying.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Moon Cousin

    Finished the whole thing in a single day and... yeah I have quite a bit to say. It goes without saying that any major spoilers for this book will be marked and covered, spoilers for previous books in the series and the overarching narrative... not so much. This is my very first review of a book in the FAYZ-Verse and I guess I should start by saying that I have a love-hate relationship with this series. There are things I enjoy quite a bit, things I find annoying, things I come close to outright h Finished the whole thing in a single day and... yeah I have quite a bit to say. It goes without saying that any major spoilers for this book will be marked and covered, spoilers for previous books in the series and the overarching narrative... not so much. This is my very first review of a book in the FAYZ-Verse and I guess I should start by saying that I have a love-hate relationship with this series. There are things I enjoy quite a bit, things I find annoying, things I come close to outright hating (Not something that happens much when it comes to me) and with this new sequel series there is the occasional tidbit I personally find so absurd and ridiculous I can't help but laugh to myself about it. I'll try to cover a few of these opinions during the review so I can paint a full picture of my feelings about Villain. First off let's talk about the good. Feels fair to mention what I think the story did right since I'm giving it such a harsh rating. The new main characters continue to be a nice breath of fresh air. Over the course of the original FAYZ series I found myself growing incredibly tired of many of the main characters. The most egregious of which being Sam, Astrid, Caine and Diana with the most notable exceptions being Edilio and Dekka. With Shade, Cruz, Malik, Armo and now Francis I'm finding myself more interested and engaged in their personalities and arcs than I ever was with the old main characters during the later books of their series. Time will tell if this sticks should I continue to read this series. The new way powers are handled also continues to be incredibly pleasing. I've been absolutely spoiled in the topic of creative superpowers by series such as Worm, My Hero Academia and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, so although the powers present here don't quite reach those heights of quality they are still extremely entertaining t0 witness. The new morphing mechanics also add an extra layer of creativity to the powers in this new series that elevates them above those present in the original series. Sadly, for me, none of the new powers introduced in this book could quite top those of the first books Abaddon and his starfish-ey body-puppeteering awesomeness, though newcomer Francis comes VERY close. Armo still has pretty bland powers but he makes up for it with a fun personality and entertaining presence (Same cant exactly be said for Knightmare) As another positive the action, like always, is tense and engaging in it's writing even when the things taking place are straightforward and simple. In spite of all my complaints with the series, Michael Grant's action writing has remained consistently entertaining. Now onto the negative. I'll start with a certain individual named Drake Merwin. A personal pet peeve of mine regarding the FAYZ-Verse. I absolutely hate this character and find myself annoyed with every paragraph he is present. Personally I've always greatly preferred villains who are sympathetic or have complex and understandable motives over the straight up monstrous characters, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy a scumbag or two. Dio Brando from JJBA is an unrepentant asshole but his charisma, humorousness and sheer overpowering presence makes me love him despite my fondness for more sympathetic villains. To me, Drake has nothing that makes his type of villain enjoyable to have present. Even karma, the force that normally grants unlikeable villains a sort of entertainment factor by giving them what they deserve, is not helping here due to the sheer fact that Drake is nigh unkillable. I'm of the opinion that Sam should have incinerated Drake at the end of Lies and gotten rid of him permanently, he was fine enough in the first three books as an antagonist but beyond that point his invincibility mixed with his unlikability became a mix that annoys me every time he shows up. Also he's straight up a rapist now which... yeah... just pushes his unlikability that extra bit further. But enough about Drake, let's talk about a little thing introduced in the last book which remains present in Villain. Like the Drake Merwin thing, this is far more saturated with personal subjective opinion than the rest of the review. I honestly find the introduction of cyborgs and such into this series incredibly ridiculous and absurd. To me, the image of heads in jars piloting clunky robot bodies just feels so insanely disjointed from everything else this series has established that I have no idea how to react whenever these cyborgs appear. I can handle the superpowers granted inexplicably by reality warping aliens, that's fine it's been a part of the series since the very beginning, but everything to do with the cyborgs just makes my brain do an incredulous double take. Their introduction in the last book made the antagonistic, if realistic actions, of the government at that point evil to a completely cartoonish degree and going in I was almost certain this book wouldn't be able to top that level of absurdity, quietly hoping that I was wrong. Then in this book they (view spoiler)[brought it back with kamikaze drones piloted by the brains of infants and I... my brain just flatlines. (hide spoiler)] I don't know whether to love it for how insanely dark and ridiculous it is or hate it for those very same reasons. But what would this review about Villain be without talk of the villains? Yes I mentioned Drake earlier but he has a very reduced role in this book (Something I guess I should be thankful for?), leaving newcomer Dillon Poe to fill the role of main antagonist for this book. To be honest he didn't really do it for me. He seemed fairly promising at first, with an interesting agenda and terrifying Purple Man powers to match, until he just fell flat and became a character who just caused insane amounts of carnage and death for no real reason I can discern. He was just kind of sad and pathetic, (view spoiler)[made even more so by the fact that his terrifying powers can't even affect the heroes with powers. Midway through the story there's a scene that makes it seem like Armo is immune to the mind control due to his disorder, which I felt was a really neat and interesting plot point. But nope, any person with powers is immune if they are morphed into their other form. Undercutting what could have been a great Chekov's gun and trump card for the heroes while simultaneously making the book's main villain a bit more pathetic and unthreatening. (hide spoiler)] I honestly feel Vincent Vu AKA Abaddon could have filled the role of this books villain to a similar effect, given how his powers were shown to work during the finale of the last book. But sadly (view spoiler)[Abaddon is killed off unceremoniously in a 2-3 page chapter after so much hype buildup to his return. RIP Abaddon. You had the most disturbing and awesome abilities of any character in this series so far. (hide spoiler)] As for the other villains... Thomas Peaks real goals and motives remain slightly hazy and uninteresting to me, while Justin DeVeere continues to be... well... just uninteresting (In terms of both personality AND powers) I guess I've always considered the villains of the FAYZE-Verse books fairly weak in comparison to other aspects of the series, but that's just how I feel. Before closing out the review there is one other relatively minor thing I wanted to talk about. I'll first clarify that I am a huge fan of diversity in the stuff I read. I really do love and appreciate the level of race, gender and sexuality diversity this main cast of characters has. However in the first half/first three quarters of this book it feels like I'm being constantly reminded every third or fourth paragraph what a given characters race, gender and/or sexuality is. I've read all the other books, I am well aware that Dekka is a lesbian and I'm not going to forget if I'm not reminded every few seconds. I'm using Dekka as an example but the same goes for the majority of the main cast. And that's it for the review. It's pretty negative I guess but that's just how I feel. Regardless of how harsh the review is... I still finished this decent sized book in a single day and have read everything that came before it, so this series is definitely doing something right. Thanks for reading and feel free to comment how you felt about the review if you want! Second time I've ever done a review like this.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Teenreadsdotcom

