Friday, September 19, 2014

Review: Gone by Michael Grant

This is one of the most imaginative dystopian-type books I've come across in a long time! In a small town called Perdido Beach, whose only real claim to fame is the nuclear power plant it is home to, everyone is going about their day when suddenly all the adults vanish. At first, you wonder if they were raptured or something. But then things start to get a bit strange--some of the kids develop powers, dangerous rivalries emerge, and there is a hint of some Darker Power at force here.

It reminded me a bit of Alexandra Bracken's Darkest Minds books, except without the oppressive grownups.

Grant was constantly surprising me with the creative twists he threw into the book. From talking coyotes to flying snakes, to the whacked out powers the kids developed--I never knew what to expect and was constantly delighted with some fresh horror.

That being said, I feel like I should have enjoyed reading this book more than I did. Not that I didn't enjoy it at all--I did--but it just wasn't the kind of all consuming page turner that it seems like it should have been. I kept reading a few pages at night before bed and then falling asleep. That shouldn't happen with this type of book--normally with a fast paced dystopian, I can't put it down til I reach the end.

I think the problem here is in the character development. None of these characters really felt very fully formed. They each have approximately one key trait: Sam is a leader; Astrid is a genius; Drake is an evil sadist; Little Pete is autistic; Quinn is insecure; Alberto is an entrepreneur, etc. etc. etc. The interpersonal drama just felt kind of forced and half baked. And for me, it doesn't matter how creative a world is or how tense the plot--if I can't really relate to the characters, I'm never going to be fully sucked in.

Still gotta give this points for creativity - it's really not like any other book I've come across lately. 3.5 stars.