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First edition cover of Gone
|Media type||Print (hardcover and paperback)|
|No. of books||6|
First edition cover of Gone
|Media type||Print (hardcover and paperback)|
|No. of books||6|
Gone is a bestselling book series written by Michael Grant. 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", a type of virus). 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".
Every person at the age of 15 or over vanishes from the town of Perdido Beach and causes great confusion and chaos. Some are happy, some are anxious. 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 5-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. Sam and Pete are revealed to have supernatural powers caused by the power plants explosion 15 years ago. Upon the group's return to Perdido Beach, its members encounter vehicles bringing students from nearby Coates Academy. Some of the students and others in town have supernatural powers, including Lana Arwen Lazar (who has the 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.) Caine Soren, a boy who also has supernatural powers, takes a group and returns to Coates Academy, discovering that when a person turns 15, they are confronted by something they desire before vanishing. He also discovers that he and Sam are twin brothers. Sam's group (Astrid, Quinn, Pete, and Edilio Escobar, a boy who was in their class) finds Lana and he and the group escape the coyotes but are captured by Drake and imprisoned within Coates Academy. Sam's group escapes Coates Academy, joined by 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" down a mineshaft which uses Lana's power to give Drake a whip for an arm giving him the nickname "whip hand". 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.
Hunger is set three months after Gone. Fueled by a widespread prejudice against people with powers, Zil creates the "Human Crew", an organisation that discriminates against these "freaks". Caine wakes up from a three-month coma and tells Diana to bring Computer Jack back to Coates so they can take over the nuclear plant in order to control the town's electricity. After ending up losing all electricity Caine mentally receives a message from the gaiaphage telling him to bring it a uranium rod from the plant and realizes it may be controlling him. 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, a student from Perdido Beach, travels to the mine shaft in order to destroy it, along with another girl named Dekka who has the ability to defy gravity in small spaces. He is shot by Lana, who is under the control of the gaiaphage. It is revealed that the gaiaphage plans to use Lana's powers, along with a 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 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. Orc and Howard keep the town kids from hanging Hunter and save Astrid and Little Pete. Meanwhile, E.Z. dies when he goes to the fields to pick cabbages as mutated worm-like creatures, called Zekes, attacked him. After several failed attempts to pick cabbages without being attacked by the creatures, they end up negotiating with the creatures. Duck discovers mutated blue bats, which taste disgusting to humans, but which can be fed to the Zekes in exchange for children being allowed to pick cabbages without being attacked. The book ends on a cliffhanger when the readers realize Brittney, a girl buried in the plaza, is still alive.
A young girl named Jill is beaten due to some people's knowledge of her powers and falls into an empty grave. Sam discovers her and is told by Edilio that she was in the grave of a girl called Brittney, who has been dead for a month but seems to have disappeared. Astrid and Sam find a boy attacked by Drake, who has been seen nearby. Sam learns that Brittney is alive and in town, and meets an unfamiliar girl named Nerezza. Nerezza eventually attempts to kill Pete, who is revealed to have created the energy barrier, but fails when Astrid intervenes. When Pete finds his favorite toy smashed on the ground, he screams, causing the energy barrier surrounding the area to disappear for a brief moment. Astrid sees adults staring on the other side before the wall returns. 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 but sharing the same body as Brittney. Nerezza is not human at all, but rather the gaiaphage's avatar, brought to life through Pete's thoughts. After 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, a boy made out of gravel, as he experiences no pain at being whipped by Drake.
Perdido Beach is now run by a boy named Albert Hillsborough, whose introduction of capitalist systems to the town has placed him in a position of considerable power. Albert sends Sam and others on a mission to find a new water source, Lake Tramonto, on the far side of the FAYZ, as the town's supplies are running low. Meanwhile, an infectious plague leading those who catch it to almost certain death is spreading in Perdido Beach. On the way to the lake, Sam's group encounters an old friend named Hunter who was banished from the FAYZ with the power to radiate heat within anything who has become infested with parasites and dies. 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. Sam later saved her by cutting her open and removing the parasites. Upon reaching the lake, the group is once again confronted by the creatures, which have grown to the size of SUVs and are being commanded by Drake. The group escapes back to Perdido Beach. Drake travels to Coates Academy with some of the insects, having been commanded by the Gaiaphage to capture Pete. Upon their arrival, 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. Pete is later revealed to be bodiless but alive.
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 gaiaphage 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.
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.
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 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 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 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 fatally. 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 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.
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 from Perdido Beach. After being caught sneaking out a bottle of vodka, she told her parents that it was for a boy named Tony (though it was really for her), 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 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 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.
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 nothing that such success stemmed from literary sacrifices that made characters into "crude two-dimensional digitisations".
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." 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."
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." 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."
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.