    VILLAIN, a Gone novel by Michael Grant, tells the story of the world four years after the events of GONE. The Perdido Beach dome is down, but the horrors inside it have spread. An alien virus-infested rock that created FAYZ has started an apocalypse, creating mutants and uncontrollable creatures, terrorizing the world. In this new post-apocalyptic series, you have your monsters, your villains and your heroes. There are some that believe the humans must be fought, that the mutants are the ones th VILLAIN, a Gone novel by Michael Grant, tells the story of the world four years after the events of GONE. The Perdido Beach dome is down, but the horrors inside it have spread. An alien virus-infested rock that created FAYZ has started an apocalypse, creating mutants and uncontrollable creatures, terrorizing the world. In this new post-apocalyptic series, you have your monsters, your villains and your heroes. There are some that believe the humans must be fought, that the mutants are the ones that deserve to reign. Others wish to restore peace and act as a hero to the normal citizens of the world. Old foes return and new ones arise. No longer is the battlefield only limited the Perdido Beach dome. Now, it has spread to the world. Michael Grant has managed to bring in a new element in every single one of his novels. From new heroes to new villains to entirely new concepts, VILLAIN raises the stakes in the Gone universe. What I primarily enjoyed was getting a major outlook into Dillon’s life. Dillon Poe, a bullied teenager who once wanted to be a comedian, gained the power to control anyone with just the sound of his voice. In the novel, he’s a villain, hell-bent on sending thousands to their death. It was interesting to see his side of the story in such a doomed world. The converging storylines flow smoothly together and create a well-welded plot. The separate stories ultimately combine, leading to Dillon wreaking havoc, and the superheroes Shade, Cruz, Malik, Dekka, Armo and one other new mutant attempting to stop the supervillain. They also bring back GONE favorites Sam Temple and Astrid Ellison. It’s been a while since the previous novel, MONSTER, was released, but Grant does an excellent job with tying in exposition to re-introduce us to his characters and set-up for the plot. The book also goes into more detail with the newer concept of the Dark Watchers, the name of the aliens that sent the virus-infested rock down to Earth. Each person’s power is unique and unexpected. Some wouldn’t exactly be called “superpowers” in a 21st century comic book, but Grant manages to craft characters with interesting traits and backgrounds that draw the reader in. The action scenes are nonstop. Grant intensely illustrates the battles of superpowers against superpowers through his writing. Opening with Dillon’s ruthlessness with civilians really sets the tone for the rest of the novel. The book showcases gory scenes that take the reader’s breath away. However, each quick and sudden death and the almost careless tone for each innocent demise doesn’t allow the reader to connect with what should be a great fear in the world. People compare the Gone universe with Marvel or DC comics and films, but the world that Grant has created is much more than that. The severity, the gore, the action and the reality of the Perdido Beach dome are engraved in every chapter. It is as if Deadpool meets Batman, where comedy meets absolute carnage meets darkness. There are crazy monsters, cyborgs and aliens all throughout the novel in this electrifying sequel. VILLAIN is a gripping, terrifying science-fiction thriller that makes the Battle of Las Vegas one of the most horrifying events in all the Gone books.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    Warning to all: this book is gross af. But typical of a Gone novel. I found this book to be entertaining, but also a little pointless. It’s mostly just a bunch of gory, graphic violence that starts to lose its purpose. The new villain introduced, Dillon Poe, isn’t interesting. He’s a complete moron who seems to suddenly decide to kill everyone without feeling strongly about it one way or another. He just sort of does it. That being said, Grant continues to do a good job at creating very hatable Warning to all: this book is gross af. But typical of a Gone novel. I found this book to be entertaining, but also a little pointless. It’s mostly just a bunch of gory, graphic violence that starts to lose its purpose. The new villain introduced, Dillon Poe, isn’t interesting. He’s a complete moron who seems to suddenly decide to kill everyone without feeling strongly about it one way or another. He just sort of does it. That being said, Grant continues to do a good job at creating very hatable characters. I hated Poe a lot, but because he was such an idiot, there wasn’t a lot of depth to my hate. I mostly just felt pissed off, like, seriously? THIS idiot is what we have to deal with now? Despite the meaningless violence that made the plot sort of one dimensional, I still plan on reading the next book because I am interested to see what happens regarding the plot line with Drake, Astrid and Sam. Drake is disgusting as usual, but this battle has been a long time coming. I need resolution. Another weird aspect of this book is Grant’s complete lack of subtlety when writing LGBTQ characters. It is extremely evident that Grant wants his readers to know that he is a supporter of the LGBTQ community, which is 100% not an issue. It’s just that he mentions something about Dekka being a lesbian and Cruz being transgender on every other page. We understand that this is important to their respective identities. That’s great, but it isn’t relevant in the middle of a gruesome battle. And it’s also not the only thing about them that matters. Cruz is kind and thoughtful despite having lived a hard life. Dekka is brave and honorable and kicks ass all day every day. I like the characters he’s created, but I don’t LOVE them and care for them the way I did the kids in the Gone books. There’s just not as much one on one time with them where we really start to worry about their well being. Grant also talks about race a lot. It’s almost like he’s trying vey hard to make sure we know he hates racists. WE KNOW. So do we!! But does it need to be on every other page? No. It’s tiring and loses its value when shoved in our faces repeatedly. Every minor “bad” character had a nazi tattoo lol. No joke. Move on with the story dude. Everyone hates Nazis.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    These books are just so horrible, and I mean that completely. Nobody can write the kind of twisted horror and awfulness that Michael Grant can. I think that’s why, at heart, I find his books continually compelling, no matter how gruesome they get—he really, really digs to the core of what humans will do to themselves and each other given the right circumstances. I’m still surprised this series hasn’t gotten more exposure, given how popular Gone was. I was also shocked to find that he co-wrote Ani These books are just so horrible, and I mean that completely. Nobody can write the kind of twisted horror and awfulness that Michael Grant can. I think that’s why, at heart, I find his books continually compelling, no matter how gruesome they get—he really, really digs to the core of what humans will do to themselves and each other given the right circumstances. I’m still surprised this series hasn’t gotten more exposure, given how popular Gone was. I was also shocked to find that he co-wrote Animorphs with Katherine Applegate, who is also his wife. I had no idea K.A. Applegate was the two of them collectively until now. I love Animorphs, but I’ve always associated it with a uniquely disturbing quality that other books don’t have. It makes so much sense that Michael Grant was behind some of that all along. The other childhood book that really freaked me out was Remnants, which I realize now is also written by the two of them. So. Apparently they alone write books that just creep me out the way nothing else does. Villain I think might top everything in terms of graphicness. He really pulled out all the stops this time and I honestly don’t know how he was even able to physically write a lot of these scenes. This review has been filled with a lot of superlatives, but if you read it you’ll know what I mean. It’s really in its own category and the next book is looking to be pretty much along the same lines. One thing I really liked in particular was the multiple universes/4th dimension/existential stuff. I love that there’s still questions about the original series that are being answered. The expansion of the universe is fascinating and doesn’t feel like it’s going too far like I’ve sometimes noticed in other series. Final note that I think this series does inclusiveness better than most of what I’ve seen in YA. The representation doesn’t seem forced to me and really ties into each characters’ motivations and life views rather than just being a label. Alright. About a year to recover from this book, because it’s the stuff of nightmares, and then we’ll see how it ends.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sam Whale

    A big step up from Monster (which I still enjoyed a lot). The main cast is a lot more well rounded and engaging, with clearer motivations and arcs (it was nice to feel moments of sympathy for the various Villains instead of just seeing them as insane and evil). Dillan was an especially engaging antagonist and the addition of Francis to the Rockborn Gang is welcome :) Shade, Malik and Cruz are given a lot more depth, with Cruz in particular growing to be one of my favourite character in all eight A big step up from Monster (which I still enjoyed a lot). The main cast is a lot more well rounded and engaging, with clearer motivations and arcs (it was nice to feel moments of sympathy for the various Villains instead of just seeing them as insane and evil). Dillan was an especially engaging antagonist and the addition of Francis to the Rockborn Gang is welcome :) Shade, Malik and Cruz are given a lot more depth, with Cruz in particular growing to be one of my favourite character in all eight books, while Dekka and her battle-buddy Armo remain as fantastic and badass as ever :) Justin is still a little dull, but seems to be going on some kind of arc, and I found Tom Peaks to be very engaging this time round. Seeing some more Drake was as creepy and vile as ever, and it's cool seeing how intimidating he is despite now being extremely outclassed in terms of raw power. Sam and Astrids brief appearance was also enjoyable, and I hope the two make a heroic return in the final book. The plot of villain was really well written, with a nice tight three act structure, some clear heroes, some clear villains, and some now morally ambiguous side player. the revelations to the greater plot of he trilogy were very exciting, but the smaller story of Dillains slow turn from sympathetic misguided youth into super villain, as well as our heroes having to come to terms with [ersonal demons in order to come together and stop him was what made this my favourite book in the seires since fear (which notably had a similar micro-story within the story and a book specific villain) I loved this book to death and reading it made me feel like a teenager again. I can't wait for Villain!

