Gone - Michael  Grant

What would happen if everyone over the age of 15 were to simply vanish, leaving only children to fend for themselves? If that's not interesting enough, throw in some freakish mutating animals, and kids developing crazy x-men type super powers. Grant gives us a world where suddenly kids are on their own trying to survive, food is running out, bullies are using their newly developing powers to take over and suddenly, snakes are growing wings and cats are teleporting. I always enjoy a book that keeps me guessing and tosses out surprises left and right.

 

Sam is the kind of guy you don't really notice until there is an emergency and he becomes the only one who will step up and take charge. He is a kind boy with a good heart. When the story starts he is 14 years old. One of the oldest kids in the FAYZ, as they call it. The problem is, the second you turn 15, you blink out. Disappear. No one knows what exactly happens when you vanish, and time is running out for a lot of the kids.

 

Astrid is very intelligent for her age, some call her Astrid the Genius. She also has a good heart and watches over her little brother. I enjoyed watching the friendship between her and Sam blossom and become something more. 

 

Caine is a 14 year old kid from Coates Academy. He rolls into town with his crew of bullies and essentially takes over. He creates the rules and his posse of troublemakers enforces them. He has a plan and will not back down from a fight.

 

There were many different characters who were likeable on Sam's side of the divide and  many who were just plain rotten on Caine's side. This story heads toward a war between the two sides. As the children begin discovering and developing their super powers, time is running out for both Caine and Sam who are close to their 15th birthdays.

 

I had some issues with many of the decisions the kids were making through the whole book. There was no order, the kids were wasting the food they had available. Instead of preparing for the future, planning ahead, many let good food rot and only ate junk food.

 

They were vandalizing and destroying places, throwing trash out in the streets. I had to keep reminding myself that they were children with no adult supervision. Some of the older children did attempt to create order by caring for the babies, gathering supplies, one kid even stepped up and managed the McDonald's, cooking food for everyone. Those moments were very satisfying to see.

 

I didn't mention much about the super powers that the children develop only because, for me, I found it fun and exciting to discover the powers along with the kids as they were realizing them. Not all of the kids have powers yet. This is only the first book in the series so I'm pretty sure we are going to be seeing new abilities pop up as we go. I think this series is going to be a fun adventure.

 

-Shey