The synopsis was interesting and I really had no clue on what I wanted to read for my internet-free weekend in the mountains, so I gave it a chance. I wasn’t expecting an exciting story that had my fingers itching to turn the next page. I finished the book in one day. No joke. Once I had, I was extremely sad. Apparently the book was part of a series and so far there was only one other book in the series–the second book, Hunger. I feared it too would be devoured too quickly. Sadly, I was right. The second book was just as addicting. I was practically in physical pain from not being able to read on.
Since it takes a while to write and publish a book, I decided to wait until the entire series was done. I did a pretty great job avoiding buying the next book, Lies, but when I saw the fourth one was out at the bookstore one day, I couldn’t help myself–I bought Lies. Then Plague, despite the $20 hardcover price (got to love how they only do new books in hardcover sometimes!). Now I am anxiously waiting for the last two books in the series. I bet you’re wondering what is so great about them, huh?
Gone is a unique story about a community in which the adults (those over the age of fifteen) disappear, forcing the children left to survive and adapt to their new settings. It’s discovered that the community is actually surrounded by some sort of dome that hurts to touch. There are also many evil things lurking around, and many of the kids want to be in control, even if that means hurting others. Oh yeah, some of the kids have also discovered that they have powers. Some have super strength, some can disappear, some can shoot light out of their hands. Unfortunately not everyone who is good has these powers.
The thing that really makes me love the series is the great cast of characters. There’s Sam Temple, who’s the leader of the town due to previous actions. Yet he’s as humble as can be and definitely far from perfect, feeling the stress of being a leader. There’s Astrid the Genius, who is beautiful, logical, and at times seems aloof. Then again, if you had a four-year-old autistic little brother, maybe you would be too.
In addition to many other “good” characters, there are also bad characters. There’s Cain, Diana, and Drake, who are from the private school in the community, and they are all bad news, wanting to rule over everyone by making others weaker than they are. I don’t want to get into all the characters because I fear I will spoil something. As far as characters go, I pretty much like them all. There was even one character I disliked in the first three books (Dekka) that I ended up admiring in the fourth. The Gone characters are all very unique and you see their characters develop over the series. I think the author does a great job in characterizing them. There are certainly no perfect people in these books!
You never know what to expect in these books–another reason I love this series so much. Mr. Grant keeps his readers on their toes and delights in shocking them. His writing style is really easy to get into, and he kind of reminds me of a toned down Stephen King. Toned down in that there’s not as much language or mature themes. Stephen King is also an avid fan of the books, going as far as sending fan mail to Mr. Grant and listing “Drake” as one of his favorite villains. As far as the horror element goes, Mr. Grant does a fantastic job of writing extremely creepy events and descriptions. Sometimes I have to go back and re-read, thinking “Whoa, no way! That’s creepy!”
I encourage you to give this series a try! Start with the first one, and if you fall for it as much as I have (and many others), I’m sure you’ll keep going. It’s hard to stop reading once you start and it will be a sad day when the final book is out.