July 28, 2013

Review of Quarantine: The Loners by Lex Thomas




As original as The Hunger Games, set within the walls of a high school exactly like yours.” – Kami Garcia, New York Times best-selling co-author of the Beautiful Creatures novels

It was just another ordinary day at McKinley High—until a massive explosion devastated the school. When loner David Thorpe tried to help his English teacher to safety, the teacher convulsed and died right in front of him. And that was just the beginning.

A year later, McKinley has descended into chaos. All the students are infected with a virus that makes them deadly to adults. The school is under military quarantine. The teachers are gone. Violent gangs have formed based on high school social cliques. Without a gang, you’re as good as dead. And David has no gang. It’s just him and his little brother, Will, against the whole school. 

In this frighteningly dark and captivating novel, Lex Thomas locks readers inside a school where kids don’t fight to be popular, they fight to stay alive.

“Take Michael Grant’s Gone and Veronica Roth’s Divergent, rattle them in a cage until they’re ready to fight to the death, and you’ll have something like this nightmarish debut…Thomas’ whirlwind pace, painful details, simmering sexual content, and moments of truly shocking ultra-violence thrust this movie-ready high school thriller to the head of the class.” – Booklist (starred review)

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Quarantine: The Loners by Lex Thomas
Publication Date:  July 10, 2012
Publisher:  EgmontUSA

Available for Purchase:
Chapter-Indigoamazon|B&N|TBD |indiebound

I couldn’t find a trailer, so here’s a song!
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** This title was provided to us by the Publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinions **

MaryAnn NewI’m pretty sure that the expression on my face while reading this book was pretty much mouth wide open with eyes bugged out.  Quarantine: The Loners by Lex Thomas was not at all what I had expected!  While I was expecting a story about infected students hunting down the survivors riddled all throughout the school and infecting them as well, what I found was something much worse, and in a way, even more frightening.

David Thorpe thought that the worst thing about going back to school (senior year for David, and new high school student for Will) was facing a party incident gone wrong and facing the music.  Will Thorpe is just happy to be starting high school.  But when David’s teacher pretty much self-combusts in front of him, followed by an explosion that causes the school to crumble all around him, David, his brother, and the surviving students of McKinley high’s lives are forever changed…and not necessarily for the better.

Turns out, the students are all infected with a virus that basically makes them very deadly to any adults.  Just being in the vicinity of one of them will cause them suffer a horrible death.  A virus so awful, that the students themselves are susceptible to it once they are of age.  The only light at the end of the tunnel is surviving until “graduation day”, where they are tested and if the virus is no longer found, they are granted their freedom to the outside world.  And so the military have quarantined them all in their high school, dropping off their food and rations via helicopter from atop the school into an open courtyard (very Hunger Games-esque).  The students are free to grab what they need and do what they need to survive.

Unfortunately, a very real Lord of the Flies scenario plays out and the students start breaking apart into groups forming tribes of their very own.  Survival of the fittest really becomes important when it comes to staying alive.  The jocks have formed an uber strong tribe that pretty much rules the “land”, with the cheerleaders as their female counterpart.  Things slowly become less than perfect when the race for food turns into a deadly match.  Food and goods are bartered amongst the different tribes, and a new community is born.

Unfortunately for David and Will, David’s violent outburst at a party makes him numero uno on the leader of the jocks’ (Sam) hit list.  And his brother, Will, is not safe, just by association.  With bounties being placed on his head, and his need to survive and protect his brother, David is constantly looking over his shoulder, and lurking in the shadows.  Questions of who to trust and who not to trust constantly in his head, it seems that David’s days are numbered, and when he’s gone, who will protect Will?

Craziness!  This story was complete craziness.  I was surprised time and time again, and blown away by the violence and imagery found in the pages.  The author(s) did an amazing job in describing the chaos that happens inside the school.  They instilled fear while reading through the pages.  I was constantly worried for David and his brother, Will.  I wondered when Sam would finally get the vengeance he has been yearning for, time and time again.

I couldn’t get over the fact that these every day students turned into these savage beasts that had a “who no mercy” mentally towards each other.  I can’t even begin to imagine how things would be if this type of incident really did happen.  And the twists and turns that came up time and time again were insane.  Once I thought that things just couldn’t get any worse for these kids, and o.m.g situation happens and I’m blown away once again.

What did bother me was David’s little brother, Will.  I couldn’t stand his attitude at times, and I was annoyed with his hate for his brother.  I mean come on!  Can’t he see that his brother is doing all he can so that he’ll live!  Even if it means his own life! ARGHH!  You would think that in such a dire situation that having your brother…your blood…with you to try and survive this ordeal would bring you closer.  Nope, Will didn’t want to have anything to do with it, and that chip on his should only got bigger and bigger!

All in all, Quarantine: The Loners by Lex Thomas was a very entertaining read that took me away to a savage and cruel world that only lived in my nightmares.  Fans of The Hunger Games and Lord of the Flies type reads will devour this read.  I for one, cannot wait to start reading book 2 in this series and see what craziness will ensue this time!

Enter to win a copy of books 1 and 2 HERE!





Lex Thomas is the pen name for the writing team of Lex Hrabe and Thomas Voorhies. Their first novel, QUARANTINE: THE LONERS, earned a starred review from Booklist, and Huffington Post Books called it “one of the best books that I have ever read.”

Lex received a BA in Drama and English from the University of Virginia and has worked as an actor, director and writer. Thomas graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design, and now writes, and exhibits his realist oil paintings in Los Angeles. 

Lex and Thomas met in a writers’ group in Los Angeles. Their friendship developed as they tried to blow each other’s minds with clips from bizarre movies. In 2005, they became a screenwriting team, and found that writing with a friend is much more fun than doing it alone. Visit them at


Connect with the Authors:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


1 Comment

  1. Rinn

    Ooh, this sounds good! I’m a sucker for stories like this…

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