Sunday, February 23, 2014

Gone: A Complicated Multilayered Dystopia

Title: Gone
Author: Michael Grant
Series: Gone #1
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: June 24th, 2008
Format: Library Copy
Genre: YA, Dystopia, Paranormal
Rating: ✎✎✎✎


Except for the young. Teens. Middle schoolers. Toddlers. But not one single adult. No teachers, no cops, no doctors, no parents. Just as suddenly, there are no phones, no internet, no television. No way to get help. And no way to figure out what's happened.

Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents-unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers-that grow stronger by the day.

It's a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen, a fight is shaping up. Townies against rich kids. Bullies against the weak. Powerful against powerless. And time is running out: On your birthday, you disappear just like everyone else…

My Thoughts and Reflection:

I tried to read this book sometime last year, but DNF'd it because the first couple of chapters weren't grabbing.  After several friends rated the book poorly, I decided to not try it again.
And yet here I am, having invested several days into this book, once again.  I'm not sure what prompted me to pick it up, maybe because I read somewhere that the series got better?  Anyway…
The premise of this book is peculiar, but it was poorly executed.  The first couple chapters were painfully awkward, but eventually Grant found a writing rhythm.  
The cast of characters is so long and wide that it was hard to decide who exactly was our protagonist.  Eventually I decided that it was Sam, who the main plot of the book focused on.  However, for a good three quarters of the book there would occasionally be a chapter about a girl named Lana.  It was obvious that she would eventually meet up with the main plot, but it was slightly annoying to follow her parallel plot for so long.  
This book was not short on antagonists.  At first it seems that Orc is the worts, then Caine comes into town and everything go nuts.  Sam and his enterague are on the run, then they finally meet Lana.  Around this time we find out that Drake is someone to be feared, along with the mutated coyote pack.
There are several mentions of this Darkness, but the true details of this are never explored.  A quick paragraph at the end of the book leads us on to hope for more explanation in the sequel.  
I liked the concept of all of the powers, and how Little Pete actually created the FAYZ (what the teens call their new world).  Also the Coates Academy kids mixing with the townies.  The plot was surprising and grabbing, never too slow.  It was just the enormous multitude of characters and overlapping plot lines that made the book slightly hard to follow.
I hope that in the sequel our characters will be more developed and defined.  I also hope that we will have less to focus on.  :)

Dust Jacket Ramblings:

Can I just talk about how much I dislike this cover?  The models pretty much give you no clue about the content of the book.  It's about teenagers.  And….
Moving past the models, it's obvious that the boy on the front is Sam, and that the girl is Astrid.  The boy on the back is probably Caine, while the girl is probably Diane.  However, what are they wearing? If you're going to use models, at least show some sort of setting hint with tattered clothing…Ugh.


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