Gone (novel series)

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Gone
Michael Grant's Gone
First edition cover of Gone
Gone
Hunger
Lies
Plague
Fear
Light
Author Michael Grant
Country United States
Language English
Genre Supernatural
Horror
Science fiction
Dystopia
Thriller
Publisher HarperCollins
Published 2008–2013
Media type Print (hardcover and paperback)
No. of books 6

Gone is a bestselling book series written by Michael Grant.[1] The series is centered on the fictional American town of Perdido Beach and surrounding area, in which every human 15 and older vanishes. The town and surrounding areas become encased within an impenetrable energy barrier, with many of its inhabitants developing supernatural powers. The books follow the exploits of the protagonist, Sam Temple, as he battles antagonists Caine Soren and Drake Merwin, as well as a mysterious, malevolent creature, known as the Darkness or the gaiaphage (derived from Gaia, a Greek personification of the Earth, and "phage", from the Greek φαγεῖν phagein "to devour"). The first novel in this series, titled Gone, was originally published in 2008. The second book, Hunger, was released a year later, followed by the third book, Lies, on May 4, 2010. The fourth book, released on April 5, 2011, is titled Plague. The fifth book, Fear, was released on April 3, 2012 in the US, although it was released as early as March 23 in Australia and Hong Kong. The sixth book is titled Light and was released on April 2, 2013. The series - "a fun, no-brainer read directed towards teenagers" - has been hailed as "ridiculously popular" and "a sensation in the young adult world".[2][3]

Novels[edit]

Gone[edit]

Every person at the age of 15 or over vanishes from the town of Perdido Beach, causing great confusion and chaos. Friends Sam Temple, Astrid Ellison and Quinn Gaither set out to explore the area, discovering a barrier cutting the area off from the outside world with a radius centered at a nuclear power plant located outside of town. The area within the barrier is nicknamed the Fallout Alley Youth Zone or FAYZ for short. Exploring this nuclear power plant, the group finds Astrid's severely autistic 4-year-old brother Pete, along with a map marking radiation patterns from a 15-year-old explosion at the plant that lines up exactly with the energy barrier. The town children look to Sam as a leader, but chaos ensues. Sam and Pete are revealed to have supernatural powers caused by the power plant's explosion 15 years ago. Upon the group's return to Perdido Beach, its members encounter vehicles bringing students from nearby Coates Academy. A Coates student, Caine Soren, impress the townsfolk and he becomes leader, but Sam and Astrid are suspicious of his motives. Some of the students and others in town have supernatural powers, including Lana Arwen Lazar (who has healing powers, which she discovered after she and her dog, Patrick, were wounded after her grandfather vanished, causing his truck to crash, and they were attacked by a coyote pack that abducted her earlier.) Lana encounters a pack of coyotes, who can talk. They take her to a cave, where something the coyotes call "The Darkness" lives. Caine Soren, who believes he is the most powerful mutant, takes a group and returns to Coates Academy, discovering that when a person turns 15, they are confronted by something they desire before vanishing. Feeling threatened, Caine enlists the help of local bullies to kidnap Sam and Astrid, who have fallen in love. He also discovers that he and Sam are twin brothers. Quinn frees Sam and Astrid is freed by her brother Pete (who can teleport). Caine instructs a psychopathic Coates student, Drake, to kill Asrid but Sam saves her. Sam's group (Astrid, Quinn, Pete, and Edilio Escobar, a boy who was in their class) escape town and find Lana. They escape the coyotes but are captured by Drake and imprisoned within Coates Academy. Caine encased the hands of anyone with powers in concrete, as their powers come from their hands. Sam's group escapes Coates Academy, with Pete's help, together with various Coates students, and returns to Perdido Beach to fight Caine. Meanwhile, Drake abducts Lana as he thinks she can help him get his arm back after Sam had burned it off. They reach a creature known as the "Darkness" (also known as the gaiaphage) down a mineshaft which uses Lana's power to give Drake a whip for an arm giving him the nickname "whip hand". Drake takes the children at the daycare center hostage and forces the town's residents to congregate in the square. Caine attacks the town with the help of the coyotes, and Sam and Caine fight in the town square. The two turn 15 and encounter what seems to be their mother, but Caine understands what is happening and refuses to go with her. Sam follows suit and neither "poof", making Sam the oldest in the FAYZ and Caine second. Caine and his group returned to Coates Academy while Sam becomes the leader of Perdido Beach, after many children where killed in the attack.

