The Gone series continues.
It has been four years since the invisible dome created by an alien virus stunned the world and left hundreds of children to fend for themselves inside. Now, meteors are striking the Earth with even deadlier effects: mutating human beings into monsters. Some of these new mutants use their powers for selfish reasons, while others team up to use them for good. Meanwhile, shady government agencies are doing their best to contain the fallout. New characters and old favorites abound in this follow-up, which feels heavily influenced by comic books and the author’s pseudonymous work on the Animorphs series. Grant’s action sequences have improved, crisply composed here with exciting powers and a grounded sense of destruction. There are casualties, and the author doesn’t skip over the collateral damage these characters create. The psychological toll helps shade the author’s broad characterizations. The most complex and interesting characters are the ones brought over from the earlier books, but the new faces engage easily enough. The cast is fairly diverse, covering a wide variety of skin colors, sexual orientations, and gender identities. The setup for the sequel is blessedly minimal, growing naturally out of the story. Longtime fans will surely be excited by the novel’s final moments.
A bombastic, engaging start to a sequel series full of potential. (Science fiction. 14-17)