  21. 5 out of 5

    bjneary

    Oh do I LOVE this series and Villain did not disappoint! I devoured this riveting read in 2 days, with new characters (Dillon Poe, Francis Specter, DiMarco) and old characters I love - Shade, Dekka, Cruz, Malik, Sam Temple, Astrid, Armo and characters I hate - Drake, Peaks. As Malik suffers excruciating pain from burns, he ingests" the rock" and when he morphs he is able to give unbelievable pain to others. Dillon Poe is a horror, his power AFTER EATING THE ROCK- when he speaks all must do what Oh do I LOVE this series and Villain did not disappoint! I devoured this riveting read in 2 days, with new characters (Dillon Poe, Francis Specter, DiMarco) and old characters I love - Shade, Dekka, Cruz, Malik, Sam Temple, Astrid, Armo and characters I hate - Drake, Peaks. As Malik suffers excruciating pain from burns, he ingests" the rock" and when he morphs he is able to give unbelievable pain to others. Dillon Poe is a horror, his power AFTER EATING THE ROCK- when he speaks all must do what he tells them and oh is Dillon awful. As things spiral out of control; Shade, Cruz and Malik want to work with Dekka to HELP turn the public tide of hatred and horror to their favor as superheroes. The government is mostly evil, working against everyone (DiMarco) and intent on wiping out the superheroes and supervillains. This book was action packed; filled with horror, battles, and the world in the clenches of crazy characters intent on evil, murder, and mayhem. But through it all I rooted for the superheroes and can't wait to see what Francis Specter does in future books! A tremendous wild read!