Hunger[edit]

Hunger is set three months after Gone. When all kids in the FAYZ have wasted most of their food and let it spoil, Sam asks for a group of people to get on a bus to help pick plants out in the farmlands. A kid named E.Z. dies when he goes to the fields to pick cabbages as mutated worm-like creatures, called Zekes, attacked him. Meanwhile, one of the kids, Duck Zhang, unintentionally falls through a pool, as his mutant power is to change his density. He discovers an underground cave filled with mutated blue bats. These taste disgusting to humans, but can be fed to the Zekes in exchange for children being allowed to pick food from the fields without being attacked. Small-time bully Zil believes those with powers are treated better at the expense of normal humans, fuels widespread prejudice against people with powers. Zil creates the "Human Crew", an organization that discriminates against these "freaks". Caine wakes up from a three-month coma and decides to take over the nuclear power plant. He instructs Diana to bring Computer Jack back to Coates so he can take control of the plant. Caine takes hostages at the plant, but they have no food so Sam decides to wait for them to give up, or they will starve. During this time, one of Zil's friends is accidentally killed by a freak, Hunter, who has the power to microwave the brains of people and animals.(During an argument, Zil attacked Hunter with a crowbar and hunter put his hands up to protect himself and accidentally hit their roommate who was trying to stop the fight.) Zil and a mob find Hunter and nearly beat him to death and decide to hang him from the church, convincing the rest of the kids to help for a share of a deer Hunter killed. After ending up losing all electricity Caine mentally receives a message from the gaiaphage telling him to bring it a uranium rod from the nuclear power plant, as the gaiaphage survives on uranium. Lana has also been receiving messages from the gaiaphage and attempts to blow up the mine shaft, but she fails, falling under the gaiaphage's control. Edilio Escobar and Dekka travel to the mine shaft in order to destroy it, after realizing what Caine is planning to do. Dekka can suspend gravity, and this would collapse the mine shaft. Edilio is shot by Lana, who is under complete control of the gaiaphage. It is revealed that the gaiaphage plans to use Lana's healing powers, along with the uranium rod from the nuclear plant, to create a new, near-invincible body for itself. Astrid determines that the gaiaphage was created by the accident at the nuclear plant 15 years ago, and that the accident may also be the cause of her peers' supernatural powers. Sam and Duck Zhang, who can control his density, travel to the mine shaft in order to fight the gaiaphage. Caine escapes the nuclear plant and uses his powers to bring a uranium rod to the mine shaft, but, upon seeing his love interest Diana Ladris injured by Drake, throws the rod at his chest, knocking him into the mine shaft and collapsing its entrance. Duck creates a hole in the ground leading to the gaiaphage and is then thrown by Caine into the hole. While falling, Duck becomes heavier than a mountain and smashes into the gaiaphage, dragging the creature down to the bottom of the barrier surrounding the FAYZ but dying in the process. Lana heals Sam, Diana, Edilio and Dekka. Orc and Howard restore order to the town, and stop Hunter's execution, saving Astrid and Little Pete, who attempted to break up the mob but where attacked by it. Caine's attack on the nuclear plant shuts of all electricity to the town and it cannot be restored. Sam steps down as president, and a council is formed in his place. A now disfigured Hunter, who was found guilty of murder and banished by the council, decides to use his new power to hunt food for the kids in atonement for killing his friend. The book ends on a cliffhanger when the readers realize Brittney, a girl killed during Caine's attack on the nuclear plant, is still alive and buried in the plaza.

Lies[edit]

Lies is set seven months after Gone. The town is run by a council, headed by Astrid. Zil's anti-freak Human Crew have taken over a small section of Perdido Beach. Orsay, who has the mutant power to see people's dreams, claims she can see the dreams of the children's parents. She is dubbed the "prophetess" and holds nightly rituals to give children messages from their family. Orsay is helped by the mysterious Nerezza, who urges Orsay to continue to use her power and tell children to "step-out" when they turn fifteen. A young girl, Jill, is beaten due to some people's knowledge of her powers (she can transfix people by song, a siren) and falls into an empty grave. Sam discovers her and is told by Edilio that she was in the grave of Brittney, who died in Hunger. Sam learns of Brittney's empty grave and of Orsay's rituals, but does not tell Astrid this during the next council meeting. Astrid discovers this and she and Sam argue, and they break up. Astrid tells the council to claim that Orsay is lying and leading them to suicide, as they believe "stepping-out" results in death. The townsfolk learn she has lied and lose faith in the council. The reader is informed that the outside world is attempting to break the FAYZ barrier, and all the adults from inside the FAYZ are alive. Children who "step-out" at fifteen appear outside the barrier in the normal world, and it is later revealed that those who die also reappear, alive, outside the barrier. Meanwhile, on an island far out to sea, several children attempt to survive in the abandoned but well-stocked mansion of their adoptive celebrity parents. Caine, Diana and the remaining Coates academy students struggle to survive and resort to cannibalism. They hear of the island with the mansion and plan to steal boats from Perdido beach undetected, to go to the island to find food. Caine makes a plan with Zil. Zil riles up a mob and sets fire to a large section of the town at night, allowing Caine to reach the Marina undetected. Sam attempts to stop but fails. Sam and many others believe they have seen Drake, who is dead. Unsure how to proceed, Sam leaves Perdido beach. Zil wished for chaos to ensue after the fire but instead calm prevails. Astrid announces a set of laws and steps down, knowing she will no longer be trusted. Drake then appears and Zil uses the opportunity to cause chaos. Most the townsfolk flee to highway and beach. Little Pete, who has been playing on his GameBoy (which has been out of batteries for months), is revealed to be controlling events in the FAYZ through the game, and it is hinted that Pete himself is the Gaiaphage, which was not killed in the last book. Nerezza eventually attempts to kill Pete, but fails when Astrid intervenes. Nerezza is an avatar of the Gaiaphage, created by Pete, who manipulated Orsay. Mary, who is turning fifteen, intends to "step-out" and lead all the daycare children off a cliff, convinced that killing them will cause them to reappear alive outside the FAYZ. Dekka suspends gravity and rescues the children, but Mary steps-out. In the chaos, Little Pete's GameBoy is broken. He screams, causing the energy barrier surrounding the area to disappear for a brief moment. Astrid and many others see the normal world beyond, but Pete regains control and the barrier forms again. The Gaiaphage is revealed to have been attempting to use Brittney's immortality and Lana's healing powers to bring Drake back from the dead, sharing the same body as Brittney. Sam returns, fighting Drake long enough for him to turn into Brittney. Sam decides not to kill the two but rather have them locked up guarded by Orc, as he experiences no pain at being whipped by Drake. Caine, Diana and the two remaining Coates children reach the mansion island and meet the five children there. Suspicious, the children drug Caine's food and successfully escape in a helicopter. Throughout the book, many characters have fallen sick by a flu-like disease, foreshadowing events in Plague.

