Sunday 21 August 2011

Gone - Michael Grant

Sam is sitting in class trying his hardest not to gaze out the window when his teacher suddenly disappears. It is soon discovered that everyone aged 15 years or over has gone. Not only that there is now a barrier surrounding the area preventing the kids left behind from leaving. Panic ensues and everyone looks to Sam to lead them. It's a responsibility he doesn't want but soon those who want the power are taking over including the psychopathic kids from the Coates school. Sam must now step in to stop kids from getting hurt. Plus he is one of the kids who has discovered he has a power and possibly the only one strong enough to stop Caine.

Yes, my second attempt at reading YA to get through some of my tbr pile. This time success. I actually enjoyed it. I held my breath for those first few chapters (well, almost). I'm not sure if it's because I have been talking about Stephen King a lot but at the start I was reminded of him. It felt like it should say on the cover - If King wrote YA. Indeed my enjoyment plummeted a little when the barrier was discovered but that was the only real resemblance to Under the Dome (one of the few King books I haven't enjoyed). The book is described as dystopian but to me dystopia should always be set in the future or an alternative world. This isn't the case. It's set in present day time but the kids have been displaced or enclosed by something. Obviously thanks to the super powers and talking animals it has an element of fantasy to it.

Yep, that's right, talking animals. I have to say that this could have bordered on the ridiculous. Talking coyotes and flying snakes and a malignant force (and I believe there are razor toothed worms in the next book) and yet it sort of worked. Animals, along with the kids, have mutated and it seems to be not in a good way. The jury is still out on that one. It was fine in this book but I have a feeling that it could go either way.

There were aspects of the book that reminded me a little of "Lord of the Flies" what with the whole power corrupts and kids running around causing mayhem. The few mature kids seem to manage to keep things together by taking control. Even the kids on the side of the bad prevent the kids turning into little savages (for the most part). It will be interesting to see how that plays out too. Clearly food and power will become a problem and I wonder how they will behave once most of their comforts are gone. I think that will happen in the next one since it is titled "Hunger".

I have book 2 there already as I am sure I bought both at the same time. Whilst book 1 was good and I enjoyed it I am still wary of some aspects of it. We'll see what happens when I get round to reading it. I am hoping that I will be pleasantly surprised.


  1. Hmmmmm . . . sounds interesting but I'm not a big Stephen King fan so I'm not sure if I would enjoy it. I do think the premise is intriguing. I'll put it in my long list of books. Next year my reading focus will be such that this book may end up being bumped from the "long list" to the immediate pile. You never know. Or at least, I never know. I guess I shouldn't try to speak for what you do or do not know.

  2. I really enjoy this series, and so does my sister. Stephen King always praises these books, and has remarked that they're similar to something he might have written. Hope you will continue to be pleasantly surprised, and great review. :)

    Kat @ A Myriad of Books

  3. I liked this one too, but I wished it would have been more post-apocalyptic and less paranormal. Still need to read the rest of the series.

  4. Satia, I was only reminded of King at the start of the book. That feeling left me as I kept reading. Although I still think if King wrote kids books he would write something similar. You can always give the first one a try and if you don't like it there is no need to read the rest. That's the way I see series now.

    Kat, I have book 2 there. I'm not always 100% confident of authors commendations unless they have been talking about it in articles. Mainly because they get paid to put their names on these blurbs. Many a time I have read a book because and author I like has something written on the cover and have been disappointed. In saying that I did like the first one and whilst I'm a little wary of how it's going to turn out I will read the second one.

    Selina, I know exactly what you mean. I would have much preferred more post-apocalyptic and a little less paranormal. It's that aspect of the book that worries me. Could easily become a bit of a farce.