Title: Gone
Author: Michael Grant
Series: Gone (Book One)

Who’s it for: Teens, older teens  – heed the cruelty and violence warning on the back!

What’s it about? On a seemingly ordinary day in Perdido Beach without warning all people aged 15 and over disappear. They disappear almost as if they never existed in the first place, leaving behind every child aged 14 and below. Thrown into a world of uncertainty factions begin to form and a dark, terrifying power begins to rise…

What’s good about it? Everything. The characters are so real and what unfolds from the fallout of the adults disappearing is entirely believable. Crisis’ can bring out the best and worst in people and you certainly see both sides in this. It’s like a modern day Lord of the Flies meets X-Men, as the powers that some of the children have make for an interesting twist.

I could take or leave most of the relationships, but I did like how the kids interacted with each other within their own factions. It was by turns shocking and warming to read.

The shifts in POV were nicely done and wove together in a way that seriously ramped up the tension.

What’s bad about it? It’s all shiny.

The verdict? This is a tightly plotted, truly chilling opener to a six part series. The characters are utterly fantastic and what happens to them feels like a punch to the face. Repeatedly. The book jacket warns for cruelty and violence and it’s not joking. Not all children are good and pure and that certainly rings true for this – some of them are tortured, and there is a death count … it’s not low.

When you read this (and you should) set aside a good few uninterrupted hours as it’s damned near impossible to put down. I am also greatly relieved that the series is now complete as it means I can go through the whole lot now – to the bookshop!


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