Plague[edit]

Perdido Beach is now run by Albert, whose introduction of money and paid labor to the town has placed him in a position of considerable power. Water supplies are running out and Albert sends Sam and others on a mission to find a new water source, Lake Tramonto, on the far side of the FAYZ. Meanwhile, an infectious plague leading those who catch it to almost certain death is spreading in Perdido Beach, and everyone is instructed not to leave their homes to stop the spread. On the way to the lake, Sam's group encounters Hunter who was banished from the FAYZ. He has become infested with parasitic bugs, which have begun to eat him from the inside out. After revealing that he was unable to use his powers on himself, Hunter tearfully begs Sam to kill him, believing the bugs to be his punishment for being bad (accidentally killing someone). Sam agrees, but Hunters death releases bugs that cannot be killed by Sam. A coyote who leads them to creatures that are causing parasitic insect infections. The group attacks the creatures, but Dekka becomes infested with insects in the process. When near the lake, Sam and the others find a building from a nearby military airbase (the barrier cuts of the remainder of the base) They find a lone boy, Toto, whose mutant power is to tell truth from lie. They also find a train, with valuable supplies of Nutella and Pepsi, and a train car full of handheld missile launchers. Drake, who has been locked up in a basement escapes, as his guard, Orc, is drunk. Meanwhile, Astrid realizes that she can kill Little Pete and end the FAYZ. Thirsty, Little Pete destroys the top floor of Astrid's house and creates a rain cloud (it never rains in the FAYZ). Once free, Drake travels to the gaiaphage and is met by an army of bugs, who begin to clear the way into the mine shaft. When they reach the lake, Sam and his group are confronted by the bugs. The bugs have grown to the size of SUVs and are being commanded by Drake. The group escapes back to Perdido Beach. The town is chaos: The plague overwhelms the town and hospitalizes many kids; Albert is attacked by thugs and is only saved when is maid finds him near death. The bugs have grown again and Sam instructs Quinn to row to the island and find Caine, as he has the power to kill the bugs. Caine accepts the challenge, hoping to become king after saving the town. Drake is instructed to bring nemesis (Little Pete) to the gaiaphage and travels to Coates Academy, where Astrid and Orc are hiding. The bugs arrive in Perdido beach but Caine and Brianna cannot fight them. Dekka uses her powers to lavitate Sam and the train car of missiles to Perdido beach to fight the bugs, but they do not reach the time in time as Dekka is infected with the parasite, and is only saved when Sam cuts her open to kill the bugs inside her. When threatened by Drake, Astrid throws Pete to the insects, who realizes the danger and vanishes both the insects and himself; her hope was that Pete's death would cause the energy barrier to dissipate, which does not happen. Pete is later revealed to be bodiless but alive. Caine attempts to install himself as king of Perdido Beach, but Sam offers to form a community at the lake (the water is drinkable and boats and campers can provide shelter). Around 80 kids decide to go with Sam, along with Diana, who has become sick with Caine's constant need for power. Diana then reveals to a stunned Sam and Astrid that she is pregnant with Caine's child. The plague proves to fatal only in one out of ten cases, but many have died. The plague eventually disappears.

