by Michael Grant
Author: Michael Grant
There are three types of children’s book: kids verses monsters, kids verses adults and, most entrancingly, kids verses kids. Gone falls firmly into the third bracket. The first in a series of six books, gone immediately draws comparisons to X-men and Lord of the flies. Sam Temple is an average fourteen year old boy living in Perdido Beach, California. But then it happens. The adults disappear.
They don’t walk out or wander off, they vanish without a trace. Everyone fifteen and over is gone, leaving the town at the mercy of children. As you can imagine, this is not a peaceful, friendly book. Sam‘s worst fears go from failing the end of year exam, to starving to death and failing the town. There are threats to everyone from every angle, from the megalomaniac villain, to the bullies turn murderers and the biggest threat of all, laying deep in the bowels of an abandoned mineshaft, its true terror eager to be unleashed.
Gone is one of those reads that just goes largely unnoticed among the crush of teen thrillers. The writing is superb, the characters full of complexity and depth. Everyone in Perdido beach has their loves, their fears, their weaknesses, and these are only accented by the strange powers some of the kids begin to develop. When you start, it will hurt you to stop. This book is the dream of many kids, shown in the stark reality of the world. I cannot tell you how much I recommend this book! If you’re between thirteen and eighteen, short of a book and willing to open your mind to this dark and crushing interpretation of an adult-less world, this is definitely the book for you.
Liam Tomblan (15)