IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE.
EVERYONE EXCEPT FOR THE YOUNG.
Teens. Middle schoolers. Toddlers. But not a single adult. No teachers, no cops, no doctors, no parents. Gone, too, are the phones, internet, and television. There is no way to get help.
Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents-unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers-that grow stronger by the day.
It's a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen and war is imminent.
The first in a breathtaking saga about teens battling each other and their darkest selves, GONE is a page-turning thriller that will make you look at the world in a whole new way.
Hopefully by now you guys have heard of this series. Book 2 which is out already called "Hunger" is screaming for me to read it, but you guys know my rule... no two books in a series back to back. Aarrgghh.... why did I ever have to promise myself that?!?! So, hopefully you are getting the point that this one goes on my "DO NOT TOUCH UNLESS YOU ARE ME" bookshelf. Still not sure how much I liked it?? When the Gang met Michael a few weeks ago and I heard what the book had in store for me, I already knew this was going to be a cool one. I was 100% completely hooked after "Gone" kept me up at night like few books ever have. In 3 nights, the book was completed. Night 1-sleep at 6:00 am, night 2-sleep at 4:30 am, and night 3-bed at 4:00 am. Oh yeah, and I get up for work at 7:00 am.
So, here is the scoop and as usual, no spoilers, just the story line... Most of the book takes place in a tiny town called Perdido Beach and a private school called Coates academy as well as the surrounding area including a desert and some woods and the nuclear plant. Everything is honkey-dorey and then right smack on the first page it happens, everyone over the age of 15 disappears- just vanishes. Talk about an opener. It got my attention pretty quick. Of course there is a reason why everyone over 14 vanishes, but telling you that would not be fair. The other thing that goes on throughout the book is that if you were 14 when it started, and your 15th birthday comes along, well you just vanish as well. The other quick fact before I get into the "meat" is that there is a border, a wall, which cuts through everything in it's path and is as high as the eye can see. This "wall" traps everyone inside it from leaving and everyone outside (if there is anyone outside) from entering.
With no adults and trapped within a zone, my first thought was "Lord of the Flies." It did stick in my mind as jobs had to be established and maintained, food had to be rationed, some sort of law/justice system had to be put into place and a few other similarities. There is a handful of main characters- the Perdido kids, led by Sam including Quinn, Astrid, her autistic, yet powerful unbeknownst to himself little brother Petey and Edilio to the Coates kids led by Caine including Drake, Diana, Computer Jack, Howard, and Orc. Then you have Lana, who is kind of neither and does play a significant role as a "healer". Another significant character, who happens to be a talking coyote (he was given the ability to do this by "the darkness", who I am not discussing at all) leads packs of coyotes and desires the knowledge to destroy all humans. Shortly before people started to vanish, there was something strange going on, children developing powers such as super speed, the ability to levitate and move objects and people, a strange and powerful light beam shooting from people's hands, teleportation, and a few others that i'm leaving out intentionally. So really there are 2 mysteries going on here. First, what caused the FAYZ (Fallout Alley Youth Zone) and second, where did these strange powers, which are measured by a few kids who can "read" people's strength on a scale similar to that of the reception bars on your cell. By the end of the book, you know a bit about who and/or what started these situations, but not totally why or how. I believe the series is going to be 5 or 6 books so there is plenty of room to figure that stuff out later.
The problem that occurs, besides the expected, like food starting to run out, people just vanishing on their 15th birthday, is really that the FAYZ ends up with 2 groups. One leader, (Sam from Perdido) being the intelligent, good natured guy who only takes somewhat of a lead because he believes it can help his people who are looking up to him for answers to the other leader, (Caine from Coates) who is totally into the power trip (by the way, both happen to be at least a 4 bar, which is the highest power ranking detected so far) so much that he even wants to take over the Perdido crowd and be the # 1 all around.
With Sam and Caine's time running out until their 15th B-Days (which happen to be pretty close to each other, hmmm...), and the two of them, the leaders, trying to figure out what is going on, why it's going on, how things happened, and what the future holds for everyone and the FAYZ itself is a the chunk of the book. The conflicts between both sides builds throughout and leads to a sort of war at the end between both sides. The book ends a tiny bit after Sam and Caine's 15th birthday.
Now, I left a whole lot out intentionally (the book is appx. 550 pages), but I will tell you this... the author Michael Grant, with expert precision, had surprises and new developments around every corner, exactly where you'd least expect them but most hoped for them. This is what made the book so hard to put down and kept me up all night. Every time I told myself, "ok, right after this chapter, I'm done until tomorrow" there was something that shocking and exciting that I just kept going until I passed out. The character's were each so unique and thorough, you developed feelings for each, and held emotions for them as well. Did I forget to mention what you had probably guessed by now, that there is a tiny bit of romance involved? I will tell you just this... Sam and Astrid, and Caine and Diana.
One of the top books I have read all year, Michael basically said when we met him that there is much more to come and it only gets better. I can not wait to dive into "Hunger" but I will wait, as long as I can hold off! Once again, if you have read "Gone", please feel free to add your thoughts and anything else you want into the comments. The books are widely popular, so I was hoping there would be a few out there who have something to say about this. My most important from me--- read "Gone" asap, you won't be sorry!