Fear[edit]

Pete experiments with his new state of existence by tampering with the inhabitants of the FAYZ, resulting in gruesome deaths as he clumsily changes their DNA. The energy barrier begins to turn black, gradually filling the Zone with darkness. On the outside of the barrier, Connie Temple (Sam and Caine's mother) learns that a small part of the army plans to nuke the barrier. Through mental communication with Pete, Astrid learns that the barrier is connected to the gaiaphage. Drake captures the pregnant Diana and brings her to the mine shaft. Diana gives birth to her baby, whom the gaiaphage then inhabits. Drake, Diana, Penny and the gaiaphage, now known as Gaia, head to the energy barrier, where they encounter Sam and Caine. The darkness plans to open up the barrier. They battle, and Sam attacks Gaia; sunlight instantly returns to the FAYZ as the energy barrier becomes transparent. Sam once again attacks Gaia, who is seemingly unhurt. She flees the scene along with Diana and Drake. Visual communication begins between the inhabitants of the Zone and the outside world. Meanwhile, Cigar accidentally kills a boy in a fight. He is punished by Caine, who forces Cigar to spend a day alone with Penny. Penny tortures him from sunrise to sunset, making him claw out his own eyes; Lana tries to heal Cigar but fails. Cigar is eventually killed by Zekes (mutated worms) when he wanders into a cabbage patch in the dark while looking for his sister.

Light[edit]

Light is the final book in the series. The dome around the FAYZ has become transparent, allowing the kids inside to converse with their parents. Some, such as Brianna, are thrilled to have the attention, while others, like Orc, are ashamed of what they have become and pray that the dome never comes down. In the thrill of being able to converse with the outer world, the kids lose interest in their duties, which leads to sending Quinn to the island to get Albert, as he is the only one who can get them back to work. Annoyed at Brianna, Sam and Astrid send her on a mission to hunt for Drake. She succeeds, and scatters the chopped off parts of his body across the landscape, keeping his head in a chest below the boats on the lake. Meanwhile, Gaia and Diana are out in the desert, where a rapidly aging Gaia schemes to take out all of the FAYZ residents in order to put an end to Little Pete's powers, who gets his strength through the power of the other FAYZ residents as she does. Intending to stop Gaia and rescue Diana, Sam and Caine go on a hunt for Gaia together. However, when they find her later, she easily defeats them, but leaves them alive. Gaia proceeds to attack the lake, and with few powers to protect it, the kids there are slaughtered and several minor characters are killed. The kids regroup at the town and discuss what to do next. It is revealed that Gaia, though possessing every power of every living person in the FAYZ, loses that power when the person dies. Sam contemplates whether he must sacrifice himself in order to stop Gaia. Meanwhile, after saving Drake by connecting his living head to the body of a man she killed, Gaia attacks the town and kills Brianna. Computer Jack is killed by a stray bullet during the battle. With the situation desperate, Caine goes to get Albert's missiles and launches them at Gaia. They hit the FAYZ wall and kill Orc, who was fighting Gaia at the time. Realizing that there is only one option left, Caine invites the spirit of Little Pete to take control of his body, and using it Little Pete fights Gaia, destroying each other in the process. After the FAYZ wall comes down, Sam has a final encounter with Drake and defeats him. The remaining kids reunite with their parents and mourn their losses. To get them out of legal trouble, Caine had written a confession note prior to his death claiming that he was controlling the kids and making them do all of the things that they did. The series concludes with Sam and Astrid inviting Diana to come and live with them; she agrees.

Characters[edit]

Sam Temple[edit]

Sam Temple is the main protagonist of the series. He is one of the four avatars Astrid sees in Little Pete's game. His avatar is a male pointing a single palm into the air, with a ball of light. Sam is of medium build with tanned skin, has brown hair and streaks of blonde, has sky blue eyes and is described as being quite handsome. Sam is also described as being happy-go-lucky. Before the FAYZ, Sam lived in Perdido Beach with his mother. Sam does not like his home, especially his bedroom. He remained under the social radar at school, not belonging to any clique, and having only one true friend, Quinn. Sam first realizes he has the Power when he accidentally burns off his stepfather's hand, because he thought his step-father was going to hurt his mother. This leads to the divorce of his mother and step-father. The identity of Sam's biological father remains a mystery. His birth certificate says that his father's name is Taegen Smith, which Caine notes is "an unusual name", although Smith is very common - "the type of name someone might use if they wanted to hide their real name". Sam is known as 'School Bus Sam' to the kids at school. This is because of an event when he was in the seventh grade. After the driver of the bus had a heart attack, Sam takes control over the bus and saves the lives of other kids by driving the bus safely to the side of the road. This is what leads to Sam becoming the leader among the townies while in the FAYZ, but when Caine Soren comes to town, some lose their loyalty.

