Gone (Gone Series #1)

Gone (Gone Series #1)

4.5 1352
by Michael Grant

View All Available Formats & Editions

The first in New York Times bestselling author Michael Grant's breathtaking dystopian sci-fi saga, Gone is a page-turning thriller that invokes the classic The Lord of the Flies along with the horror of Stephen King.

In the blink of an eye, everyone disappears. Gone. Except for the young. There are teens, but not one single adult.

…  See more details below


The first in New York Times bestselling author Michael Grant's breathtaking dystopian sci-fi saga, Gone is a page-turning thriller that invokes the classic The Lord of the Flies along with the horror of Stephen King.

In the blink of an eye, everyone disappears. Gone. Except for the young. There are teens, but not one single adult. Just as suddenly, there are no phones, no internet, no television. No way to get help. And no way to figure out what's happened. Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents—unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers—that grow stronger by the day. It's a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen, a fight is shaping up. Townies against rich kids. Bullies against the weak. Powerful against powerless. And time is running out: on your birthday, you disappear just like everyone else. . . .

Michael Grant's Gone has been praised for its compelling storytelling, multidimensional characters, and multiple points of view.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Booklist (starred review)
“A tour de force that will leave readers dazed, disturbed, and utterly breathless.”
Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) (Starred Review)
“If Stephen King had written Lord of the Flies, it might have been a little like this novel.”
"A tour de force that will leave readers dazed, disturbed, and utterly breathless."
“Extraordinarily skillful pacing, which leaves the reader constantly on the verge of a new discovery.”
Children's Literature - Julia Beiker
One day everyone exists and life is boring. The next day all the adults and teenagers over the age fourteen disappear. At first the freedom brings chaos and pleasure for most—until the hierarchy establishes itself and the bullies start to make their move. Now everyone must decide which side to align themselves with, which side will provide the most protection and end up being the winning one, good or evil. Of course our hero Sam does not want to be on either side, but his previous heroic deeds have the good side looking towards him to provide leadership and help them organize against the evil. Do not expect anything to be as it seems for the reality turns quickly into fantasy as the premise of this book takes all of us out of the real world and into one created by author Michael Grant. I feel that the characters are developed well, but there are too many to keep separate, even though the plot is your basic good against evil. I also found my mind drifting as the story seemed to drag on with no solution in sight, until all of a sudden our hero takes a stand and the problem is solved, which felt melodramatic. The story could have been condensed, which would probably have increased its appeal to a wider audience. Sometimes more should be less. The rapid twists and turns and extreme page lengths make the book more appropriate for the truly avid science fiction reader. Reviewer: Julia Beiker
AGERANGE: Ages 11 to 15.

It is all over in the blink of an eye. One moment there are adults, and the next everyone over fourteen is gone. Where did they go? Are they coming back? In a short time, the kids realize that they are on their own, and the situation devolves into chaos and fear. Things get worse when the juvenile delinquents from Coates Academy, led by the charismatic Caine, take over Perdido Beach. In addition to charm, Caine also has the power to move things with his mind-big things-but he is not the only one with "powers." Sam, a townie and Caine's biggest rival, can burn things with light that shoots from his hands. As they adjust to this new world, the freaks (kids with powers) and the normals begin to choose sides. A battle between good and evil looms, but the end of this book is not the end of the story. If Stephen King had written Lord of the Flies, it might have been a little like this novel. It is difficult to say what element of the book is the most unnerving. Is it the original, unexplainable event that is continuing to cause animal and human mutation? Or is it that a few, inexperienced teens are forced into creating a new world order out of anarchy? Complex issues, from peer pressure to the science of nuclear power, are addressed with the teen audience in mind. The author is an old hand at creating long-running series books. This reader is excited to see where he will take her with this new series. Reviewer: Stacey Hayman
April 2008 (Vol. 31, No. 1)

