Can’t Get Enough–The GONE Series by Michael Grant

Sometimes there’s a book series that you just can’t get enough of. The characters and scenes and dialogue sticks with you well after you’ve finished the books. If the series is on-going and you have to wait for new books to come out, it’s pure agony waiting. You read the books within a few days. I’ve finished some in one day. You can’t stop talking about them. You recommend them to everyone you know. You wonder how you became so fangirly. And then you start dreaming about them.

Yeah, well, that’s how this series makes me feel. Last night, I had a dream that involved characters from the Gone series by Michael Grant.  I don’t typically remember my dreams (such a shame, they seem interesting), but I do remember some of the characters in my dream, though I have no idea what exactly was happening. The other day, I had a dream that I was going to be meeting Michael Grant only to have my mother end up meeting him instead. Which doesn’t make any sense because she isn’t big on reading. Though I think she would love these books if she did because she’s a big horror fan. But anyways.

The Gone series are about a group of kids (under the age of fifteen) who find themselves alone after everyone fifteen and older just disappears. They find their town surrounded by a translucent dome that hurts to touch and keeps them from leaving. Basically, they’re in a fishbowl. Kids begin to panic. The world, as they know it, is in complete chaos. Good kids battle vs. the bad ones for control of the town. Food becomes scarce. There are scary things in the dark. There’s sickness and death and fear.

Some of the kids also have powers. Some can shoot light from their hands. Others can run so fast you can’t even see them. Some can move objects and teleport and heal. There’s even some really weird powers. These books are YA but many adults (like me, though I adore YA and always will) love them as well.  Some people like to nitpick the books. Well, I’m not one of those people. If I love a book series as much as this one, I don’t focus on what I didn’t like. I focus on the stuff that grabs my heart and refuses to let me go.

Now, I won’t give anything away, of course, because spoilers suck. I’ve made the mistake plenty of times to go on the internet looking up the books only to discover someone has left a spoiler. Or some person you know completely spoils it.

I just read the fifth book in the series, Fear, and before I read it, I decided to wiki the last four books because I couldn’t remember all the details of what happened. I also had no time to re-read the older books, which is what I typically do when a new Gone book is out. Since I devour these books within days, it doesn’t keep me too long from the new one. Anyway, as I was trying to remember what had happened in the last four (these books typically come out once a year so sometimes you forget certain details), I stumbled onto some major spoilers. Not cool. Spoiler warnings: please use them.

What makes this series so good? Well, the writing is easy to get hooked into. Sometimes I actually feel like I’m right there with the characters, which is always a good thing to me. Even when things get scary. These books, in my experience and several others, are really fast reads.

The plot is also always interesting and something you never expect. There’s usually a main plot sprinkled with several other subplots. Sometimes several subplots can be distracting, but I can’t recall ever having a problem with them in this series. And honestly, you never know what’s going to happen with the plot. It’s like riding a roller coaster you’ve never been on blindfolded. You just hang on and let it take you wherever it leads to. These books are like that. Anything, and I mean anything, can happen.

What really makes the books though are the characters. You can have awesome writing and a cool plot, but if your readers can’t relate to or can’t stand your characters, well, that’s going to be a problem. As a reader, I don’t like books with characters I don’t like. Boring, shallow, or just really unlikable people are hard to care about. But Michael Grant makes you care about his characters.

None of the characters are alike. They are all different in one way or another. They are so three-dimensional that in one book, you can hate a character, and in another book, begin loving the same character. A bad character can make you feel sorry for them. I ended up loving these kids and feeling sad when bad things happened to them. I wanted to cry when some of them died. I wanted to strangle Michael Grant for killing off characters I loved, or even ones I felt sorry for. Characters who make you feel will be sticking around for a while.

Stephen King adores this series.

I love Stephen King. I may not love all of his work, but I love quite a bit of it. In a way, Stephen King and Michael Grant are alike. They both create characters you care about. They both have horrifying things happen to them. Their books and their characters check into my brain and never check out.

Stephen King loves these books. He hasn’t made this a secret. The latest Gone books have blurbs from Stephen King on the front and/or back cover. One of the bad characters are on Stephen King’s top villains list, too. I won’t spoil it for you. Stephen King actually wrote a letter to Michael Grant to tell him how much he likes the series. If Stephen King wrote me such a letter, I might faint. When one of the best-selling, much-loved authors love your books, I imagine it’s one of the greatest feelings in the world.

Michael Grant also seems pretty cool. He accepts friend requests on Goodreads and even Facebook. He does YouTube videos answering questions from his fans. I’ve seen him comment on blog posts. I find that really awesome. I won’t deny that I’m kind of crossing my fingers and hoping that maybe he’ll even comment on this blog post. I can always dream.

So if you like YA (young adult books), I definitely recommend giving the first book in this series a try. If you like it, keep reading. If you love it, keep reading. If you’re like me, you have no choice but to keep reading. The last book comes out next year. While little pieces of me slowly die over the wait, I hope it will be worth it. I can not wait. And then again, a part of me is sad that it’s going to be over. The last book, it better be epic. Please be epic.

Mr. Grant, thank you for turning me into a madly obsessed reader who slowly dies as she waits for the next book to come out.


J.N. Cahill

Writer. Artist. Dreamer.


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