Sunday, 21 December 2014

Gone by Michael Grant (Gone, #1) - Book Review

4/5 Stars

Suddenly it's a world without adults and normal has crashed and burned.

When life as you know it ends at 15, everything changes......


Edition: Paperback
Pages: 560
Chapters: 47
Publisher: Electric Monkey Egmont

Book Links: Goodreads
                      Author's Website


I've been planning to read the Gone series for quite a while, months and months. They even appear on a TBR of mine, but I never got around to them. I wish I bloody had. Gone is great. The story the epitome of mystery and intrigue, all set in a world filled with, yep, you guessed it, mystery and intrigue. Everything about Gone just screams and waves for attention. It demands you to absorb each word. Forces you to turn each page. It's a series I'm thankful to have all the books to. I'm even more grateful I have the time to just sit and read them, one after the other. But it isn't that full five stars, at least not for me. It feels like it builds up fantastically, only to fizzle when it has the opportunity to amaze.

Gone follows the story of Sam Temple, a 14-year-old, who while in the middle of class, witnesses his teacher vanish into thin air.
But it's not just Sam's teacher who's vanished, but every person aged 15 and over. Anarchy ensues. Children are left to run what was designed to be ruled by adults. Hormone-filled teens are thrown into roles of responsibility they aren't ready or prepared for.
Cliques form, confusion dominates.
Add into the mix a barrier enclosing the kids in, and strange abilities cropping up within some individuals, and things are bound to turn nasty.
It's a rush for the strongest to steal leadership, but when things start to teeter over from right to wrong, how do you handle trying to find a way out, trying to do the right thing, trying to handle the influx of gifted children?
Sam Temple is going to find out...

Gone's plot has a lot going on all at the same time. It's an interesting premise that works remarkably well. The story line is engaging and thought provoking, making it easy to sink into such a question-filled world. The author has a great way of building suspense, moving the story forward while letting the reader know that something big is coming. That's also where it stumbles. The story builds, and then drops, and then builds, and then drops. It's sometimes jarring, even more so near the end, when the huge, massive, uber-mondo building for the book's finale swings round, only to end rather anticlimactically. And while I told myself it's only the first in the series, I still feel disappointed.

There are a wealth of characters, not surprisingly because of the scale of the book. It definitely works in the novel's favour, especially given that almost all of the characters are interesting and easy to follow. I especially love our core group, the main character of Gone being the reluctant hero, the kind of character I can't help but love to journey with and watch grow. Sam fills that nicely, I cheered for him, sympathised with him, all the nice array of emotions you're supposed to feel. The characters you're supposed to like, you like, the ones you're supposed to hate, you hate. The only exception I'd say, would be Quinn. His character strikes me as constantly ambiguous, and more than a little selfish.

I've tried to give the spoilers a minimum this time round, and keep everything vague, but judging by the first book, the series is setting itself up to be pretty interesting. I hope later entries fix the build up, and don't keep pushing it then passing it on to a future book.

My weary little brain needs sleep though, and then tomorrow, I'll be diving into Hunger.

Next Instalment: Hunger

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