Jennifer Lee
When everyone over the age of fourteen suddenly vanishes, San Perdido Beach, California is never the same. Not only are all of the adults gone, but there are no working telephones, no Internet access, no cable, and only children left behind to deal with the aftermath. Fires begin from appliances left on when the adults vanished. There are no firemen to put out the fires. Cars smash into buildings and each other, after being relieved of their drivers, but there are no emergency workers or doctors to help care for the children who are injured. What caused this all to happen? Kids must care for younger children as well as themselves. And those kids all look to Sam Temple, nicknamed "School Bus Sam" for his heroics in saving the kids in a neardisaster on a school bus a couple of years before. Will Sam be able to bring order where there is chaos and confusion? Will the adults return? And what is the FAYZ? A definite page-turner that will keep readers hooked from the very first paragraph on. Reviewer: Jennifer Lee
KLIATT - Cara Chancellor
At 10:17 a.m., Sam Temple was learning about the Civil War, Astrid Ellison was taking notes in her ninth-grade class, and Lana Lazar was driving home with her grandfather. At 10:18 a.m., Sam's lecture went silent, Astrid's entire class vanished, and Lana's truck drove off the road. All grownups—everyone 14 and over—had disappeared. The children of Perdido Beach soon discover they are imprisoned in a 20-mile-radius "fallout zone" with the students of the nearby Coates Academy, a private school for the black sheep of wealthy families. As the days go by, it becomes unclear which they have to fear more: the mystical Coates hierarchy or their own birthdays…when those turning 14 "poof" just like everyone else. Gone is decidedly an above average read, but one that ends with nearly as many questions as it begins. Part Kid Nation and part Left Behind, with just a dash of Cain and Abel, the story is most impressive for its extraordinarily skillful pacing, which leaves the reader constantly on the verge of another discovery (none of which disappoint). There is some occasional heavy gore and violence, but neither is gratuitous, nor will they spoil this remarkable book for the vast audience to which it will appeal. Reviewer: Cara Chancellor
School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up

"One minute the teacher was talking about the Civil War. And the next minute he was gone." Just vanished-along with everyone else over the age of 13 in a 20-mile radius around Perdido Beach, CA. The children left behind find themselves battling hunger, fear, and one another in a novel strongly reminiscent of William Golding's Lord of the Flies . Things go from bad to worse when some of the children begin exhibiting strange powers, animals show signs of freakish mutations, and people disappear as soon as they turn 14. Though an excellent premise for a novel, Gone suffers from a couple of problems. First, it is just too long. After opening with a bang, the initial 200 or so pages limp along before the action begins to really pick up. Secondly, based on the themes of violence, death, and implied sexual intimidation, this is clearly written for an older teen audience who may not appreciate the fact that no one in the book is older than 13. In spite of its faults, Gone is a gripping and gritty read with enough creepy gruesomeness to satisfy readers who have a taste for the macabre. Give this one to the readers who aren't quite ready for Stephen King or Dean Koontz.-Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK

Kirkus Reviews
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)

Read More

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Gone Series, #1
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.46(w) x 11.28(h) x 1.36(d)
620L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt


Chapter One

299 hours, 54 minutes

One minute the teacher was talking about the Civil War. And the next minute he was gone.



No "poof." No flash of light. No explosion.

Sam Temple was sitting in third-period history class staring blankly at the blackboard, but far away in his head. In his head he was down at the beach, he and Quinn. Down at the beach with their boards, yelling, bracing for that first plunge into cold Pacific water.

For a moment he thought he had imagined it, the teacher disappearing. For a moment he thought he'd slipped into a daydream.

Sam turned to Mary Terrafino, who sat just to his left. "You saw that, right?"

Mary was staring hard at the place where the teacher had been.

"Um, where's Mr. Trentlake?" It was Quinn Gaither, Sam's best, maybe only, friend. Quinn sat right behind Sam. The two of them favored window seats because sometimes if you caught just the right angle, you could actually see a tiny sliver of sparkling water between the school buildings and the homes beyond.

"He must have left," Mary said, not sounding like she believed it.

Edilio, a new kid Sam found potentially interesting, said, "No, man. Poof." He did a thing with his fingers that was a pretty good illustration of the concept.

Kids were staring at one another, craning their necks this way and that, giggling nervously. No one was scared. No one was crying. The whole thing seemed kind of funny.

"Mr. Trentlake poofed?" said Quinn, with a suppressed giggle in his voice.

"Hey," someone said, "where's Josh?"

Heads turned to look.

"Was he here today?"

"Yes, he was here. He was right here next to me." Sam recognized the voice. Bette. Bouncing Bette.

"He just, you know, disappeared," Bette said. "Just like Mr. Trentlake."