Astrid Ellison[edit]

Astrid Ellison is 14 to 15 years old. She is Sam Temple's girlfriend for pretty much all of the books. She is beautiful and smart. She has blonde hair and bright blue eyes. She was the one who pushed Sam into leading, and in the end they live together. Astrid Ellison also known as "Astrid The Genius" first appears in Gone. She, Sam Temple and Quinn Gaither and eventually Edilio Escobar, go to look for her little brother, Peter Michael "Little Pete" Ellison just after the FAYZ barrier arrived. They go from Perdido Beach to Clifftop Hotel, then to the Nuclear Power Plant where they find Little Pete and back to the Town Plaza. It is also during this time that Sam reveals his power. Astrid also reveals that Little Pete has a few powers of his own. Later they realize that the FAYZ wasn't created by chance, but by Little Pete. She is tortured by Drake and she sides with Perdido Beach in The Thanksgiving Battle. She is often the voice of reason when it comes those with the Power, and most people believe her to be a "normal," due to the fact that her power is not displayed like Sam or Brianna's power. She dissects the first Zeke and is the one to suggest negotiating with them. She tries to break up the anti-freak mob that Zil Sperry put together because of Hunter Lefkowitz, but ends up with a black eye instead.

Caine Soren[edit]

Caine is the son of Connie Temple and Taegan Smith. He has dark hair and eyes, in contrast to his twin brother, Sam Temple. Before the FAYZ, Caine lived with his adoptive parents and went to Coate's Academy. In the last book of the series, Light, Caine sacrificed his life to end the FAYZ. In a letter Caine left, he admits that Diana Ladris is the love of his life and asks forgiveness. When the FAYZ started, Caine (born David Temple) took advantage of it. He started by weeding out the kids he thought he couldn't trust, including Dekka, Brianna, and Taylor. He let Drake "plaster" these children, meaning that he encased their hands in blocks of cement, preventing them from using their powers. He then gathered the kids who he could trust and planned to take over the FAYZ. Shortly after the start of the FAYZ, Caine and his supporters arrived in Perdido Beach. Caine made a charismatic but obviously rehearsed speech, then declared himself Mayor of the FAYZ. At a meeting in a church, he used his telekinetic powers to make the Crucifix fly across the room and badly injure Cookie Glider, one of the town bullies. He set up a list of laws, a law-enforcement group, a fire department, and other necessary organizations. He seemed for a while to be a good leader and had the support of most of the town's population, but some people, including Sam and Astrid, were suspicious. The problems started when a bully named Charles "Orc" Merriman killed a girl named Bouncing Bette. Caine did nothing to punish Orc or to prevent future incidents. Caine had the town's birth certificates stolen, and through this, he discovered that he and Sam had the same birthday, Caine being only three minutes younger. Caine has Sam kidnapped and tied up, and he threatens to let Drake hurt Astrid if Sam does not cooperate. He realizes that he and Sam are twins, to both their horror. Eventually, Caine's supporters capture Sam, Astrid, Lana, Peter Michael "Little Pete" Ellison, Quinn Gaither, and Edilio Escobar. They "plaster" Sam and Astrid, but Little Pete uses his power to cause all the cement blocks to disappear because Astrid attempts to smash Little Pete's handheld game with her block. In the end, Sam and Caine face off just as they are about to turn fifteen. They both say no to their mother, who [1]tempts them to "blink out", and then reveals herself to be a glowing green, fanged monster, which mockingly tells Caine he will seek it out on his own accord. Caine then tries to attack Sam, but Sam is faster. Caine tells Sam to go ahead and kill him, but Sam does not. He seems to pity Caine and tells him to stay away because next time, one of them would end up killing the other. Caine replies that "It was a mistake to let me live, Sam." In Hunger, we first find Caine and Diana together in Moses' Cabin at Coates. After Caine has finally gotten over his insanity caused by the Darkness he once again wants to defeat Sam and conquer the FAYZ. He also subconsciously wants to feed the Gaiaphage. He uses Diana to get Computer Jack back on their side and uses Jack to turn all electricity off in Perdido Beach and ultimately, the FAYZ. After a dilemma in Perdido Beach, Sam arrived at the Power Plant. Caine told him that the lights were out in Perdido Beach, and he tried to exchange light for food. Sam pointed out that they were trapped with nothing to eat. After a long time, Caine and the others broke out of the Control Room with uranium to feed to the Gaiaphage. They arrived at the mine, but Drake injured Diana. Caine appears to have killed Drake but he ends up sharing a body with Brittney. He helped Sam rescue Lana, who then healed Diana, Brianna, Dekka, Edilio, Sam. After Diana was healed, the two of them left. In Lies, it is revealed that Caine is still at Coates Academy, where all have turned to cannibalism. It shows them eating Panda, who had died at the start of Lies. This leaves a very big impact on both Diana and Caine. Caine, with some information from Bug, decide to steal a boat from Perdido Beach to reach San Francisco De Sales Island (where, according to Bug, lived two famous actors) where they can possibly find food. They then visit the farm where Emily and Brother live (the farm that Computer Jack drives by in Gone). There, Caine waits for Zil Sperry, leader of the Human Crew, and they strike a deal for Zil to burn down Perdido Beach, in order to give Caine a distraction to steal a boat. During the fire, Caine and Diana see the shadow of Drake, but decide to keep it to themselves, not knowing what they saw exactly. They steal two boats, only for one to be shot down by Zil and the Human Crew. Caine kills Hank out of rage and they zoom away to the Island. On the way to the island, Diana realizes that Caine's power has a limit of about 70 to 80 feet. She decides that is something to remember. When they reach the island, they meet the adopted children of the famous actors. They are given food by the children, but are also drugged and put to sleep. Caine gets annoyed at Penny, and levitates her off the cliff. The children run to the hidden helicopter and manage to escape, but only after Diana begs Caine not to kill them. He does not listen, but then Diana takes the risk of attempting suicide. Caine must choose between killing the children or saving Diana, also meaning he drops Penny, and so he chooses Diana. Penny's legs are shattered, leaving her bitter. Caine, Diana, Bug and Penny end up staying on the island.

Diana Ladris[edit]

Diana was sent to Coates Academy when her mother tripped and fell down the stairs, and she blamed her father for it, therefore sending him to jail. The police eventually realized she had tricked them and she was sent to Coates. Diana has long black hair and brown eyes. She is described as beautiful and sticks with Caine throughout the books. She was also very hungry when she arrived at the island of Jennifer and Todd. In Lies, the reader finds out that Diana has a good side when she throws herself of a cliff to stop Caine attacking the kids who lived on the island. During Plague, she becomes pregnant by Caine Soren and gives birth to a daughter who is taken over by the gaiaphage in Fear.

Lana Arwen Lazar[edit]

Lana Arwen Lazar is a Native American teenage girl living in the FAYZ. She has the Power of healing. Lana is the only "freak" not labeled as one by everyone, mostly because of her healing ability. Because of this, she becomes one of the most important people in the FAYZ. It is said that Lana's dog, Patrick, is the only remaining pet of the FAYZ, since no one would dare kill the Healer's dog. Lana is the only known person who has been able to withstand the horrible illusions from Penny, due to her long time with the Gaiaphage. Lana lived with her parents in Las Vegas after moving to Perdido Beach. After being caught sneaking out a bottle of vodka, she told her parents that it was for a boy named Tony, and her parents sent her to Perdido Beach. Her grandfather was driving Lana and her dog, Patrick, in his truck when the FAYZ occurred. Her grandfather Luke commented, saying that Tony was awful. Sam is almost killed by the coyotes, but Lana heals him. They bring her to the town. She uses her power to heal the injuries suffered by children at the Coates Academy who have been punished for having the power. She also heals Cookie, a former bully, who after feels that since she saved his life he must do anything for her, and helps Dahra Baidoo with assisting the injured. After Sam and the Coates "freaks" escape from Coates to Perdido Beach, Lana is kidnapped by Drake and taken to the mine shaft to the Darkness to heal Drake's severed arm. She grows his arm back, but it becomes a whip instead of an arm. After the Thanksgiving Battle she helped by healing the wounded. Lana is referred to as "The Healer" by many in Hunger, much to her dislike. She secludes herself from town in order to avoid the demands of kids wanting her to erase the smallest of pains, and takes refuge in Clifftop Resort. She is influenced by the Darkness throughout the story and plots to destroy it. Her plans fail, though, and the Darkness completely takes control over her. Under its influence, she attacks Dekka and nearly kills Edilio. Lana attempts to kill herself through radiation poisoning, but is rescued by Sam and Caine in the end. She heals Dekka, Edilio, Sam, Diana, and Brianna "Breeze". In Lies, Lana is living in the Clifftop Hotel with her dog Patrick. She seems to still be struggling with the darkness. She becomes addicted to cigarettes and alcohol, which is a luxury in the FAYZ. Towards the beginning of the book she has a confrontation with Sam when he asks her if the Gaiaphage is gone. She flies into a fit of rage, but later she realized that the Darkness has been using her healing powers all along to regenerate Drake Merwin, mending him and Brittney Donegal together in one body. She is still the Healer and heals many of the injured children at the end of the book. Lana continues her secluded life at Clifftop, but is drawn back to town because of the flu. She is working overtime alongside Dahra to heal the ill, the ones with the "Supernatural Death Cough". This deadly form of the flu causes the victim to literally hack up their lungs. When Hunter Lefkowitz becomes infected with some goo, which spawns bug eggs and larva, he got from a flying snake in the forest, she discovers she cannot kill the Bugs or heal a person with these bugs with her power. She also discovers she cannot heal the crudely named "Supernatural Death Cough" (SDC). Dahra believes this is because the virus is bred to be immune to Lana's abilities. She is not able to cure the virus throughout the book. When Brianna finds Lana and drags her back to where Sam, Quinn Gaither, Toto, and Dekka are, Lana heals Dekka after Sam decides to do last minute surgery in order to rid her of the bug infestation. She, with Sam's help, saves Dekka. Sanjit Brattle-Chance and Virtue Brattle-Chance are her and Dahra's helpers during the illness. By the end of the book, she is dating Sanjit. Her, Patrick, and the Brattle-Chances follow Sam to the lake. She and Albert Hillsborough are the only ones allowed to travel in between the lake and the town.

