Monday, April 8, 2013

Book Review: Gone by Michael Grant

Gone by Michael Grant
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Gone is an exciting young adult dystopian novel which is the first book of the Gone Series. The story is about the residents of Perdido Beach. As the kids were in school attending their classes, their teachers simply disappeared in the middle of the class. The kids then learn that everyone 15 years old and above has gone. No parents, no teachers, no policemen, no doctors, no adults. story focuses on how the kids are able to manage the situation. A large majority of the kids look to Sam as their leader as he had been known to have taken control of a school bus when its driver died saving the lives of many kids. He is supported by his friends Quinn, Astrid and Edilio. They later find themselves faced with the kids from Coates Academy which is a school for troubled kids. Coates kids are simply bullies led by an even bigger bully, Cain and his friend Diana; assisted by the biggest and most dangerous bully of them all, Drake.
Gone (Gone, #1)

Being without adults isn't easy. There are babies to take care of and they need to find ways to ration food, and get some sort of system running. Simply put, they need to create a society of children run by children for children.

To make things more complicated, there are kids that find themselves possessing powers. Sam can shoot flames from his hands. Cain, who is the most powerful of all the kids (well, at least he believes that he is) can move things with his hands. Diana can read how powerful other kids with powers are. Another kid named Lana who becomes part of the Prdido Beach community can heal.

The story is exciting. Though it can be rather violent. There are many different characters that have very different personalities. There are a number of subplots. My favorite is probably the stories of Astrid and Lana. Astrid is known as a genius because she is in advanced placement and has a young autistic brother named Pete. Although very smart, she has no powers but her brother does which makes things very difficult as he is autistic. The Astrid and Pete part of the story reminds me of Stephen King's Dreamcatcher where the most powerful of the group of friends is a special needs child.

Lana, on the other hand, was sent away by her parents to live with her grandfather because she had helped a friend get some liquor from her parent's home. She was in a vehicle with her grandfather when he just disappeared and the truck they were in lost control. She and her Labrador Patrick were left all alone and she was pretty banged up -- that was how she had learned that she could heal. Though regarded by her parents as a difficult child, she manages to do a lot of good by healing so many kids without asking for anything in return.

Though other characters could have been better written, overall the book is an exciting read. Though a lot of adults do not really find young adult stories exciting, those who do will enjoy this fast-paced dystopian novel. I am certainly excited to find out how the kids fare in the second book of the series, Hunger.

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