This is my first exposure to Michael Grant's writing, and he totally blew me away. Maybe it was because I am partial to the sci-fi/fantasy genre, but truthfully I don't think that had anything to do with it. This story was just.... WOW!
Imagine sitting in class one day, maybe you are paying attention to your teacher, maybe you are daydreaming about surfing, then all of a sudden your teacher disappears. What would you do?
It just so happens that this very scenario happens to Sam Temple in his history class. It turns out his teacher isn't the only one missing; everyone over the age of thirteen is missing. Not just missing but disappeared. No cell phones, no television, no Internet. Poof, gone!
Sam has been in a horrific experience like this before. Well, maybe not exactly like this. Sam had saved a bunch of kids on a school bus after the driver had a heart attack, good ole' School Bus Sam. Sam was a natural leader, but he didn't feel like it. Now everyone is looking up to him for answers, but all Sam feels is guilt. Guilt because there is a possibility that this was his fault. Sam has this little problem -- he can shoot beams of light and burn people's hands off. Literally. But I guess things like that happen when you live in Fallout Alley.
Thankfully, Sam isn't alone. He has his best friend and surfer brah, Quinn; the genius, Astrid, who Sam has secret feelings for; and the faithful and dependable Edilio.
Of course, in any untamed civilization, there is always a power struggle, those who have it and those who want to take it away. It turns out that Sam isn't the only one who has "powers." When the kids from the private school, Coates Academy, show up, Sam and Astrid realize there is something more going on. It also doesn't help that the kids from Coates and the kids from Perdido don't exactly get along.
Caine from Coates Academy comes in, dazzles everyone with his charm, and takes control of the FAYZ, a.k.a. Fallout Alley Youth Zone. Caine has his own secrets. He has powers of his own. And if he thinks your powers might be a threat to him, he takes care of you one way or another. But when Caine's sinister sidekick, Drake, allows a girl to be beaten to death with a baseball bat for doing a "magic trick," things go from bad to worse.
Caine knows that everyone looks up to Sam as a leader; so begins the battle of good vs. evil. Besides, Caine has his own hidden agenda toward Sam. Oh! And did I mention that when you turn fourteen, you poof, too? So not only does Sam have to save this new world, but he will also be fourteen in a week or so. No worries, though. Yeah, right!
There are so many twists and turns in the plot of GONE that you won't be able to put this book down until it's, well, gone. But don't fret, this is only the beginning of a six-part series. The characters are well-developed. I love when you feel like you really connect with characters, and this was one of those experiences. You not only get to experience Sam's part of the story but the views of many other characters. There is action, suspense, romance, science fiction, and fantasy all rolled into one.
GONE is a spectacular beginning to what I can only hope will be a thrilling series! Amazing!!!show more