Dekka Talent[edit]

Dekka Talent is a fifteen-year-old, tall girl. She is, according to Brianna, curvy although she doesn't "show it off". She does not dress very femininely and prefers to wear what she finds comfortable. Dekka is found intimidating by most of the kids because of not only her power and close relationship with Sam, but also for her strong physique. Dekka is an African-American girl with the ability to 'cancel gravity' from a small area, causing everything in the area to be lifted into the air. She was part of the Coates freaks who were trapped by Caine. She, along with Brianna and Taylor, were saved by Sam. Dekka is a very internal person who does not talk about herself, especially not about her thoughts or feelings. Because of this, people consider her threatening and scary, but she's really not. She claims that being a little scary at Coates isn't a bad thing. She's tough and always there to help, even in dangerous situations. She is a lesbian and has a crush on Brianna. She has been faced with homophobia and racism, but she is comfortable in her own skin. Sam thinks of Dekka as an ally and thinks of her as possible leader of the FAYZ if he dies. In the series, it is discovered that she fancies Brianna, who rejects her. For a while, Dekka and Brianna don't talk due to the awkwardness between the two. She is one of Sam's best friends, and helps him fight against Caine and any other threats. Her full name is Dekka Talent, which we find out later in the series, Sam admitting that he never knew that she had a second name and "thought she was like Beyoncé".

Edilio Escobar[edit]

Edilio was originally from Honduras, until he moved to Perdido Beach as an immigrant. People also continually make fun of him and confuse him for being Mexican. He is introduced as a character that Sam found "potentially interesting". Edilio and Sam become close friends and allies, while Quinn begins to feel left out of his and Sam's original friendship. He is shot and seriously injured but healed by Lana. A council forms to rule Perdido Beach and determine laws, and Edilio makes up one of the six members. He is also appointed Sheriff of Perdido Beach. He is seen at the end of the book painting over the Human Crew tags that were spread around town. When the fires appear in town, he helps saving people. Afterwards, he faints in Astrid's office from exhaustion. When he wakes up, he starts crying and reveals that he doesn't want to dig the graves for the dead kids anymore. After Astrid steps down as head of the council, Edilio takes charge instead, proving himself to be a good leader. During the course of Plague, Edilio often states how he never wanted to be a mayor, and how Astrid had Sam put the job upon him when he found the pressure of being leader too great. He finds Albert to be power hungry, and he becomes, in his own silent way, enraged, when he finds out that he had sent Sam, Dekka, Taylor, and Computer Jack out to find water. Not only did Albert not tell him how dangerously low the water supply has gotten, but also because Drake/Brittney had escaped, leaving Perdido Beach defenseless against them. He becomes dangerously sick, soon afterwards but manages to survive and the end of Plague, Edilio follows Sam to Lake Tramonto. Edilio is living on a houseboat at Lake Tramonto. He is seen to be running things in Fear, even though Sam is officially the mayor. It is revealed in the later points of Fear that Edilio is gay and his love interest is Roger. He takes over the running of the lake officially after Sam goes off to find Astrid, which later becomes permanent.

Quinn Gaither[edit]

Quinn was Sam's best friend before the FAYZ. He and Sam love to surf and it is shown that they understand and care for each other. Quinn is an only child and lives with his parents. When the FAYZ occurs, Quinn becomes scared and expresses this through mean and rude comments towards the characters mainly Edilio. Quinn later betrays Sam and Astrid by telling Caine were they were leading to Sam being tortured by Caine. Quinn frees them and apologizes saying that he did not know what Caine would do. Quinn spends the rest of the novel trying to make up for betraying Sam. He plays a big part in defending the Daycare in the Thanksgiving battle. In the second novel, Quinn and Sam grow apart not seeing each other at all until the middle of the book. It is then were Quinn shows a love interest for Lana. He also discovers that you can fish for food in the FAYZ by fishing. Quinn then becomes head fisherman in the FAYZ and has a respectable position. He is said to have been well known and respected through the FAYZ as the head fisherman for the FAYZ. He grew much since the first book, showing in how he stood up to Caine to defend Sam towards the end of the series. In the finale book, Sam calls Quinn for help to break him out of the hospital and Quinn helped him. Astrid said that Quinn has grown a lot from the first book and has become a better person. After the FAYZ ends, Sam, Astrid and Diana move close to Quinn's new house with his mom.

