Friday, 6 January 2012


Title: Gone

Author: Michael Grant

Number of pages: 560

Started: 29 December 2011

Finished: 6 January 2012

Opening words:

Chapter One

299 hours, 54 minutes

One minute the teacher was talking about the Civil War. And the next minute he was gone.



No "poof." No flash of light. No explosion.

Sam Temple was sitting in third-period history class staring blankly at the blackboard, but far away in his head. In his head he was down at the beach, he and Quinn. Down at the beach with their boards, yelling, bracing for that first plunge into cold Pacific water.

For a moment he thought he had imagined it, the teacher disappearing. For a moment he thought he'd slipped into a daydream.

Sam turned to Mary Terrafino, who sat just to his left. "You saw that, right?"

Mary was staring hard at the place where the teacher had been.

Read a longer extract here.

Plot summary:

Suddenly there are no adults, no answers. What would you do? In the blink of an eye, the world changes. The adults vanish without a trace, and those left must do all they can to survive. But everyone's idea of survival is different. Some look after themselves, some look after others, and some will do anything for power...Even kill. For Sam and Astrid, it is a race against time as they try to solve the questions that now dominate their lives...What is the mysterious wall that has encircled the town of Perdido Beach and trapped everyone within? Why have some kids developed strange powers? And can they defeat Caine and his gang of bullies before they turn fifteen and disappear too? It isn't until the world collapses around you that you find out what kind of person you really are. This book offers a chilling portrayal of a world with no rules. When life as you know it ends at 15, everything changes.

What I thought:

This book is aimed at youths aged 12 and over, but I thought I would give it a go, as the intended target audience does not mean that it might not appeal to someone of slightly more mature years.

As it turned out, the book was very readable. I could see that there were some aspects that would particularly appeal to or strike a chord with a teenager, but it was a plot driven book that started with a mystery – everyone over 14 years old disappearing – and you have to read on to find out why that happened and the impact on those left behind.

It wasn’t the best of this type of book that I have read, but it was pretty decent nonetheless. There are a number of books in this series, and this was the first. I don’t feel compelled to go out and read the next on the series, but if I was looking for an easy and plot-driven read, this series is one that I would consider. Don’t expect hard-hitting analysis, but equally, the plot keeps going and unravels at a fair pace – and, in a few places, it isn’t for the squeamish.

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