Perdido Beach was a normal neighborhood until the day when it became the Fallout Alley Youth Zone (FAYZ). All the teenagers and adults have mysteriously disappeared into thin air, leaving the city to those 14 years old and under. Bullies are taking control. Strange anomalies are popping up in nature, even in the kids themselves. Food is running out. And there’s no way out, until your 15th birthday.

The madness of Perdido doesn’t sit well with Sam, the quiet hero type. But he finds allies in his friend Quinn and an age-long crush, Astrid. They’ll prove more important than ever before when a new leader shows up in town. Caine and his crew of prep school kids are smart, controlling, and with a very deep secret behind their goals of “unity”. Sam must begin to solve the mysteries behind the nuclear center, a nameless darkness, and even his own history before Perdido Beach is well and truly lost.

This book felt a little bit like young X-Men on radioactive crack. From the first few pages I was drawn into the story and completely interested in the characters. Michael Grant juggled two story lines that would eventually intersect and managed to make them both as interesting as the other. Usually, when that happens, I care about one character and their trials more than the other’s and skim the bothersome parts. And when the powers started surfacing, it got really exciting. I have always been especially fond of superpower stories. Plus, dystopia = made of awesome. Honestly.

Sadly, with a plot like that, Gone sometimes felt a little formula. I predicted a few of the plot twists that I wish had been more difficult to see coming and the bullies were completely stereotype. Which may have been to prove a point, so I was not exceptionally bothered by it. Another thing that kind of put me out was the Sam was fictional. *sigh* Just like Marquis Shevraeth, Jacob, George Cooper, Prosper, Bobby Pendragon, Draco Malfoy… *rambles for several hours*

All the same, it was a very fun and solid read, well worth the 558 pages. I’m definitely looking forward to the sequel. 5.5 out of 7 leaking nuclear plants for Gone.

Mourning Professor Xavier,

Aella Siofra

PS: I thought that the UK cover for this was infinitely more awesome? Am I alone in this? Medeia, any thoughts?

PS2: If you don’t know who Shevraeth is than go read Crown Duel. Poseidon commands it. Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith.