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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An action-packed adventure for teens
For any teen who has finished The Hunger Games but feels that Twilight lacks action, Michael Kayatta has provided the perfect follow-up. In his debut novel John Gone, Kayatta weaves a tale of friendship, betrayal, intrigue, and good science gone bad. When teenager John Popielarski finds a strange wristwatch on the beach near his house in Longboard Key, Florida, it...
Published on December 24, 2011 by Marshall H.

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2.0 out of 5 stars YA sci-fi
Synopsis sounded great but wasn't as good as I had hoped. I liked the back story with Felix, but the chapters with John were all too similar. Sadly, the majority of the book takes place with John.
Published 4 months ago by Rita Book


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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An action-packed adventure for teens, December 24, 2011
By 
Marshall H. (Manhasset, NY USA) - See all my reviews
For any teen who has finished The Hunger Games but feels that Twilight lacks action, Michael Kayatta has provided the perfect follow-up. In his debut novel John Gone, Kayatta weaves a tale of friendship, betrayal, intrigue, and good science gone bad. When teenager John Popielarski finds a strange wristwatch on the beach near his house in Longboard Key, Florida, it launches him into a globe-trotting adventure and a race against a literal clock. The watch can teleport its user anywhere on Earth, but not without a price. When a trapped scientist and two trained killers both want the watch for their own ends, it's up to John and his tech wizard, not-really-girlfriend, Ronika to keep it from falling into the wrong hands.

Simply put, John Gone has superb action sequences, and it has a good deal of them. Whether John is evading capture on the high seas, crashing a party in France, or lost in the Egyptian desert, Kayatta handles his adventures with a quick pace and snappy dialogue. The cast of characters is both fleshed out and likable, particularly Ronika, who is offbeat enough to keep a reader's attention but down-to-earth enough to be believable, and the enigmatic Dr. Kala, who appears to be friend, foe, and everything in-between. The narrative is tight and descriptive, and Kayatta does his best to keep exposition to a minimum, even when dealing with fairly complex scientific theories. Those who like science will be pleased to know that the book has a fairly good grounding it it, and those who don't will be relieved to hear that no scientific background is necessary to enjoy the plentiful arguments, chases, and fights.

For any teen - especially boys, although girls will find a lot to like in Ronika - John Gone is a perfect mix of action, sci-fi, and drama, with just enough romance thrown in to keep the 13-and-over crowd on its toes. Readers should be warned that the book ends with many story threads still hanging, but two subsequent books, Missing Signals and Company Men, will wrap them up. All in all, a great effort and a solid read from a talented first-time novelist.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superior sci-fi adventure story, September 3, 2012
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This review is from: John Gone (Paperback)
I'm usually the kind of guy that reads thick, heavy books and skips over lighter fare. More kinds of ephemeral writing usually bores me and is a chore to get through. John Gone, however, genuinely surprised me with its witty, well-written story packed with solid sci-fi ideas and clever characters.

It's Young Adult fiction in form only, much in the way that Pixar movies are kids cartoons in form only. The characters are fully-formed, believable human beings who develop (or are revealed in) arcs which fit inside the narrative perfectly. At times, it has a light, humorous tone with witty dialog that can truly snap, but it's not afraid to get serious and stern-faced when it has too.

All the complaints that I usually have with this genre are well-addressed by Mr. Kayatta. The novel feels like an over-stuffed chair of ideas. It's full of clever little concepts and wonderful bit-characters to sink yourself into. There's a heart and charm at the center of John Gone that makes it a delightful read.

