by Michael Grant
first of a series
Science fiction, thriller, horror
Recommended for 9th grade and up
Reviewed by Michelle M., grade 10
Gone, by Michael Grant, is the first in an action-packed fantastical series of six books. In 576 pages, Grant introduces an interestingly morbid yet addicting new addition to the sci-fi shelves.
The story begins in calm Perdido Beach, California with an ordinary 14-year-old boy named Sam Temple. Sam lives an average life: riding the waves, going to school, and hanging out with his bro Quinn. Everything is completely regular until -POOF- everyone is gone. Anyone over the age of 15 magically disappears without a trace. After this terrifying, crazy event, chaos erupts and everyone in Perdido Beach is forced to meet a shocking new reality. It's a brutal dog fight for power, and something dark and powerful seems to be pulling the strings from behind the curtains...
This book (and the rest of the series) is easily one of my favorites. I loved the wide range of characters with diverse personalities and goals. I felt that Gone expertly captured the struggle for an efficient leader to connect groups, which is one of the main problems in the book. There’s something to love or respect in every character (well, except Drake!) because Grant effortlessly brings out both the vices and virtues of their human nature. Yet another one of the many things I loved about the book was its intricacy. The plot initially seems sort of mundane for a sci-fi novel, but this book takes all sorts of twists and turns I never thought were possible. Just when you think there might be a moment of rest for the weary characters, something else pops up to keep you turning the pages.
If you are an aficionado of explosive sci-fi novels, you will rave about Gone. I recommend this series for 9th graders and older because the story has its fair share of gore and more than its share of violence. If you want to read this novel, you should keep that in mind.
I rate this book a 5 out of 5.
Editor's note: I especially enjoyed this first book in the series, too. The thing that bugged me as the series went on, though, was the book covers! All these beautiful teens dressed in pristine clothes, looking like supermodels, while inside the covers of the book, they are muddy, bloody, starving, and beaten down! Whoever designed the covers should have read the books first!