Gone by Michael Grant was a particularly fun read for me. I, personally, wouldn’t have picked it up at a bookstore or library because the cover wasn’t the least bit interesting to me. The library copy I got was a paperback with a green background and black silhouettes, and the ebook copy is of two teenagers (whom I’m assuming are the main characters). And it’s a shame that I hadn’t picked it up before just based on the cover alone!
Gone is like a cross between the TV show Under the Dome and the TV show The 100. It’s about teenagers, all under the age of 15, being alone under a domed force field of a sort. It starts off with Sam Temple, the main character being in class when all of a sudden the teacher disappears, along with anyone that was 15 or older all over the town. The students at school don’t notice at first but they all begin to step out of classrooms and notice that things just aren’t what they’re supposed to be. Pretty soon Sam and his friends notice that it wasn’t just some random occurrence in the classroom and that everyone was gone.
Just the fact that everyone over certain age had disappeared had hooked me in the story. But then Sam’s best friend, Quinn Gaither, was introduced and I wanted to gouge my eyes out and I ended up yelling a couple of times at the book. Quinn was decidedly one of my least favorite characters in the first hundred pages of the book. He’s a huge jerk and is totally unapologetic about it and he just grated on my nerves so bad. Then there was the introduction of Astrid Ellison, whom Sam is in love with. Astrid, for me was both an awesome character but also kinda iffy. She reminded me a lot of me with her responsibility of being an older sibling and having that one shameful moment of ‘I wish he was dead’ towards her autistic brother. I completely understood her feelings and I didn’t even think twice about it when the same thought popped up into my head. Now I don’t want anyone to think that I’m a callous person but being the oldest of five siblings has taught me a lot about responsibility and how the adults always have this weird expectations about being an example as an older sibling and how you’re expected to help raise this other person as well. I never enjoyed being a ‘second mom’ to my siblings and I’m pretty sure neither did Astrid but she had to stick by her guns and try anyway because her brother was the only family she had left.
As if it wasn’t bad enough that there are so many awesome characters all of a sudden the plot picks up. Sam confesses that he might have some weird power that produces light (and burn) and when that’s figured out all I could think about is how awesome it would be if Sam was an alien space baby.
Then the antagonists come to town, the kids from the prestigious Coates Academy, where Sam’s mother worked before every adult disappeared. I wasn’t a big fan of the confrontation, but that’s mostly because I’m not a fan of any kind of confrontation, but just having these kids roam around a town doing nothing would have made for a pretty boring book. The antagonist, Caine Soren, (and that should be a clue that he was going to be evil), drives into town and basically proclaims himself the new leader of the town. Astrid and Sam are suspicious of him from the getgo and it’s probably because they dislike smarmy people that are obviously manipulative.
It turns out that Caine knows about the powers that some of the kids from the town have (and proclaims himself the strongest mutant of the town) and hatches a plan to kidnap Sam and Astrid. He also discovers something even more awesome than the fact that people have powers and it has to deal with Sam and it was such a plot twist that I yelled a couple of times.
This book is an easy read and straightforward. I’d recommend it to anyone who is into scifi and fantasy or anyone who ever wished to have some kind of mutant power one day (alas, my desire to have Jubilee’s powers from X-Men shall remain a dream). I would rate this book a 3.5/5 (because I hated so many characters and they made so many stupid decisions and because I wasn’t very receptive to the book cover). I will more than likely pick up the next book soon and continue with the series at a later date.