Drake Merwin[edit]

The darkest character in the series, Drake learned how to shoot a gun from a young age and when he purposefully shot a neighbor in the leg, he was sent off to Coates. At Coates, he became known as a bully, and Caine used to think of Drake as a henchman. Later in the series, Drake harms Diana and makes an enemy out of Caine. Caine kills Drake but in Lies, Drake returns in an undead state that links with Brittney. Drake then turns to the Gaiaphage (the Darkness) and becomes its servant, which he enjoys as it gives him control over the coyotes that roam the woods. The Darkness gives Drake a whip arm when his is sawed off by Diana after it was burned. He enjoys making people cry as he whips them viciously. Drake is shown as a psychopath that purposely harms people and is sexist towards girls. When Brianna chops off his head and it melds with dead lizards, he is still alive. So with the help of Dekka and Astrid, they put his head in a cooler and sink it in a lake. Then the gaiaphage eats another guy's head and fuses Drake's undead head to its shoulders. Then Astrid bites off his nose and pokes out his eyes- puncturing one and ripping out the other one. At the end of Light, the last book of the series, Drake is killed since the powers that keep him alive vanish after the Fayz Wall has come down.

Critical reception[edit]

Reviews have generally been mixed to positive, though many note Gone‍ '​s success in its intended demographic. Mal Peet, for The Guardian, pointed to the series' "rave reviews, most of them posted on websites by teenagers", though noting that such success stemmed from literary sacrifices that made characters into "crude two-dimensional digitisations".[4]

Amanda Craig, for The Times, noted that Gone was "heavily influenced by TV series such as Lost and Heroes, and described the book as "Clever but a little too predictable."[5] Jayne Howarth, for the Birmingham Post, called Gone "superb" and said she found the book "full of suspense, action and the supernatural. Think of a potent mix of Lord of the Flies, Heroes and Lost and you get an idea of the audience this will appeal to." Describing the pace of the novel as "frantic and frenetic" Howarth summed up: "This is an incredible mystery story, with twists and turns, cameos and protagonists, to keep readers engrossed... Violent in parts, Grant does not hold back at showing the feral nature of humans when faced with a world without order. Unputdownable."[6]

The books were written for teenagers and seemingly enjoyed by teenagers.

Dinah Hall, reviewing Lies for The Sunday Telegraph, also drew comparison with Lord of the Flies and Lost, and wrote: "While it's never going to make it on to the GCSE syllabus, it definitely has the addictive pull of a cult television series... I would sell my soul for the next instalment."[7] Toby Clements, reviewing Hunger for The Daily Telegraph, wrote: "Grant's world is hard-edged but thought-provoking, a Stephen King novel for youngsters in which the children are challenged with reshaping society while fighting off evil. Hunger ought to be required reading for any teenager who thinks adults suck."[8]

Stephen King has also praised the series, writing: "These are exciting, high-tension stories told in a driving, torrential narrative that never lets up. There are monsters, there are kids with mad-crazy super powers, there’s the mystery of where all the adults went. Most of all, there are children I can believe in and root for. This is great fiction.[9]

Television adaptation[edit]

On July 30, 2013, author Michael Grant announced that Sony Pictures Television had acquired rights to produce Gone as a TV series.[10] In the future they might just produce it, but it hasn't been made into a television show yet.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BESTSELLERS". Sunday Independent (Dublin). 25 August 2013. p. 24. 
  2. ^ "BOOKSELLER CHARTS". Western Morning News (Plymouth). 13 July 2013. p. 15. 
  3. ^ "Flights of fiction". The Sunday Business Post (Dublin). 16 June 2013. 
  4. ^ Peet, Mal (April 17, 2009). "Gone: Mal Peet on the novel as Xbox". The Guardian (London). Retrieved October 28, 2011. 
  5. ^ Craig, Amanda (April 4, 2009). "Save the Truffula Tree: Amanda Craig's Easter round-up will give young readers a spring in their step". The Times (London). p. 12. 
  6. ^ Howarth, Jayne (April 17, 2009). "Don't let sci-fi theme put you off reading this great novel". Birmingham Post (Birmingham). p. 8. 
  7. ^ Hall, Dinah (December 5, 2010). "Flicker like bats, slip like cats: Dinah Hall picks the best books to fill children's stockings". The Sunday Telegraph (London). p. 38. 
  8. ^ Clements, Toby (March 27, 2010). "Ancient prophecies - and a dog called Elvis". The Daily Telegraph (London). p. 27. 
  9. ^ "Blurbed By Stephen King". Stupid Blog Name. March 14, 2009. Retrieved November 11, 2013. 
  10. ^ (1 of 4) To all GONE fans: Sony Pictures TV @SPTV has agreed to acquire TV rights to GONE. Does not yet mean we have a TV series. But... on Twitter.

External links[edit]