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The Big Empty by J.B. Stephens
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The Big Empty

by J.B. Stephens

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1406127,922 (3.2)2

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This is a re-read originally read in 2008

Going thru my to read pile I noticed a bunch of series that I had started and had yet to finish this was one of those. I had read the 1st two but not the last two. As it had been so long I decided to re-read the first two.

Much of it came back to me and as then I really enjoyed this first book. Very easy to read and could be enjoyed by both boys and girls. Middle school ages would probably enjoy it the most as it is pretty simplistic. Easy to get caught up in and lose track of time and since its not a long read before you know it your ready for the next book. ( )
  justablondemoment | Oct 4, 2014 |
The first book in the series, The Big Empty is mostly intended just to introduce the characters and their world. The chapters alternate between viewpoints, and so the overall plot is a little slow in developing before, towards the end, everyone meets up and the voices solidify into fewer groups. The novel's structure - many voices but limited book length - also means that the dialogue is occasionally a little stilted and melodramatic, with details made a bit rushed and underdeveloped as the overall progression of the plot is, at times, slow.

Still, the book is an interesting take on the aftermath of a common sci-fi element, the fast-killing, nearly invincible virus. The U.S. has descended into a somewhat chaotic dystopia, and the Midwest is supposed to be devoid of human life after having been evacuated (which makes me wonder how agriculture is faring). And as the seven characters make their way into the "Big Empty" for various reasons, readers know that, once the story gets started, the series should prove to be interesting and exciting. ( )
  SusieBookworm | Oct 21, 2012 |
It was a little confusing at times, but it was interesting how the book kept changing to different characters in each chapter, and how they all come together towards the end. It was also interesting to see all the different relationships all the characters have with one another, and how they change throughout the book. ( )
  MonicaM7 | Oct 21, 2010 |
Too bad this series went out of print. It's a perfect recommendation for those who are looking for something to read after finishing the Hunger Games trilogy and while waiting for the next Maze Runner book!

Highly recommended! ( )
  Kewpie83 | Sep 11, 2010 |
A quick read - would be perfect for reluctant readers around age 13 & up, in particular boys, but anyone who likes a quick science fiction would enjoy it. The small paperback is easily stuffed into backpack (or purse!). That said, this is not a new story about a future world far different from what we live in now. However, it is always interesting to see what an author does with that kind of storyline. In this first book of the series (I believe there are four) a virus has wiped out a good portion of our population (most die within one week of contracting "Strain 7"). The U. S. has been whittled down to coastal states and the mid-section has been evacuated - thus the nickname it has been given: The Big Empty. Enter Missouri where a group has gathered to begin rebuilding life the way they want it (and not how the government says it has to be). They've figured a way to send out coded email messages (yes, the Internet still operates!) - messages that if you can decipher them, then you can become part of the group (or 'new world'). The storyline keeps moving forward at a good pace with just enough tension to make you want to get to the end (and pick up the next one in the series, "Paradise City"). Everyone needs a quick read now and then that "takes you away" for a little while - this first one fits that niche quite nicely (and hopefully the others will too). ( )
  patricia_poland | Aug 14, 2010 |
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After half of the world's population is killed by a plague, seven teenagers seek a better life in a nightmarish future by deciphering coded messages and trying to avoid the Slashers.

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