There certainly are a few rough spots, but they rarely slow things down. The first chapter in particular seemed almost manic in pacing, with the central plot device being introduced before we almost know the character or the setting. But after that, it hardly matters and everything flows at a page-turning clip. Especially for being a self-produced ebook, this kind of quality is almost unheard of.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Scary..., October 21, 2014
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This book will definitely make you stop and think, because it definitely would be scary if the there was a government department that actually did have a secret, secure place that they had scientists who were brilliant working on special projects and then imprisoned in their labs for the rest of their lives. Very interesting reading for all ages. Jo-Ann Doyle
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5.0 out of 5 stars First in a trilogy: Watch out, you'll be hooked., January 15, 2014
By 
Hillel Kaminsky (WEST HEMPSTEAD, NY USA) - See all my reviews
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CAUTION: SPOILERS AHEAD

John is a 16 year old boy who finds a watch on the beach. He puts it on and discovers that he cannot remove it. At the same time every day the watch teleports him to different locales, which get progressively further from home. The watch is broken and is stuck in a loop determining the bio energy of the user. After 6 or seven teleports, John will die.

John seeks the help of his friend Ronica, a 19 year old girl who quite obviously loves John, but John is too thick to see this. Ronica is a mechanical and engineering wiz and gives John a small robot that accompanies John on his adventures. Thus, even though she is not physically with John when he teleports they can communicate and she sees what the robot sees. While playing around with the watch, the pair discovers that by pulling out the fob they can communicate with Felix, the guy who invented the watch.

Felix is unquestionably brilliant, but has been trapped in an underground lab for 30 years by the people for whom he made the watch. Felix is desperate to get out of his prison and tells John how to teleport to him so that they can change places. John is reluctant to do so (of course) but ends up doing this because if he keeps on teleporting he will die anyway. Felix promises to come back for John with a second watch to free him but he has not done so after a year.

Felix has not forgotten John but spent the year looking for Kate, a woman he fell in love with while inventing the watch. When the people who owned the lab betrayed Felix and trapped him underground, Kate was trapped as well but escaped using a spare watch that Felix had made for himself. Felix finds Kate and Kate frees John, leaving her trapped in the underground lab. The book ends with John and Ronica enjoying a day at the beach accompanied by the Kate, who is communicating to them through the watch. Throughout the book the bad guys (lab owners) send assassins to bring John to them and kill everyone who knows about the watch.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good start, December 16, 2013
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Let me start out saying that like all of you I got this first book for free. I've also read #2 and #3 but will hold my comments for each of those in turn.

Book #1 was an enjoyable read. The style was easy to read, few errors and well laid out. The story line was sufficiently unique that it kept me engaged and looking forward to what was yet to come.

It is definitely worth reading for all age groups.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fun,fun,fun!, December 9, 2013
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Poor teen John has the adventure of his life when he discovers some advanced technology and is flung around the world, avoiding the "company" and their minions anxious to recover their property and hounded by the devices creator to return it to him instead for a purpose either sinister or nobile. This story keeps you on the edge of your seat and coming back for more!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well written, imaginative story!, July 24, 2013
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If you like using your mind and science fiction, you will enjoy this book. The story takes the reader places unexpected and the author masterfully balances the intellectual and the interesting. Will look for more by this author!
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2.0 out of 5 stars YA sci-fi, September 28, 2014
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Synopsis sounded great but wasn't as good as I had hoped. I liked the back story with Felix, but the chapters with John were all too similar. Sadly, the majority of the book takes place with John.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, June 21, 2013
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This is the beginning of a fantastic trilogy. As soon as I finished this book I bought the next, and then the next. Thank you for a great read.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wish the series were longer..., March 21, 2013
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This review is from: John Gone (Paperback)
I LOVE this series. The author does a wonderful job in creating believable characters who act the way you would expect people thrust into this situation to act. The main character isn't' a super hero- he's a real kid just trying to understand what's happening to him. Very good writing- this is an excellent story but not a fairy tale. He gets through by luck and the help of the other charachters, gets battered and worn out, and has bad things happen that don't get "all better" at the end.

I enjoyed this first book enough that I immediatly boght the others and read them back to back. I encourage you to do so as well. The story continues and is just as good in all three with a satisfactory wrap up even if it was sooner than I wanted it to be. I wish that there had been more books in the series... it's a great concept and I'm sure there are lots of other stories that are waiting if the author decides to go back and write them. If he does, I'll be waiting to buy them too.
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John Gone
John Gone by Michael Kayatta (Paperback - December 11, 2011)
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