Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Gone by Michael Grant

The small community of Perdido Beach has long been named Fallout Alley because of the nuclear power plant built ten miles up the road. On a typical day, Sam, Astrid, Quinn and Edilio are in class. Sam and Quinn are making plans to ride surf waves while Astrid figuring out the next AP Physics questions. And then….
Poof! The teacher disappears
No one really knows what happens at first glance, but slowly realization sets in. The adults – all of them – are gone. And with that realization come great challenges and responsibilities. What happens in a world when everyone over the age of 15 disappears? Who takes control and who creates chaos? These are just some questions already coming to the forefront of everyone’s minds, but more than that, at the moment, is the chance to indulge in every kid’s fantasy….total disorder with no consequences.
But when reality sets in, from finding dead babies forgotten at home to trying to put out an apartment building fire, the kids and teens start looking for a natural leader, and Sam is put on the forefront. It’s not something he wants to do, and is challenged at the beginning by the bullies in town, especially Orc, who wields power through intimidation.
Sam, Astrid, Quinn and Edilio begin the long journey of trying to find out what happened and soon come against a barrier around their town. Is it something that barricades them from the outside world or are they in an alternate universe? No one knows for sure; the only thing they understand is they are isolated.
Along with the isolation, some of the kids are experiencing some strange manifestations, including the ability to teleport, start fires, read minds and defy gravity. But with power comes great responsibility, and when students from the private Coates Academy with even greater power and less morals descend into town and begin to take over….
The book begins with intensity and slowly loses that intensity only for it to pick up again with the denouement. The reader gets to see distinct personalities early in the book and decide which side of the line the characters fall, with some of them even surprising the reader. An excellent pair with Lord of the Flies, Michael Grant creates the science fiction version of a world gone awry when the only people left to create a new society are kids.

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