Sunday, 10 March 2013

Review: Gone by Michael Grant

Title: Gone
Author: Michael Grant
Publisher: Egmont Books Ltd. 
Release Date: 6th April 2009
Format: Hardback (559 pages)
Series: The Gone Series #1

Synopsis from Goodreads:

In the blink of an eye. Everyone disappears. GONE.
Except for the young. Teens. Middle schoolers. Toddlers. But not one single adult. No teachers, no cops, no doctors, no parents. Just as suddenly, there are no phones, no internet, no television. No way to get help. And no way to figure out what's happened.
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, a fight is shaping up. Townies against rich kids. Bullies against the weak. Powerful against powerless. And time is running out: On your birthday, you disappear just like everyone else...


GONE was a book I had seen in my local bookstore for years but I always left it behind and picked up something else, thinking that it wouldn’t be my taste. Then in late 2012 I finally decided to give it a go and my mind was blown! Why on earth did I not read this before? It was amazing! 

So the story throws you in from the beginning with the teacher disappearing and then you find out that everyone 15 and over has gone. I really like that you are experiencing this along with the characters as you can feel what they're going through. I think that the plot of the story is very original and creative, especially with the added supernatural element of mutants and powers. Making the characters so young was a bold choice but the right one, 16 year olds murdering one another is one thing but when they're 12 it's more hard hitting. 

There are a long list of characters in this novel, some of whom tell the story to us, and others who are characters engage with. Sam, is are typical hero and a lot of people compare him to Jack from Lost (where Michael Grant got some inspiration from.) He's thrown into the leadership role without even asking for it and so therefore faces a lot of responsibility. Our main antagonist comes in the form of Caine Soren, a student who goes to the boarding school near Perdido Beach. He's charming and charismatic and easily influences people, a master manipulator he often gets what he wants. He is not a kid to be messed with. There are a lot of other characters like Sam's best friend Quinn and Sam's love interest Astrid and other characters like Lana, Drake, Diana and Orc who play big roles in the story. 

Love doesn't play a major role in this story, it's more focused on the actual plot of the adults disappearing than anything else. But there is a romance between Sam and Astrid and Caine and Diana. 

Overall GONE is a heart-racing, blood pumping, tear-jerking read, that should receive more recognition than it does. Highly recommended.       

Quick Review

Cover: I love the cover. I think the UK covers are so much better than the US ones. The plain simplicity works extremely well. 

The Characters: So this book is told from a third-person perspective so they’re are a lot of characters. The main ones are Sam, Astrid, Diana and Caine. Then there are others like Orc, Howard, Drake, Computer Jack, Dahara, Little Pete, Quinn and Drake along with others who are mentioned but we don’t hear from as much. I love Sam and Diana and Caine but Astrid, not so much. She irritated me quite a lot. 

The Plot: There are certain things that guarantee my love for book. Superpowers, a great villain and mystery. This book had all of those things so my love for it was pretty certain. I also liked the idea, I thought that it was original and gritty and hard hitting. 

What I loved: Pretty much everything. No, seriously, it was that good. 

What I didn’t like: The mutations of animals was pretty weird. Talking coyotes and flying snakes were just a little too surreal for my taste. 

Recommend? Yes, absolutely! 

Final Thoughts: GONE is an incredibly underrated masterpiece that deserves more credit. It is completely thrilling and mesmerising and it’s inner message will stay with you forever. 

Rating: 5 Stars

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