Tuesday, 15 May 2012

GONE

I was first attracted to Gone by Michael Grant because its pages are edged in fluorescent yellow. I'm aware this is a pretty lame reason to pick up a book, but I thought the story was interesting, too. Basically, one ordinary day, everyone over the age of fifteen disappears into thin air and a strange barrier appears around Perdido Beach. Suddenly, the kids are left to look after themselves and try to find some way to live. Obviously, comparisons to Lord of the Flies will be drawn, but I've never read that and so couldn't possibly comment.

The book's okay. It's not great, not as good as I wanted it to be (I haven't decided whether I want to buy the second in the series, which makes me sad because they all have different bright colours on their page edges and the set would look really cool on my shelf). My main problem with it was that I didn't like any of the characters. Well, there was one that I quite liked, but she really wasn't much more than a minor character. I didn't like a single one of the major characters.

I was also kind of bothered by the fact that suddenly all of these kids had powers. Okay, not all of them, and I get the impression that the powers will be explored in much more depth in future instalments, but for some reason it bothered me. I didn't like the switching point of view, either. There are forty chapters (I think) and usually the chapters have three sections, each told from a different character's perspective. The character I liked, Diana, had maybe two sections in the whole novel. Sam, who I consider the main character, has at least thirty.

The ending wasn't great either. If you have the bad guy there in front of you, you kill him. Especially if you're living in a tiny area with no adults to step in and tell you to behave. The fact that [SPOILER] Sam lets Caine get away says to me very clearly that he'll be coming back in a later book. Which would be fine if he'd escaped, but he didn't. Sam let him get away. What kind of stupid ending is that?



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