Review Blog

Jun 22 2009

Gone by Michael Grant

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Egmont, 2009. ISBN 9781405246347
(Age 13+) Recommended. Imagine how a group of kids would react if suddenly all the adults disappeared. This is what happens in a small town in Southern California. In the blink of an eye everyone over the age of 14 has gone and the children are left to fend for themselves. In the aftermath of this disaster, bullies emerge; gangs begin to form and some of the children, like Caine from Coates Academy, display strange powers. Sam, a natural leader and Astrid, an intelligent nerd, band together with Little Pete, Quinn, and Edilio to try and find answers amid the chaos before they too disappear when they turn 15.
The adventures that the group have in trying to survive without adults in this very fast paced science fiction thriller keep the reader on the edge of the seat waiting to see what will happen next. The small town of Perdido Beach has been completely covered with an impenetrable dome, there are wild coyotes roaming the desert and a strange being deep in a cave. Add fights between rival gangs, trying to find enough food to stay alive and dealing with some strange powers to this mix and you have a story that is difficult to put down.
There is enough character development to flesh out the tale. Sam and Astrid are caring, intelligent teens and Mary and her brother who take over the nursery and look after all the babies are finely drawn. Albert takes over the local McDonalds and feeds the children, giving them a sense of security! The charismatic Caine and his group of bullies are quite frightening and the battle that develops between Caine and Sam is engrossing.
Although not as thought provoking as The knife of never letting go by Patrick Ness or The tomorrow code by Brian Falkner, the action in this book will have teens reading to the end. They will almost certainly come back for the second in the series: Hunger, a preview of which is given at the back of the volume I read.
Pat Pledger

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