I started reading the Gone series when I was fifteen and I loved it so much that I would buy and read the books as they came out. Then for some unknown reason, when I acquired the final book in 2013 I didn’t read it! I honestly don’t know why it took me THREE YEARS to finish this series. I even got to meet Michael Grant and have my books signed, and all I could think was “I can’t believe I’m meeting him and I haven’t even finished his series!”
Yeah I’m horrible at finishing series, especially because I don’t like to marathon them. A little break between books in a series is always a good thing for me because when I eventually do pick up the next book, I’ve had a chance to miss the characters and the world. It always feels very comfortable and familiar coming back to a series after a short interlude. However, by “short interlude” I mean a short enough time that you don’t forget what happened and three years between Fear and Light is a bit ridiculous. Well, now I’ve finished the Gone series and I have to say it was fantastic! I highly recommend you pick this series up, starting with Gone, then followed by Hunger, Lies, Plague, Fear, and finally, Light.
So what is this series actually about, you may ask? I won’t say anything specific about Light, but the basic premise of the first book is that one day, in a small town in California, all of the people over the age of fourteen suddenly vanish. Poof, gone. In their place appears a large dome that confines the remaining population to the town and surrounding area. The kids are trapped, scared, and confused, and the series follows our characters as they struggle against hunger, desperation, the elements, and each other. I can’t sing the praises of this series highly enough!
One aspect of this series that leaps off the page and sets it apart for me is that these books are incredibly violent and disturbing. This almost sounds like I love the violence, but that’s not what I’m saying! However, one must admit that it makes for a captivating read that triggers incredibly strong reactions of disgust and horror. Readers of this series will know the kind of violence I’m talking about: psycho kids getting off on killing and torture, kids being eaten alive by carnivorous worms, a plague that causes you to literally cough up your lungs, and battle after battle featuring people being burned alive, limbs being torn off etc. I know this sounds absolutely insane, and it is. But funnily enough, it wasn’t until I read the fourth book, Plague, that I even realized just how bad it could get. It was the first time I said to myself, “wow, this is incredibly violent.” That being said, I love any kind of book that can pull strong emotions or reactions from me, even if it is repulsion or terror.
However, don’t let that turn you off because this series is incredible! For every negative reaction these books triggered, there were twice as many positive feelings, and I fell in love with the characters and the mystery of the story. The Gone series has an extraordinary ensemble cast including Sam (the hero leader), Astrid (the genius), Diana (the snarky bitch), Caine (the charismatic evil brat), Edilio (the stoic, loyal, incredible hero) Brianna (the bubbly hyper girl), and Drake (the legitimate sadistic psychopath). And that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to characters! Following these kids throughout their hardships in the FAYZ is such a wild ride, it is horrifying, and it leaves you breathlessly cheering for our heroes, hoping beyond hope that they will survive and discover what the hell is happening to them.
As a series finale, Light was top notch. It was action packed, we received resolution for every single character, and we got all the answers we’ve been looking for throughout the six books. I was extremely satisfied with the ending, which is an awesome feeling after investing so many years and emotions into a series. I can see myself revisiting Gone in years to come, and maybe even using the first book in an English class of mine someday. It’s certainly very Lord of the Flies, and Michael Grant admits that he drew inspiration from that story. I don’t know what else I can really say except that I highly recommend that everyone give it a try, even though it’s not for the faint of heart! Give it a try, and if you’re like me, you will fall in love with the characters and their journey enough that you can handle the grimacing, wincing, and shuddering you will suffer at some of the craziness. Definitely worth the ride!
To learn more about Michael Grant and his books, you can visit his website here –> http://themichaelgrant.com/
You can visit the WIKIA page dedicated to this world here –> http://gone.wikia.com/wiki/WikiFAYZ