Aiden got the Gone series for his birthday last year. He read the first book and when he'd done he said I should read it. The last time he'd said that to me was after he'd finished The Hunger Games which he absolutely loved, as did I so I gave this a go.
I have to say, I wasn't expecting great things but right from the start this book totally grabbed me and sucked me in.
Here's a short synopsis, not written by me because I tend to waffle on and can't really keep it short and without spoilers so this is from Amazon!
Suddenly it’s a world without adults and normal has crashed and burned. When life as you know it ends at 15, everything changes.
In the blink of an eye all the adults disappear in a small town in southern California and no one knows why. Cut off from the outside world, those that are left are trapped, and there’s no help on the way. They must do all they can to survive. Chaos rules the streets. Gangs begin to form. Sides are chosen – strong or weak. Cruel or humane. And then there are those who begin to develop powers . . . It’s Lord of the Flies for the Heroes generation.
It's not for the faint of heart as some of it, and the rest of the books in the series, can be quite gruesome. I'm not going to suggest an age range for this series of books because it really does depend on the maturity levels of the individual so what I'd say is to check them out yourself before letting your young adult read them.
Book 2 - Hunger.
When life as you know it ends at 15, everything changes. The clock is ticking for Sam Temple and the kids of Perdido Beach but it’s not the big one-five that they face now; it’s starvation that threatens the FAYZ. In an abandoned mineshaft a faceless animal lurks, pulling the strings, toying with human and mutant alike. And he’s hungry – hungry in the darkness.
An uneasy calm has settled over Perdido Beach. But soon, fear explodes into desperation as starvation sets in and the mob look to place blame. For the ‘normals’ the buck must stop somewhere: with the ‘freaks’. More and more kids are developing strange powers and, just as frighteningly, so are the animals in the FAYZ: talking coyotes, swimming bats and deadly worms with razor-sharp teeth are just the beginning.
For Sam Temple the strain of leadership is beginning to show and he’s got more than just dwindling rations and in-fighting to worry about – Caine is back with the psychotic whiphand, Drake, by his side. And in the background lies the greatest danger of all – and he too needs to be fed.
Book 3 - Lies
It happens in one night: a girl who died now walks among the living, Zil and the Human Crew set fire to Perdido Beach, and amid the flames and smoke, Sam sees the figure of the boy he fears the most – Drake. But Sam and Caine defeated him along with the Darkness . . . or so they thought.
As Perdido Beach burns, battles rage: Astrid against the Town Council; the Human Crew versus the mutants; and Sam against Drake. And the prophetess Orsay and her companion, Nerezza, are preaching that death will set them all free. As life in the FAYZ becomes more desperate, no one knows who they can trust.
Book 4 - Plague
The FAYZ goes from bad to worse . . . The Darkness has been foiled once again and the resurrected Drake has been contained. But the streets of Perdido Beach are far from safe. With a growing army of mutants fighting against the humans, power in the town hangs in the balance. In a small room of a house near the edge of town Little Pete lies ill on a bed. In his fevered dreams he continues his battle with the hidden evil that seeks to use his power to bring about anarchy and destruction.
Book 5 - Plague
Night is falling in the FAYZ. Permanently. The gaiaphage has blotted out the sun and the barrier that surrounds the town of Perdido Beach is turning black. It’s Sam’s worst nightmare. With Astrid still missing and Edilio and Lana struggling to maintain order, Sam and his followers need all the courage they can get. As their world descends into darkness, only real heroes will survive.
Book 5 - Light
All eyes are on Perdido Beach. The barrier wall is now as clear as glass and life in the FAYZ is visible for the entire outside world to see. Life inside the dome remains a constant battle and the Darkness, away from watchful eyes, grows and grows . . . The society that Sam and Astrid have struggled so hard to build is about to be shattered for good. It’s the end of the FAYZ. Who will survive to see the light of day?
The rest of the books in the series all kept me hooked and I have to admit to being quite sad when I reached the end of the final book, especially when I read the note from the author. It felt like I'd lost friends with whom I'd been on a long and exhausting, epic adventure!