Sunday, April 25, 2010

Michael Grant. GONE

I cannot believe I haven't heard about this book earlier. Well, I'm glad I stumbled across it. It is fantastic!
It begins with one seemingly normal day in social studies class. The teacher is talking about the Civil War, the students are listening. Then the teacher suddenly vanishes No flashing light or funny noise - he just disappears. After some investigating, the kids realize that all the adults are gone. In fact, anyone over fifteen is gone.
People begin to look to Sam for leadership. After all, he did save a bus full of children when the bus driver had a heart attack. Sam begins to make decisions to try to keep the kids from panicking. Sam, Astrid, the girl they call the genius, and his best friend Quinn all begin trying to figure things out. They make temporary plans, hoping this will all end soon.
Then a week or so later, Caine and a group of kids come into town from Coates. Coates is type of school for smart delinquents. Caine begins by charming everyone into making him "mayor." Of course, Sam and Astrid realize that he's trouble, but go along with Caine. Otherwise they would fall victim to his team of bullies who sit by ready and willing to enforce all of Caine's new rules.
We also met Lana, who was in the passenger seat of a truck when her grandfather vanishes. The truck crashes and she is badly hurt. After days of suffering, she's able to mysteriously save herself only to be attacked my coyotes. Fortunately some unusual creatures save her.
When it looks like things can't get any worse (no phones, no Internet, no doctors, no TV, no way to leave the area to get help) ...they do get worse. Animals are mutating. People are developing unimaginable powers, which some decide to use for evil.
I won't give too much away, because I had so much fun discovering all of the many twists and turns in this book, and I wouldn't want to deprive you of that fun. It's suspenseful. I couldn't put it down. It literally kept me up at night all last week! It has action, some mystery, some science, fantasy and a little love. (It really does cross many genres).
I haven't even mentioned how well written it is. The author did such a wonderful job with creating mood and tone. One of the most disturbing scenes is when the kids were walking through the houses to find any missing children. That deep feeling of loneliness and dread the kids were feeling hit me like a ton of bricks. And that is only one scene. There are many more unforgettable moments in this book.
It will leave you very curious for more. Lucky for us there is a sequel, and the series is planned to be 6 books.
Here is more about the author. He's married to KA Applegate, the author of the Animorphs and Everworld books.

Book 2 - which is on my "to read" pile