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Gone Paperback – April 8, 2014
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From School Library Journal
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
So how would you update it for the 21st century? How do you achieve the sudden enforced isolation of a group in an alien environment? In an era of GPS and satellite communications, it's hard to disappear, impossible to isolate. "The Truman Show" suggested a way that might work for one person, and "Gone" borrows some ideas from this world-in-a-bubble, but as the idiom goes "that doesn't scale". How about the characters - and the audience? And who is the audience, anyway? Golding wrote his masterpiece as an allegory for all ages, but that's a rare achievement.
Michael Grant decides to focus on the "young adult" audience, which means that the book has to compete in a world of "Buffy", reality TV, and videogames. In keeping with the zeigeist, the isolation of the young protagonists is achieved through a science fiction device: a "rapture of the adults". And the games begin.
OK, so I'm not the target audience of this book, but no matter. If adults can cross over to "Harry Potter", I don't see why I can't enjoy "Gone". And I did. Mostly. The first half of the book is really strong: some great scenes that Golding would have enjoyed.Read more ›
The kids from Coates Academy come down to the town of Perdido Beach, and one of them, named Caine, basically takes over. He acts as if he's benevolent, but people are dying, and it's because his sheriff and Captain Orc's little gang of bullies keep beating people up who break the rules imposed on them by Caine. And while some of these rules are actually valid, others prevent people from gaining any power to oppose Caine.
Sam, Quinn, Edilio, Astrid, and Little Pete find themselves thrown together for survival. Sam knows that something is off about Caine, and he also has a power to shoot fire from his hands. They are constantly running from Caine or one of his allies. They eventually meet a girl Lana, who is a healer, and discover that Little Pete has special abilities of his own. When they save a bunch of kids with power from Caine, who had them imprisoned with their hands cemented in blocks, the kids join their movement to take Caine down. The struggle escalates, and all their lives are at stake.
When I first read the summary for this book, I was extremely intrigued. This new world is almost like a parallel universe.Read more ›
Where do I start with this review? I wanted so badly to love this book, but halfway through I told my husband, "I love the plot, but I can't stand the characters." Still, I was perfectly prepared to give this book a give 4- or 5-star recommendation... until the last 20 pages. Light spoilers ahead.
The plot is everything you could want from a dystopian sci-fi YA novel. On the first page, everyone in town over the age of 14 disappears completely, and it's immediately up to the remaining kids to figure out how to survive in a world that becomes increasingly creepy. The children are obviously ill-prepared to take care of, say, all the abandoned babies in town, and the result is dark, gritty, and satisfyingly creepy. In addition to all this, the town is also enclosed in a mystical soap bubble, and the town threatens to be overrun by talking coyotes and flying rattlesnakes. Seriously, this is an awesome plot.
But the characters...! This book feels like it was written by taking a bunch of recent popular YA books and trying to Frankenstein the characters together out of various YA tropes. There's Sam "Harry Potter" Everyman, a nice, strong, solid, dependable, totally average guy with a propensity towards heroics and to whom everyone instinctively looks up. There's Astrid "Percy Jackson" Sexy-Smart, whose job is to provide exposition and romantic angst and who is literally referred to in-text as both a "Genius" and a "Barbie" doll. (Astrid, being female, will not be allowed to do anything useful in the novel that doesn't entail snogging the protagonist or looking after small children.) And, of course, there's the ineffectual Sidekick Guy who spends the whole novel sulking because he's not as cool as his protagonist buddy.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Gone is a great book. I love the characters. I definitely recommend this book.Published 10 days ago by christine bishop
Easy teenage drama. Reminds me of under the dome by Stephen King...but with a better plot. Going to but the next book.Published 1 month ago