  22. 4 out of 5

    P.M.

    Dillon Poe must be one of the most despicable villains ever but he is brought down by the Rockborn Gang after a bloodthirsty rampage through Las Vegas. This is a sequel series to the Gone Sextuplets. However, it does not, in my opinion, have the likable heroes from Gone. I will keep reading because I want to find out about the Dark Watchers and why Francis does not sense them. I also like Armo, the berserker polar bear.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Maeva Lau

    3.5

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    Exactly as expected mostly except the "good guys" got a better deal this time. Pure adrenaline and entertainment. Still like the message of acceptance these books convey.

  25. 4 out of 5

    George Fowles

    Next level gore compared to that of the FAYZ. Loved the idea of Dillon Poe’s power and the zombie apocalypse vibe it gave off. Even more disturbing when you realise they’re all aware of what they’re doing but can’t stop. Got to be the biggest death toll of the series so far. I kinda wish more was done with the OG’s, especially Drake now he’s so much worse (or at least more directly stated) than in the FAYZ, but by the looks of the ending we’ll be getting that in the next book. The Dark Watchers Next level gore compared to that of the FAYZ. Loved the idea of Dillon Poe’s power and the zombie apocalypse vibe it gave off. Even more disturbing when you realise they’re all aware of what they’re doing but can’t stop. Got to be the biggest death toll of the series so far. I kinda wish more was done with the OG’s, especially Drake now he’s so much worse (or at least more directly stated) than in the FAYZ, but by the looks of the ending we’ll be getting that in the next book. The Dark Watchers are one of the reasons why I love Grant’s writing.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lizor

    *2.5 I hadn't expected much of this book, because I wasn't a super big fan of the first one, but I'm reading it mostly because of the Gone nostalgia. Monster was pretty good to get through and still rather amusing, but I thought Villain was just a bit all over the place. It didn't really have a storyline that was easy to follow and I still don't really get what the "bigger problem" is now, because they keep killing the bad guys that seem to be the main antagonist and what is even more problematic *2.5 I hadn't expected much of this book, because I wasn't a super big fan of the first one, but I'm reading it mostly because of the Gone nostalgia. Monster was pretty good to get through and still rather amusing, but I thought Villain was just a bit all over the place. It didn't really have a storyline that was easy to follow and I still don't really get what the "bigger problem" is now, because they keep killing the bad guys that seem to be the main antagonist and what is even more problematic is that I don't care for the protagonist(s). Besides this, I don't really like their superpowers. In Gone, every power had an obvious limit and of course, they have limits here too, but those limits seem to be way too high. I will probably still read the last book in the series just to finish it and the Gone series was done for me when the last book came out and I don't think these series add anything to the universe.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Verity Harris

    Full review to come.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Janine

    Villain is dramatic and full of non-stop action. There is an awful lot happening and as it had been a year since I read Monster, it took me a little while to get back into it. It is on a much larger scale than the original FAYZ books which on the one hand makes everything dramatic and shocking, but on the other hand can make it overwhelming and hard to keep track of. The powers people are developing are becoming so much bigger and wilder. I honestly can't guess where this series is going, and th Villain is dramatic and full of non-stop action. There is an awful lot happening and as it had been a year since I read Monster, it took me a little while to get back into it. It is on a much larger scale than the original FAYZ books which on the one hand makes everything dramatic and shocking, but on the other hand can make it overwhelming and hard to keep track of. The powers people are developing are becoming so much bigger and wilder. I honestly can't guess where this series is going, and that's exciting! Parts of this book hint at characters from the earlier books playing a larger role so I'm intrigued to see where that leads. Overall a fun read for fans of this world. I, personally, found the scale of it all overpowered the smaller character plotlines that interest me most, but I still enjoyed it and will be reading on in the series. Thanks to NetGalley and Electric Monkey for providing me an e-copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Wisty

    I simply CANNOT get enough of Michael Grant and the worlds he creates. Read this in one sitting, and it was disgusting and gorey and I personally loved it. I feel like we're seeing some interesting character growth, we're building up a likable and complex ensemble of heroes and villains, we're seeing elements and characters from the original series- which is such a treat-and we've still got humor and sass and nasty action scenes. (view spoiler)[ Drake (hide spoiler)] is literally what nightmare I simply CANNOT get enough of Michael Grant and the worlds he creates. Read this in one sitting, and it was disgusting and gorey and I personally loved it. I feel like we're seeing some interesting character growth, we're building up a likable and complex ensemble of heroes and villains, we're seeing elements and characters from the original series- which is such a treat-and we've still got humor and sass and nasty action scenes. (view spoiler)[ Drake (hide spoiler)] is literally what nightmares are made of, just had to put that out there. I freaking adore Dekka, but one of the standouts for me is actually Armo! I'd call him my favorite at this point, and I hope we get to see more of him. The last pages in these books are always NUTS. ASTRID IS TAKING THE ROCK, wow. I'm a big Sam fan, but knowing that we're gonna shine the spotlight on Astrid is very exciting. The inevitable Drake/Astrid confrontation has me quaking in my boots. And then Anomalous Space Object #7 comes into play right on that last page, wowzer. As always, the writing was wonderful. Also, there were a few World War II mentions/facts sprinkled through out, and that just reminded me of Front Lines and made me want to go back and read that. Already incredibly pumped for the next books. Itching to get back to the FAYZ!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Judith Moore

    Originally posted at Chain Interaction I should stress that this isn’t all going to be a comparison to Killer T. A lot of aspects of this book are far better than Muchamore’s attempt to write teenagers who don’t make me want to bang my head repeatedly on my bookshelf. For instance, I think Grant does a fairly good job of making his characters diverse and intersectional. Does it always work? No. But the attempt is there and that’s important. I also think Grant’s plot is a lot more high stakes, it Originally posted at Chain Interaction I should stress that this isn’t all going to be a comparison to Killer T. A lot of aspects of this book are far better than Muchamore’s attempt to write teenagers who don’t make me want to bang my head repeatedly on my bookshelf. For instance, I think Grant does a fairly good job of making his characters diverse and intersectional. Does it always work? No. But the attempt is there and that’s important. I also think Grant’s plot is a lot more high stakes, it certainly takes the Gone books and adds a whole lot more to them. So, why will I not be reading any more of this series? In part, this comes down to personal preference. I’m not a person who enjoys a lot of gore and violence in what I read. That’s not to say I want everything to be sunshine and lollipops, but I don’t need graphic depictions of dead bodies every other chapter. So, if you enjoy that – this may be the book for you. I can also see how this might be a good book for, say, a librarian to recommend to teenage boys, because it has a lot of great female characters in roles that ten years ago would have just been teenage boys. In the mission to get young adults who would rather be shooting each other in video games into reading, this isn’t a bad example. But for me – I’m just not that into you. So aside from the heaping violence, this book starts messing with one of my least favourite ‘superpowers’ which is mind control. I can’t be dealing with anything that screws around with consent. Again, that’s personal preference and, as far as I could tell, no-one is mind controlled into sleeping with anyone else, but there’s always the worry that it could happen and that makes for quite a stressful read on my part. Now onto the main reason I don’t want to continue this series. And this is a spoiler alert for those who care about those. Bringing back a character who ‘died’ in previous books who is just…horrible. Violent and damaged and rapey and…just no. There are enough terrible people in this book, there are enough awful perspectives you have to read, this was not necessary. What particularly bothered me was how every character, upon learning this, talked about how he was going to go after another character, and how powerless that character was at this point. I didn’t need that. I didn’t want that. This wasn’t relevant to the plot that was happening, it was just danger and fear for danger and fear’s sake. So, if you want to read a book that is essentially awful people doing awful things interspersed with arguably good people making difficult and often terrible decisions then this is certainly the book for you. As I say, a lot of this is personal preference, and there will be people who will appreciate this story. I can also praise the attempts at diversifying the story. But I won’t be reading more of these books. My rating: 2/5 stars I received a free digital advanced review copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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