I’ve been doing a lot of very short mini-reviews in my 50 book challenge post, but I thought this series deserved a post all to itself.
Who or what is gone? All the adults. Everyone aged 15 or over (timed to the very minute!).
Where are they gone from? A 10-mile radius circle (dome! sphere?) centred around a power plant in a small town in California.
How are they gone? Nobody has any clue. Is it because of something nuclear? The cleverer students say “nuclear power doesn’t do that”.
Anything else weird? Well yes actually, a few weird things have been happening before the “poof”, and it’s about to get a lot weirder. (note: Americans just think of this as a disappearing-type noise, not a derogatory term for a camp gay person)
What happens now? Chaos, as is to be expected.
Let’s be clear, this is no Teenage Wasteland. Well, it is, but there is also the entire range of other people-under-15. Babies. Toddlers. Children old enough to do something useful if they could only pay attention (but they can’t). It could be classed as Only Fatal to Adults, but was it fatal? What happened to the adults? Are they just outside the dome? If so, what are they doing/thinking?
These books exist in the level of Young Adult books which, like The Hunger Games, would have to be cut down pretty severely if they were to be made into films. There is a lot of violence. There is also mention of what happens when all the adults disappear and nobody thinks to go check empty houses for babies (yeah, not nice) and of what happens when the person driving a car suddenly disappears (this made me think of Flash Forward, where everyone in the world suddenly passes out, including people driving cars and planes and helicopters).
The “it gets weirder” that I mentioned above keeps the level of action high, but personally the parts that I enjoyed the most were those dealing with the practicalities. There are small children to look after. A limited supply of food. In a dome where it never rains, how long til you run out of fresh water? How do you motivate children (who are, after all, just more-selfish and less-forward-thinking adults) to do the work that needs doing when they’d rather someone else just did it? How do you enforce any kind of lawful behaviour, and who gets to decide what the laws should be in this new world?
Start here with Gone. Then come back and thank me.