If there’s one thing I can’t get enough of is dystopian fiction. We all know the Hunger Games and many may turn their noses up claiming to have read the original Battle Royal, the genre is heaving. I admit, I’m a little late to the game but I have finally begun the Gone series by Michael Grant. Being a fan of the genre, hearing colleagues swoon over it and finding the first book in a charity shop for a pound, I jumped straight to it knowing that all the books were out and nothing was going to slow me down. I’m so clever and wise because it happened: I am hooked.
So here’s the situation, it’s a normal day. Sam is at school and ‘poof’. He finally looks up to the board and sees that his teacher has disappeared and so have some of the boys in his class. There’s noise in the corridor. All the teachers have disappeared. There’s awkward jokes about school being over, no more teachers and no more homework. Something is very wrong. Everyone over the age of 15 have disappeared: ‘poofed’. There’s not parents at home, no grown ups, no police and no idea what or why this is happening. This is the ‘Lord of the Flies’ aspect of the commonly used description of ‘modern day, supernatural Lord of the Flies’.
The supernatural was the unique selling point for me, that’s what makes it stand out from the other dystopian fiction I’ve read. Apart from ridiculously advanced technology, other novels and series I have read have been entirely plausible. A great wealth divide and killing for entertainment? That’s seems to be the way the world is going. In Gone, there is not reasonable explanation for the disappearance, and don’t get your hopes up about getting one. I loved the hints to the nuclear power plant. Is it to blame or worse, who will control it?
Another UPS (my word of the moment, not sorry), is the power struggle. Before, we have seen this with rich versus poor or young versus old. That’s not the case here as children don’t carry too much for money. After the adults disappear, most of the children revelled in eating sweeties and staying up past their bedtime. They didn’t think much about raiding daddy’s wallet or claiming land. The land is owned by all and is declared: the Fayz (Fallout Alley Youth Zone). The rival comes from a secret. This is a promising start to a series. I expect many more twists and reveals as these children grow… that is up until the age of fourteen years and 363 days.