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GONE by Michael Grant

GONE

By Michael Grant

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: July 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-06-144876-8
Publisher: HarperTeen

Teens survive in a shifted world. Everyone in Perdido Beach over the age of 13 vanished one morning, leaving Sam and his friends to rebuild their community. Facing pressure from brutal prep-school interlopers, Sam hastens to uncover the mystery of the disappearances and gain control over his new powers—not-quite-laser beams that shoot from his hands and burn his enemies—all before his rapidly approaching 14th birthday. Seeking to blend David Lubar’s Hidden Talents (1999) with Lord of the Flies, Grant’s amalgamation of supernatural gifts and adult-free society instead leaves readers confused and unsatisfied. Weak characters and tepid action scenes create a sense of ennui that receives no respite from the convoluted plot and half-formed explanations. Sophisticated horror fans will recognize the mutated creatures and indescribable underground evil as a pale nod to Stephen King’s Desperation (1996). Grant attempts to deal with too much, from autism to bulimia to divided families, and the thin writing is unable to sustain the weight of those issues. (Fantasy. 12 & up)