By Michael Grant
Reviewed by Junior Reviewer Aaron Ding
Aaron Ding is 11 years old with a passion to write stories, and is always looking for ways to improve them!
Go and read it!!! ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
First published over a decade ago, Gone is a highly acclaimed novel written by bestselling author Michael Grant. Grant has a wide variety of young-adult themed books under his belt, including the BZRK series and the Animorphs and Everworld series written in collaboration with his wife Katherine Applegate.
Fast paced and action-packed, Gone focuses on teenage boy Sam Temple in the town of Perdido Beach, otherwise known as ‘Fallout Alley’ due to the nuclear reactor disaster situated years before. The story starts with a bang, jumping right into the action. All of a sudden, the adults are gone – anyone over the age of 15 disappears into thin air, leaving the few hundred kids of Perdido Beach alone; with no food, electricity or any idea what had just happened.
The plot unfolds from there, action scene following action scene packed with superpowers, monsters, romance, and tales of survival as the children of Fallout Alley try to make their way through the anarchy and disaster following the disappearance. Sam and his friends Edilio, Quinn and Astrid begin their journey to find the source of the nuclear reactor enclosing Perdido Beach in an indestructible wall, making it impossible for help from the outside world.
Meanwhile, chaos emerges in the town square as factions form, gangs are created, and sides are taken. The living beings in Perdido Beach begin mutating, transforming into dangerous monsters. It soon becomes clear that not everyone will be able to escape the FAYZ (Fall Out Alley Youth Zone)… and some won’t make it out alive.
The slightly slow and dialogue-focused orientation can be a bit off-putting for some readers, but it gives you a full picture of the new dimensions of the FAYZ and only enhances the surprises and battle scenes to come. There are moments that will make you feel euphoric as the ‘bad guys’ are defeated, and moments that will make you squirm in your seat!
The book covers major themes like order, law and ethics that will draw in readers. When food starts to disappear and the children of the FAYZ are on the brink of survival, Grant explores the courage and resilience it takes to keep going. Although with slightly grisly scenes, this book is definitely one for anyone wanting a good thriller and an incredibly descriptive world.
Overall, this is a great book that I enjoyed reading again. Grant continues the series with his sequel Hunger, which leads expertly from Gone, with as much of an amazing plot as before! I’m giving this a 5/5 stars – a really great read. I would recommend this for anyone 11 years and above due to the darker topics explored. Definitely for anyone who has read Charlie Higson’s The Enemy or any other young adult/survival book in general.