Today’s book, Gone, by Michael Grant is the one I referred to in my post yesterday. It’s also the one that turned up in a comment a couple of weeks ago, when Lee said it was awful. Now, I don’t agree with that. Gone is a bit of a modern Lord of the Flies with some fantasy/horror thrown in, and it’s a fast-paced thriller, which isn’t trying to be great literature. Young readers will like it, and I’d hope that it will also make them think about what matters in life. Good and bad, who your friends are, cause and effect and all that.
It can be hard for us oldies to approve of a book where everyone over the age of fifteen ‘poofs’, ie disappears without a trace. One second they are there, and the next they are not. It may be almost OK for your teacher to poof, and the children quickly got used to their parents having poofed, but actually witnessing their friends poof the minute they turn fifteen, is scary.
So, fourteen-year-olds have to rule this new world, which is quite small. They have been sealed off inside a bubble of what used to be a part of California. It’s exciting, sometimes funny, and it makes for a good sample of modern life, with MacDonalds’ and what-have-you. There is also a young autistic child, who’s fairly well portrayed. The baddie of the story is called Caine, and his counterpart may not be called Abel, but he certainly is able. And male. This is James Bond heroics, but at least the heroine is allowed to be intelligent.
We don’t know why all the strange things that happen have happened. And – SPOILER alert – we never find out. I don’t like giving things away, but I would have appreciated some early information about this being the first of – how many books?
One young amazon reviewer ‘really hopes there will be a sequel’! Of course there will be a sequel. There has to be. And – I should have done my homework – if you look on amazon the next book is out soon in America. I’ve not found much information about Michael Grant, except Egmont say he co-wrote Animorphs with his wife. He’s not down as an author of Animorphs on Wikipedia, but I did notice there are 58 books in the series…