Book Review: The Eleventh Plague

The Eleventh Plague
Jeff Hirsch
Genre: Dystopian
Star Rating: 2 out of 5 stars


The wars that followed The Collapse nearly destroyed civilization. Now, twenty years later, the world is faced with a choice—rebuild what was or make something new. 

Stephen Quinn, a quiet and dutiful fifteen-year-old scavenger, travels Post-Collapse America with his Dad and stern ex-Marine Grandfather. They travel light. They keep to themselves. Nothing ever changes. But when his Grandfather passes suddenly and Stephen and his Dad decide to risk it all to save the lives of two strangers, Stephen’s life is turned upside down. With his father terribly injured, Stephen is left alone to make his own choices for the first time. 
Stephen’s choices lead him to Settler’s Landing, a lost slice of the Pre-Collapse world where he encounters a seemingly benign world of barbecues, baseball games and days spent in a one-room schoolhouse. Distrustful of such tranquility, Stephen quickly falls in with Jenny Tan, the beautiful town outcast. As his relationship with Jenny grows it brings him into violent conflict with the leaders of Settler’s Landing who are determined to remake the world they grew up in, no matter what the cost.


When I read the summary, I was brimming with hope that I might actually really really like this book. I wanted to like it. But alas, it was not to be.

First, let me locate a few faults I found in the book.

Now, it says that the WORLD was faced with a choice up in that summary, yes? Personally, I was expected a teensy bit more world action here. Instead, the author handed me a tiny town with tiny-minded people.

And although the title of the book talks about the plague, the only time that this is really brought up is in the first few chapters of the book, and then it kind of fizzles out as other little conflicts arise to take its place. I do think that the author should've added more with this plague business, because I think it would've added far more suspense, and a little more meat to the story.

Stephen....he's our main guy in this adventure. I had to say...he was a shall I say...dim. He made a few stupid choices, that got him into trouble, and then he made even more stupid choices, and then somehow by a stroke of insane luck, BOOM. He doesn't die. Yay. Carry on. Another problem I found with Mr. Stephen here was that he was far, far too clingy. To everything. His grandfather dies, and WHAM. Stephen drones about him for chapters on end, hearing his voice in his head and doing the whole "he's dead, I don't have to listen to him anymore"speech. I found myself not taking him seriously since he didn't seem fifteen to me. I really just thought of him as a little kid trying to dress like an adult.

The author seemed clingy to Settler's Landing, as much as Stephen clung to everything in sight. Time and time again, the author wrote that Stephen was thinking of leaving the town, and time and time again, some excuse came up and Stephen came back, stupidly nearly getting himself killed, stupidly throwing firecrackers at some sheep.

About the Jenny-Stephen love thing. I was thinking that the author would throw in another person to tempt one of the characters, to maybe make a love triangle, and make us readers root for one or the other. Nope. Jenny and Stephen are like two peas in a pod.

Enough ranting about the faults. I'll try to scrounge up some good stuff.

I liked the idea of the whole war leaving the country with a plague and everyone near death, because it gave a sort of feeling that nothing good would happen. And when you get that feeling, good things in the story will surprise you, and often make things awesome. Like random cans of pears in abandoned airplanes. Good stuff, aye?

I also like the whole concept of the slavers, salvagers, and the people who were in little towns. Those different groups brought a little tension to the story, making the readers wary whenever one of those people crept onto the page.

This was a long, and probably not that exciting review, but if you read all the way down to the bottom here, thanks.

That is all.


  1. Well said!

    And check out my competition!


    1. Thanks. (:

      Ooh, a competition? Cool. I'll head over there and see what's happening. (:


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