Earlier I had made an article that said I really enjoy Science Fiction/Fantasy novels, and then named a few of the books that I have read and enjoyed. One of which I reviewed already; Dopplegangster. But the book that I’m reviewing now is the first book of my absolute favorite Science Fiction/Fantasy book series.
Gone by Michael Grant.
Book summary: In the blink of an eye. Everyone disappears. Gone. 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.
Usually I’m not one to judge a book by its cover, but that’s what I did when I first saw the book in Borders (before it was closed) and I was instantly interested. The guy and the girl on the front of the book look like they’re looking off at something in the distance. So I grabbed the book and read the back (which is the summary up above) and was immediately hooked on the idea of kids getting strange powers. I mean, I love X-Men, so why not this?
The book starts off with Sam Temple and his best friend Quinn Gaither in school in their hometown of Perdido Beach, California. Sam is off daydreaming about going down to the beach to surf when-poof-his teacher disappears into thin air.
Astrid Ellison aka Astrid the Genius then arrives at their classroom to explain that her teacher is gone too. As things slowly start to go out of control, Sam, Quinn, and Astrid realize that everyone over the age of 15 had disappeared without a trace. Then things get even worse, kids start to run rampant, looking for their parents and fires start to break out. When there is a little girl stuck in a building that’s on fire, Sam goes in and tries to rescue her, which reveals that the little girl can shoot liquid fire from her hands, and that she’s the one that caused the fire.
As the story moves on, Sam, Quinn, and Astrid (along with Astrid’s autistic little brother Peter aka Little Pete) they start to figure out more and more of what’s happening, although it still raising a lot of questions. The arrival of the students of Coates Academy, a private school outside of Perdido Beach, most notably Caine Sorren, Diana Ladris, and Drake Merwin, causes even more trouble. Especially since Caine has some sort of connection with Sam.
When I first read this book, I had trouble remembering which character was which as there were so many of them introduced at one time. But as the story went on, it was easier to figure out, as there were parts that focused on certain characters. Michael Grant’s characterization is so unique that you can easily identify a bit with each character, even if at first glance (well, read) they don’t seem much like you. Personally, the characters I enjoy the most are Cain, Drake, and Diana. What can I say; I’m a sucker for a well-written antagonist.
Grant’s storytelling is phenomenal; he makes you feel that you are actually there, experiencing everything that the kids in Perdido Beach are experiencing. In my head, I could easily follow Sam, Quinn, and Astrid as they ran around, trying to figure out what happened, I could feel their frustration when no one was listening to them, and I could also feel their sadness and fear when the adults first disappeared. Also, his writing style isn’t too difficult, but it isn’t too easy of a read either. The book is probably the size of a hardback (my version is paperback) and is 576 pages long, but it’s a quick read. (I read it in a day).
If you enjoy reading fantasy books, Michael Grant’s Gone is for you; there’s action, adventure, some romance, and a lot of moments of friendship that it will be a book for any guy or girl to enjoy reading. And if you’re not a fan of fantasy, you should read it anyway, it will be a welcome change and even if you don’t like it, at least you tried it.
Michael Grant’s Gone is easily one of the best books that I have read in a while; his writing always has me waiting for more and I really do enjoy his characters (although there are one or two I don’t like) and I have to admit that the idea of having powers would be pretty cool.
I give this book a 4.5/5. It would have been a complete 5, but like mentioned earlier, I had a hard time remembering who was who.