Sunday, 13 May 2012

Gone by Michael Grant

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...

A lot of people I know are reading this series, so I thought I'd check out - especially since one review said it was better than The Hunger Games (yeah, one sentence I thought I'd never hear). And to be honest, I can see what the fuss is about. It's the kind of novel I go looking for - thick, a thrilling storyline and pretty awesome characters. And guess what else? It's actually written really well! I don't want to sound cynical, but quite a few large books I have read gradually become rubbish towards the end. But like I said, this wasn't the case.

The plot for this book is basically that everyone over the age of 15 within this dome kind-of barrier disappears. Literally in the blink of an eye. And as the 14 year old's reach their birthdays, they 'poof' too. And so the novel is about survival, death and trying to figure out what the heck has happened to the teenagers and adults. I was honestly surprised at how quickly I read this book - one moment I was on Chapter Eighteen, the next, Chapter Twenty-Five - you can't put it down because you want to know what happened just as much as they do. I also liked the fact that each chapter had a countdown, and you were constantly wondering, what's it counting down to?

I was really impressed by the different characters and the powers they possessed. There was such a wide range, and they were all so unique and quite realistic, despite the sci-fi kind of topic. I especially loved the characterization of Little Pete, Quinn and Mary. Everyone is individual, and I think the fact that a lot of the kid's were brave but also had some cowardice in them made it believable, because it was easy to forget that they were just kids. I think Mary's small storyline was a nice touch too, because it showed that even though everything had suddenly so drastically changed, everyone still had their own problems to deal with, too; they didn't just disappear along with the adults. But both of those points are overshadowed by the Little Pete storyline. He's autistic, and most of the time doesn't seem to realize what is going on around him. Or he does, but he just processes it differently. And although some of the other characters are strong - Sam, Caine, Drake - L.P. is the strongest, which I found kind of beautiful. Some others may have looked down on him and underestimated him, but altogether he is the strongest and the biggest threat to the bad guys - I genuinely loved that.

Overall, I think if you love The Hunger Games or any other book that is based around survival in tough times. Although some may think it can run The Hunger Games for its money, for me, Gone still didn't have a patch on it. But it was still great, and I recommend it to anyone who likes novels about action and adventure - and mild horror. Hopefully, I will get my hands on Hunger, the next book in the series, soon.
Rating: 4/5

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