This book is like a dystopian novel with a twist. It is in the sense that its a new world where they have to put together a new way of running things and many of the old ways of doing things (TV, Internet) are gone. But it’s not the future. It’s just 1 little town in California that it’s happening too and all the adults have disappeared. Plus now kids are starting to develop weird abilities and with no one over the age of 15 around they’re not really sure what to do.
So I picked up Gone as a recommendation from my friend Jess. She knows I love the Hunger Games and Divergent (except for that last book we pretend doesn’t exist). So I decided why not give it a try. And I was pleasantly surprised. The book jumps into it real quick with all the adults disappearing right away. All the under 15 year olds are left wandering around town and basically chaos ensues but one of our main characters, Sam is there to step up and save a girl during a fire.
So lets talk about Sam first. I really love Sam. He is the lovable hero who never wanted to be, but from the very start of this book he also has a secret and we don’t really find out what it is until a little ways in. Basically Sam is one of the kids with abilities, a freak, but he was one before all this started. Sam is thrust into the spotlight to be the towns leader, but he really doesn’t want to be at all and neglects that and that allows Caine to step in.
I thought Caine was a really interesting character. He shows up with his motorcade from the prep school on the hill and comes in promising all these scared little kids everything will be alright. But he’s also Sam’s unknown twin brother and he and Sam are some of the next kids afraid of disappearing because it’s almost their 15th birthday. Caine has a few lackeys with him: Dianne, Drake and Jack. Jack is just a little scared kid who is good with computers. Drake is awful. He basically lives for violence and torture but he gets whats coming to him when Sam burns off his arm. I know it was kind of sad that they had to amputate it, but he really is an awful person and there is no redemption for him in this story.
Dianne is also very interesting. It’s hard to tell what side she’s playing at times and seems to shift her alliance. She clearly looks out for herself first but at the same time she’s on Caine’s side in the end and willing to retreat with him even though Sam offers her a place to stay. Even though Sam and Astrid are the couple in this story, for a bit at the beginning I thought Dianne may be the new love interest for Sam but that didn’t really flush out.
Astrid is also interesting. They call her Astrid the genius and I love how just like Rick Riordan in Percy Jackson, Michael Grant made Astrid blonde, which of course goes against the “dumb blondes” stereotype. She is not my favorite character and it’s not that I dislike her, it’s just that she’s not generally all that interesting and of course she really is a know it all (*cough cough Hermoine Granger parallels?).
Edilio is a favorite by far. The original group is Quinn, Astrid and Sam but Edilio is picked up very shortly after that and he is great. Unlike Quinn, Edilio is quick to act like Sam, brave and selfless. He has no powers but he proves to be a good fighter and definitely adds some comic relief. I particularly like when Quinn keeps making Mexican jokes, even though Edilio is not Mexican.
Quinn is a complicated character. He starts off the story as Sam’s best friend but then he turns on Sam. When that happened I was shocked I mean WTF Quinn!? Honestly I was so disappointed in him. But then he saved Sam so they could save Astrid from Drake and I like when they jump in the boat Sam didn’t tell Quinn where they were going. I’m glad Quinn didn’t earn his trust back right away.
Meanwhile the other character we follow closely is Lana, who is not even associated with everyone else. She was in a car that crashed when the adults disappeared. Her dog Patrick was with her and we basically watch her die at the bottom of a hill until she ends up miraculously healed. We determine she is a freak but then she has this odd story line with talking coyotes and “the darkness” and this cave that is all very weird and the really strange part of the story. She eventually runs into the rest of the group which I was happy about because reading about the coyotes was just weird.
The ending battle after Sam returns to town was exciting. I like how Quinn was finally able to step up and help but also weirded out when Drake returned with his “whip hand”. I though the ending duel between Sam and Caine was exciting. Once again I was a little disappointed in how useless Astrid was. For some reason Sam and Astrid are synonymous with Percy and Annabeth in my mind so even though Astrid doesn’t have any powers I still want her to learn to be a badass fighter, but so far that is not the case.
What I like about this book is it makes you think about what we would do if all the adults were gone. Of course we would be like these kids and eat all the candy bars and drink all the soda and not save any of the food and eventually run low. Would we think of taking care of all the babies and toddlers like mother mary? Would we have someone be business savy like albert?
Overall I thought Gone was a great read and I’m excited to continue the series and see what happens to all the kids trapped in Period Beach.