That one little word says exactly how I feel about Michael Grant‘s series about a group of Southern California teens who are trapped in a Dionysian apocalyptic world by a giant bubble that has been created by a 5-year-old autistic demi-god.
I read the first book in the series in August of this year. I was immediately hooked on the characters, their story and the tiny surfing community of the fictional Perdido Beach where everyone over the age of fifteen suddenly disappears.
Perdido Beach is soon renamed the FAYZ by the remaining children who are broken into factions. The first two factions are the “Freaks” and the “Normals.” Further factions are broken down into the Sam Temple camp and his half-brother Caine Soren, as the names imply Sam is the good guy and Caine is not.
The other faction that affects all the kids beside the actual bubble itself is the Gaiaphage, an outer space virus that was getting a piggy-back ride from a meteor that crashed through the Perdido Beach nuclear power station.
The trials and tribulations of the stranded kids has run the gamut from carnivorous teeth sprouting worms to bugs that eat you from inside out. Of course there is still the disappearing at fifteen hurdle to overcome, but both Sam and Caine have proven that you don’t have to “poof out” if you don’t want to.
The books in the series are as follows:
Light the sixth and final book in the series will not be out until April 2013. I, for one, cannot wait for the finale of this outstanding series.
The Gone series is classified as fiction for Young Adults or Teens. I am neither and I have been swept away by Grant’s world. Each book in the series has followed the character’s development, deaths and decisions.
I actually sat down and in a three-day “read-a-thon” plowed my way through Lies, Plague and Fear. It was only after I’d downloaded Fear and read it as an E-book that I realised my error. If I’d waited for the book to be available via the library, I could have save myself the agony of waiting for the last book to be published months away.
Michael Grant has shown us what Lord of the Flies could be in the 21st century. Both tales are of nuclear catastrophes and of the effects that it had on a group of ungoverned youths. Grant’s FAYZ bubble is an island by everything but name and the kids in it are facing similar struggles to the plane wreck survivors in Lord of the Flies.
The addition of “super powers” in some of the kids and the “joker in the deck” of Coates Academy full of rich kid juvenile delinquents just makes the playing field that much more colorful.
I would recommend this series full of unforgettable characters to anyone, young or old. The villains of the series are not cardboard cutouts and some, Drake Merwin aka Whiphand especially, are terrifying. By the end of Fear we’ve learned that outside the bubble the “real world” exists and that it is aware of the bubble and is trying to penetrate it.
I have read the odd review where they stated that the kids did not seem like “real” teenagers. I have one thing to say to that, but since this is a series aimed at young adults, I’ll restrict it to a G rating. What a crock! I work with teenagers everyday (well I did until my accident and then heart attack) and I can identify with Grants depiction of Sam, Astrid, Caine, Diana, heck all the kids in the FAYZ.
I have, so far, written two reviews about this series. The Gone and Hunger reviews were written literally minutes after completing the book. This review took a bit longer as I sat and digested the enormity of what Michael Grant has achieved with his story of the FAYZ and all those in it and their families outside of it.
It also took a couple of days to get over the disappointment of realising that I won’t know the outcome of the characters until April of next year. The sign of any good author is the trait of being able to leave his readers wanting to hear more about his creation.
Grant has done that no question. I am a Michael Grant fan now and like a true fan I’ll be reading everything else by him that I can get my hands on. If for no other reason than it will make the waiting for the final book of Gone that little bit easier.
- Hunger by Michael Grant: A ‘Filling’ Read (mikesfilmtalk.com)
- Fear by Michael Grant – review (guardian.co.uk)
- Amber’s Goodreads review of Gone by Michael Grant (ambermarshall.wordpress.com)
- Gone (citysmokeandsummerbreeze.wordpress.com)
- Teen Book Review (teengirlsthatwrite.wordpress.com)
- Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts: It’s All In the Eyes (mikesfilmtalk.com)
- Scandi-Crime? (mikesfilmtalk.com)