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on 3 July 2011
If you need to go on a crash diet then my advice is to read this book. When I first downloaded Gone onto my Kindle I thought it was going to take me ages to get through it as it's pretty hefty - digitally speaking - but within only a few days I was distraught to find I'd hit the last page. Apart from work I suspended all other activities and a bowl of cereal became a suitable substitute for dinner. I literally trembled my way through Gone and could not abide putting it down in case something hideous should happen to the characters in my imagination. Every time I had to switch off, the heroes were on the point of defeat and I couldn't bear to leave them hanging there, so switch offs were fairly infrequent (that's what I particularly love about my Kindle, needing no hands to read is a real aid to multi-tasking!).

The writing is spot on for this kind of story, the pace is perfect to keep your heart pounding and the story complex and long enough to leave you satisfied. So many questions are raised right from the start and the lack of answers is agonising but the real key to Michael Grant's writing is that no answer is predictable. I was literally left scratching my head, teetering on the point of confusion when I turned the final page and I don't know how I have managed not to dive straight into the next book - some form of mental masochism I suppose.

It's the main character, Sam, that holds all the threads of the story together and keeps his friends alive with his quick thinking and natural courage. Sam offers a glimmer of hope that in the event of adult eradication a leader would step up who was good-natured and had incredible common sense but at the same time, his inevitable demise hangs over the reader as a countdown to his fifteenth birthday is issued at the start of every chapter. Sam and his friends are so easy to empathise with, they all have their own problems and their own way of dealing with those problems and none of them lack characterisation.

Perhaps the most terrifying aspect of this story is that it is so reasonable to imagine that out of the book universe, if all the adults really did vanish, every single event the characters go through could actually happen. Why wouldn't the bullies become tyrants? Why wouldn't it take so long to organise search parties for the youngest survivors that they end up finding only corpses? Why wouldn't a kid take over the McDonald's to try to boost morale? More importantly, the kids have real problems like bulimia, cowardice, autism and psychopathy, which makes for an interesting cast that set up engaging plot assets and storylines - they're not just your average book heroes with endearing little flaws, they have the hardcore issues you would find in any bunch of actual kids.

You do start to freak a little at the realism, like when you were forced to read Lord Of The Flies for GCSE, and that's exactly what this book is - Lord Of The Flies with microwaves and mutations. There are moments when I felt genuinely uncomfortable and slightly disturbed, there are vivid images that will stay with you, popping into your head at unexpected times and reminding you that you haven't read any of the sequels yet. But if you can swallow all that, you'll find in Gone an astonishing exploration of courage - what it means to different people, how different people achieve it and how people deal with not having it.

Gone is so worth reading and when you have, I challenge you to say you were not deeply affected by it.
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on 7 June 2012
I took this book on holiday with me and read it in a day. Realy great read, am awaiting the next book! My teenage daughter also read it and loved it. Book cover states 12+, which i agree with due to some violence and the nature of the story (all adults disappear and kids turn to bullying and violence with no rules). If you've read the hunger games, which has more violence, you should be fine with this. No swearing or sexual content at all. No graphic descriptions of violence, but the lack of adults causes disturbing behaviour that sensitive individuals may find upsetting to read about. This book is a real page-turner, the only downside is the story doesn't end - another 5 books to go!
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on 21 April 2012
I am Thirty Six years old. I had just finished reading "The Hunger Games" Trilogy, and was craving for more of the same. That is when I came across the "Gone" series. I thougt I would give it a go.

From the first chapeter, I was sucked into a deeply chaotic world of scared kids and strange happenings. I have a 10 year old son who suffers from various aspects of Autisum and ADHD. His little brother Is serverly Autistic. Reading these books, I felt an instant connection to these charaters. "Little Pete" is written exactly as Jack and I could see the manurisims and character traits in every description from the author.

These books are well written and very intensly reaserched. The action is tense and captivating, while the peril has you on the edge of your seat. I felt myself screaming at the charaters at some points and cheering at others at three o'clock in the morning because I had to keep reading.

This series will have your willing the heros and cursing the villans. It is simply amazing. There are parts that will shock you, for a kids author, but he keeps it just the write side of dark.

I would advise any body with the love of "Lord of the Fies" "Hunger Games" "X-men" to get this book. It is all three in one with a modern backdrop.

I cant wait to read the others in the series. I hope they are as good as the first and more compelling.

Simply Brilliant.
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on 30 November 2013
`Gone' is simply a teenage version of the x-men, with a watered down bit of `Lord of the Flies' thrown in there too. It reads like a television series but Michael Grant has tried to make it more substantial with the vast numbers of characters included. I don't think he has quite pulled it off.

The plot is pretty straightforward and, though I hate to admit it, is quite predictable, too. You can see where the story is going right from the beginning so it gets a little frustrating that it doesn't develop soon enough. The token romance is easy to spot from a mile off and the main character, Sam, just comes across too much like a clichéd American hero. That being said, the plot does take a bizarre twist two thirds of the way through which made me find the book more ridiculous and bland, rather than allowing myself to get lost in the narrative as I usually do.

There are so many characters in this novel that author does not get the opportunity to develop them enough before moving on elsewhere. This is quite disappointing and when the story finally switches back to them, I found myself flipping back to remind myself of their character. That being said, some are so one-dimensional that it is frustrating that author has given them centre stage.

The chapters begin with a countdown and it is not made clear why until you are significantly through the story. By this time I found myself so committed to wanting to know what happens, that I had to read to the end anyway. And that was before I found out this is the start of a pretty hefty series. (Once I start a series, I really feel that I should give it my full attention until the very end, so don't be surprised to find that I will probably be reviewing the other books in this series as I come across them. )

To summarise, this book is quite straightforward in plot and easy to get into, but is one that is too full of clichés from its genre and setting. It is almost like a pilot episode from a television series, because of the development of character and setting that is so badly needed. Give this one a go if you want an easy read, but don't expect too much from the plot and take heed of the health warning that the this is the start of a series of books. Hopefully the next instalment will be more enjoyable and not just a book that tries too hard, with the intriguing black cover and (quite honestly really irritating) bright yellow pages.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 23 August 2013
4.5 stars.

Excellent teen dystopia/horror.

You're in school on a normal day, kind of bored. Then your teacher vanishes. And everyone else over the age of fifteen. Your town's inside a giant dome. What do you do?

In this spin on Lord of the Flies (though not quite), we see factions of adolescents taking sides, some hungry for power, some just wanting to survive and find a way out.

It's a brilliant premise, and all those details you wouldn't want to be in there ("what about the babies in their cots?") make an appearance.

The first in a series, 'Gone' sets up character and story alike for future battles and resentments, heroes and villains.

My qualms with the book? I'm not a fan of supernatural explanations and happenings (though I'm quite aware that this story couldn't have happened otherwise!) so some parts of the book annoyed me a bit, but that's just me. The main gripe I had was the way these 14-year-olds talk and think. It just didn't feel right. They would have to mature quickly and take on some awful responsibilities, yes, but I kept getting pulled out of the story by their language and feeling it didn't ring true. But that's probably just me.

It certainly didn't stop me enjoying the book. A great idea, for a great series, that hopefully will keep Hunger Games fans happy when they've finished that trilogy.
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on 28 August 2012
I was extremely excited about reading this book! There was allot of hype about it so I gave it a go. From the first page, (which I must say draws you in like some one pulling you!) I was absolutely hooked! The story is very fast paced for such a big book. The font, (and I am quite fussy about this) was a nice size to read which made it easier. I also love the yellow edged pages!

The storyline, is about every person, 15 and over, disappearing from the small town of Perdido Beach with a large dome surrounding the town. Not only that, but many of the kids (and some of the animals) have started to develop strange powers. Sounds a bit random, don't you think? With the adults gone, no one plays by the rules. Some of them venture for control, others merely keep the town running and not falling apart! But with the kids from Coates Academy taking control of the town, that's not good news...

This book is fantastic, because you start to imagine; How would you cope without your mum and dad around? The characters are great to read about. They develop, they interest you and it feels like you're going through this with them. This is a great plot but a serious one too. Even my mum and dad and their friends were interested in this and they don't like reading!
Please read this! You won't find fiction better than this!
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on 30 April 2009
I have never been compelled to write a review despite being an avid reader. Most the books I enjoy already have the big reviews and i tend to agree with what is said. But I felt the need to review this book and urge people to read it.

I was interested by the summary when i saw it in the shop and decided to give it a try and I was hooked. I was reading every moment I could and was drawn into the world created on these pages. The writing was able to create vivid imagery for me so that I was able to see everything as if it were a film and i have only ever experienced that with the harry potter books and the dark tower series.

I am an adult but I am regulary scouting teen books as I feel they are at times better and I am glad I did as I found this gem. I wont say much about the story line other than it will draw you in and leave you wanting more. I really canot wait for the second book and will be pre ordering it.

I also hope someone decides to make this a film or a tv series as I know it would be a massive hit if done well. It is aimed at teens but it has enough adult themes and some almost horrifying situations that will draw any adult in.

I would recommend anyone over 10 check this book out and join in the new obsession.
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on 8 October 2009
Wow, just WOW!!! (This is the daughter, by the way :))
With such an ambitious plot, I approached Gone with caution and half a mind that I'd be disappointed with the flop I would certainly encounter. I'm now 100% ashamed of my bad faith. Gone has instantly become one of my favourite books and, although for the characters their world has shrunk vastly - from the entire globe to barely more than a town and some surrounding hills - I feel like the setting for the story is so huge anything could happen.
And anything is about right. From mutating animals to teenage superhero-like powers to a strange, (evil?) force residing in an old mine... the book has everything expected and so much more.
The fact it is not always centred on one person (although we do have at least one main "hero") make the story even more complex and exciting as we can make links perhaps the characters or even the writer hadn't thought of at that point. The description: "Lord of the Flies for the Heroes generation" is spot on and anybody who likes books that make them think, care and get an adrenaline rush from printed paper should definitely read this and all others in the Gone series (rumours are the book will have five sequels!)
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on 27 December 2011
Gone is an engaging read, but as I'm on a reading kick of "Young Fiction" it really suffers in comparison to my other two recent reads: "The Knife of Never Letting Go" and "Hunger Games".

All three stories also begin series, with a sci-fi base, young protagonists and world-weaved mysteries to unravel. The other two simply do it better. Gone never quite frees itself from the clichés it is based on. Intelligent readers will be a few steps ahead of the story, as revelations are fairly heavily signposted, and characters are stamped from some well worn moulds. It's difficult to root for the two surfer bros who use "brah" at every opportunity, or the love interest who's purpose is made clear from the get go. Every character who appears does little to surprise, they are so clearly defined that you know what they're going to do throughout, they never rise above their own predictability.

As something of a geek myself I would be interested to know what other readers thought to the fact that the in-crowd remains the in-crowd. Popular in school: popular in the FAYZ. Powerful in school: powerful in the FAYZ. The mutations mirror social order for some reason. The lack of reversal where a character like Computer Jack could have risen above his bullies is disappointing and leaves less room for the escapism a good book can provide. Maybe it will happen in later books, but that doesn't make it less of a disappointment here.

Gone is still a lot of fun, but it's more like a comic book than a graphic novel. You'll likely enjoy it (I did), but I wouldn't put it at the top of your to-read list.
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on 21 June 2013
Starts off great but gets a bit repetitive later on. There is no ending so you need to go on to the next novel..
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