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Friday, 26 July 2013

Book Talk: Gone series by Michael Grant

This book seems to have come up in quite a few of my e-conversations this week, so I thought I might as well blog about it. It's definitely one of the most violent books I've read to date, but it is YA, so it's not anything overly life-scarring. Also no graphic adult scenes or bad language, so I guess that makes up for all the character-to-character cruelty.

It was a regular day. Then without warning, in Perdido (which, by the way, means "lost" in Spanish, so I thought that was a nice touch) Beach, California, everyone over the age of fifteen disappeared. Poof. But that's not the only supernatural thing going on in 14-year-old Sam Temple's life. Between the orb of light he somehow created that floats in his closet, the incident with his stepfather's hand, and now the enormous, impenetrable dome that surrounds "Fallout Alley" (as the town is sometimes referred to, due to an incident with radioactive fallout) -- the exact centre of which is the nuclear power plant. Coincidence? Probably not, considering the fact that both animals and kids are mutating to develop weird powers. And in a society ruled by teenagers, this will prove to be dangerous -- even fatal.

Fallout Alley Youth Zone -- it's just a FAYZ. Especially for those near their fifteenth birthday. Now Sam -- who can never resist playing hero -- not only has to keep the town together with the threat of Caine and his minions, he also has to find a way to "beat the blink" before it's too late.

I really like the study this book does on what would happen if adults really did disappear. It just goes to show how much would go wrong. If you think about all the wars that have happened in history when the world ISN'T being run by scared, armed, sometimes supernaturally-powered kids now fighting over the limited resources, you can begin to imagine the sheer chaos in Michael Grant's fictional world. this book sin't only a thrilling sci-fi story (sidenote: a sticker on the cover of book 5 claimed, "more thrilling than The Hunger Games". "Pah!" said I at first. But after reading both, I think the sticker was telling me the truth. Just don't tell Suzanne Collins. Shh!), he has also created a social study that doesn't feel like a life lesson being rammed down you throat, and flipped gender and racial stereotypes in his stride. Who could possibly not love Edilio? An illegal immigrant, but he does so much for the town in the FAYZ. There's one point where Sam remarks something like "he and his family would have been deported if the authorities found out, but he's done more than anything to keep the town running." That quotation is probably all wrong but the general message behind it is right. I'll say it: Edilio is my favourite character. Even more than Sam. Yes, I went there. To be fair though, Sam is an extremely close second.

Speaking of characters, I think I hate some people I'm not supposed to, but that's one of the things I like about this book. It bugs me when the author dictates who I should like and who I shouldn't. I like to make up my own mind who I'll root for and who I'll hope gets prematurely picked off.

Here is the Amazon page.

Star rating: In the beginning, I might have been tempted to say 4, but the series gets better as it goes along and it ended on a definite 5/5.

Books in this series:

Gone
Hunger
Lies
Plaugue
Fear
Light


You can tell just by the titles that things get worse before they get better, can't you? But it's worth sticking with sam until the end, even if a certain someone is driving you crazy and you keep wishing she'll go away but know she never will. Not mentioning any names . . . *cough* Astrid Ellison *cough*.

Just do it for Sam. I love Sam. He's one of those characters who you'll forgive even if he screws up big time, because he's got so much on his plate and his intentions are basically good, and he's given up so much for other people. Aww, Sam. Why do bad things have to happen to good people?

On that philosophic note, I shall leave you. Also I'll go ahead and say that I doubt I'll be blogging next Friday, as I'll be packing. Squeal! Holiday time! Yay! Try not to miss me too much ;)

Just kidding. In my absence, see how many books from my recommendations you can read :)