Friday, July 23, 2010

Review: Gone

Book: Gone by Michael Grant
Series or Stand-Alone: Gone Series, Book #1
Pages: 558
Preview on Amazon
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...

I have heard a lot about this series from other bloggers, and I was eager to get my hands on a copy of Gone.  Overall, I enjoyed the book. The plot was extremely exciting and the storyline was well developed.  The book begins with and is centered around (for the most part) Sam Temple. Once the blink happens, it is Sam who kind of gets everyone calmed down and safe. Sam’s sort of a local hero and everyone looks to him, which he is completely uncomfortable with. I love the character of Sam; he’s humble and unsure of himself, which makes him a great hero. From here, the story progresses quickly; which is great, especially with a 500+ page book.

While Sam is obliviously the main character, there are a lot of secondary characters. This posed a problem, at least for me, because at some point in the time, the novel changes to each of their perspectives. There is Sam, who you read most of the novel through, but then there is also Astrid, Sam’s friends Quinn and Edilio, Lana, Albert, Mary, Cookie and Dahra. Then, there are the bad guys - Caine, Diana, Howard, Orc, Computer Jack and Drake.  I am sure there are more peppered throughout the book, but I can’t remember them all. That’s a lot of different perspectives to read through. I understand that the author wants the reader to see the whole picture, but we are constantly changing perspectives and when the story is intense it can get annoying.  I found myself just wanting to stay with Sam and Astrid, but the story kept taking me elsewhere.

Also, this book dealt with some pretty gruesome mental images. I did not really bother me, but it is a book about children under 14. So I am going to assume a lot of readers will be under 14 and without spoiling too much, there are lots of dead bodies (including a baby in a garbage bag) and lots of icky bone breaks and just overall nasty injuries.  Just wanted to  warn everyone!

But, honestly, the perspective thing is the only gripe I have with this book. I thought all the characters were well written, and I quickly rallied around Sam, Astrid, Edilio and Little Petey. I was, and still am rather skeptical about Quinn, but I think that is to be expected. There are plenty of twists and turns throughout the book and it certainly keeps you on your toes. I would highly recommend this book!

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