The door to the hallway opened. Every eye locked on it. Mr. Trentlake was going to step in, maybe with Josh, and explain how he had pulled off this magic trick, and then get back to talking in his excited, strained voice about the Civil War nobody cared about.

But it wasn't Mr. Trentlake. It was Astrid Ellison, known as Astrid the Genius, because she was . . . well, she was a genius. Astrid was in all the AP classes the school had. In some subjects she was taking online courses from the university.

Astrid had shoulder-length blond hair, and liked to wear starched white short-sleeved blouses that never failed to catch Sam's eye. Astrid was out of his league, Sam knew that. But there was no law against thinking about her.

"Where's your teacher?" Astrid asked.

There was a collective shrug. "He poofed," Quinn said, like maybe it was funny.

"Isn't he out in the hallway?" Mary asked.

Astrid shook her head. "Something weird is happening. My math study group . . . there were just three of us, plus the teacher. They all just disappeared."

"What?" Sam said.

Astrid looked right at him. He couldn't look away like he normally would, because her gaze wasn't challenging, skeptical like it usually was: it was scared. Her normally sharp, discerning blue eyes were wide, with way too much white showing. "They're gone. They all just . . . disappeared."

"What about your teacher?" Edilio said.

"She's gone, too," Astrid said.


"Poof," Quinn said, not giggling so much now, starting to think maybe it wasn't a joke after all.

Sam noticed a sound. More than one, really. Distant car alarms, coming from town. He stood up, feeling self-conscious, like it wasn't really his place to do so, and walked on stiff legs to the door. Astrid moved away so he could step past her. He could smell her shampoo as he went by.

Sam looked left, down toward room 211, the room where Astrid's math wonks met. The next door down, 213, a kid stuck out his head. He had a half-scared, half-giddy expression, like someone buckling into a roller coaster.

The other direction, down at 207, kids were laughing too loud. Freaky loud. Fifth graders. Across the hall, room 208, three sixth graders suddenly burst out into the hallway and stopped dead. They stared at Sam, like he might yell at them.

Perdido Beach School was a small-town school, with everyone from kindergarten to ninth grade all in one building, elementary and middle school together. High school was an hour's drive away in San Luis.

Sam walked toward Astrid's classroom. She and Quinn were right behind him.

The classroom was empty. Desk chairs, the teacher's chair, all empty. Math books lay open on three of the desks. Notebooks, too. The computers, a row of six aged Macs, all showed flickering blank screens.

On the chalkboard you could quite clearly see "Polyn."

"She was writing the word 'polynomial,'" Astrid said in a church-voice whisper.

"Yeah, I was going to guess that," Sam said dryly.

"I had a polynomial once," Quinn said. "My doctor removed it."

Astrid ignored the weak attempt at humor. "She disappeared in the middle of writing the 'o.' I was looking right at her."

Sam made a slight motion, pointing. A piece of chalk lay on the floor, right where it would have fallen if someone were writing the word "polynomial"—whatever that meant—and had disappeared before rounding off the "o."

"This is not normal," Quinn said. Quinn was taller than Sam, stronger than Sam, at least as good a surfer. But Quinn, with his half-crazy half-smile and tendency to dress in what could only be called a costume—today it was baggy shorts, Army-surplus desert boots, a pink golf shirt, and a gray fedora he'd found in his grandfather's attic—put out a weird-guy vibe that alienated some and scared others. Quinn was his own clique, which was maybe why he and Sam clicked.

Sam Temple kept a lower profile. He stuck to jeans and understated T-shirts, nothing that drew attention to himself. He had spent most of his life in Perdido Beach, attending this school, and everybody knew who he was, but few people were quite sure what he was. He was a surfer who didn't hang out with surfers. He was bright, but not a brain. He was good-looking, but not so that girls thought of him as a hottie.

Gone. Copyright © by Michael Grant. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Read More

Meet the Author

Michael Grant has spent much of his life on the move. Raised in a military family, he attended ten schools in five states, as well as three schools in France. Even as an adult he kept moving, and in fact he became a writer in part because it was one of the few jobs that wouldn’t tie him down. His fondest dream is to spend a year circumnavigating the globe and visiting every continent. Yes, even Antarctica. He lives in California with his wife, Katherine Applegate, and their two children. You can visit him online at www.themichaelgrant.com.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >