Gone (novel)

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

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

He just vanished - along with everyone else over the age of 14 in a 10-mile radius around Perdido Beach, California, which was also enclosed by an impenetrable dome. 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 15.

Written by Michael Grant, co-author of the hit book series Animorphs, Everworld, Remnants, and author of BZRK. There are five books so far[when?] in the series: Gone, released in 2008, Hunger, released in 2009, Lies, released in May 2010, Plague, released in April 2011, and Fear, released in April 2012. The sixth and final installment in the series, Light, will be released in March 2013.

Now has a character sheet.

No relation to the 2012 Amanda Seyfried film of the same name.

Tropes used in Gone (novel) include:
  • A King Am I: By the end of Plague, Caine expects everyone to refer to him as king, and appoints himself supreme ruler of Perdido Beach.
  • Above the Influence: Inverted in Plague when Taylor took advantage of Sam when he was drunk.
  • Acid Reflux Nightmare: Sam, after eating canned asparagus.
  • Action Girl: Lana, Dekka, Brianna, Taylor, Penny, Brittany..... it would be easier to list the exceptions (Astrid, Mary, and Diana), though even they have their moments.
  • Adults Are Useless: Well, they aren't even there...
  • Aerith and Bob: We go all the way from Sam to Drake to Astrid to Caine to Zil to Orsay.
    • Lampshaded with Nerezza:

Turk: Weird name.
Nerezza: Yes, it is.

Drake: I whipped her, Sam. I broke her legs so she couldn't run. I think she liked it. (grins) She was screaming, but she liked it.

Emily: You can get the lights back on?
Caine: I can. It would take about a week.

Drake: (grins) "This should be fun." Then with his real hand, he drew the knife out of his chest, slowly, as if relishing every inch of steel.

  • Control Freak: Astrid
  • Crapsack World: YES.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Too many to count, but EZ being eaten alive by mutated worms certainly comes to mind. And anyone who Drake kills. And the kids eaten by coyotes during the Thanksgiving Battle. And the kids who get thrown through a wall by Caine. And Panda's suicide, particularly because of what happened afterwards. Much of the deaths in Plague count as well.
  • Dangerous Fifteenth Birthday: Anybody 15 and up disappears when the FAYZ is formed, and if you turn 15 while inside the FAYZ then you disappear as well. Although the kids learn how to stay there by the end of the first book.
  • Dark Is Evil: Seeing as how the Big Bad is literally called "The Darkness", that's definitely a no-brainer.
  • Darker and Edgier: Each book seems to get progressively darker, except for Lies, which was about on the same level as Hunger. Not that it started out on a light note, though. Fear is this on a very literal level.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Diana.
  • Did Not Do the Research: From Plague: "It was an E string from a cello [Brianna had] found." Cellos don't have E strings.
    • Possibly averted, due to the fact that the passage in question is from Brianna's POV. She may not have known that cellos don't have E strings.
  • Disability Superpower: Astrid's little brother, Little Pete, who is severely autistic.
  • Disaster Democracy
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In Fear Cigar kills a fellow fisherman in a drunken brawl. Since he committed murder, Caine sentences him to Penny for an entire day. Thirty minutes was enough to cause a two-day state of shock in the previous victim. Even Caine is horrified at the end result.
  • Domed Hometown: After the adults disappear, there is a barrier around Perdido Beach.
  • Doorstopper: While averaged sized for most adult novels, at 500 to 600 pages each, the books are gigantic for young adult novels. They are steadily decreasing in length as the series draws to its conclusion, however.
  • Driven to Suicide: Mary. Although she may not be dead.
    • Panda, by the beginning of Lies. Also, Jasmine.
    • Orc tries in Plague.
    • And Hunter, also in Plague with the bugs.
  • Duck: Brianna is yelling for Duck, and confuses a lot of people.
  • Dumb Blonde: Inverted by Astrid the Genius. Lampshaded when Lana meets the main characters and is surprised that Astrid is intelligent.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Darkness. Giant pile of living rock that represents itself in telepathic hallucinations as a giant floating mouth.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Obviously.
  • Enfant Terrible: Gaia, so very much. Within the four hours from her birth to the end of Fear, she manages to torture Penny after she accidentally drops her and then laugh at the scene, laugh, once more, at seeing terrified children walk into a fire due to Penny's visions and forcing her mother to relieve her horrible memories of eating Panda. And that's not all... She also attempts to kill both her own father, Caine, by trying to crush him against the FAYZ barrier and Sam, by trying to rip him apart via telekinesis. Thankfully, she doesn't succeed in any of the two cases.
  • Ensemble Cast: While Sam could generally be called the protagonist (though there are always large portions of the story not focused on him), "Lies" moves all the way into this trope, with Sam getting equal or less attention than Astrid's struggle to lead the council and care for her brother, Sanjit and the island kids trying to fly to the mainland, power struggles among the Coates kids, Mary's growing mental problems, and many other subplots with the rest of the Loads and Loads of Characters.
  • Et Tu, Brute? Sam and Quinn in the first book.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: All the Coates kids have something or someone capable of humanizing them... Except Drake, that kid jumped off the slippery slope a long time ago and is proud of it.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Caine is understandably appalled at what Penny did to Cigar in the twelve hours she had him. To put it simply, she tortured him to insanity. When Lana regenerates his eyes he thinks back to some of the hallucinations she caused, and we get to see them.
  • Evil Overlord List: Caine fails at 17, 24, 55, 61, 100, 111, 115, 131, 151, 164, 223 and possibly 18 and 19. He actually follows 199.
    • 19. Only the reason for the rule is averted oh so hard.
  • Express Delivery: Diana's pregnancy develops at an accelerated pace, probably because the baby in question is a mutant.
  • Eye Scream: What ever is left of Cigar's eyes after Lana tries to regrow them.
  • Expy: Several characters are reminiscent of Michael Grant's previous series with wife K.A. Applegate:
    • Sam is very similar to Jake in terms of taking charge and being looked at as a leader figure. There's also a bit of Jobs's dreamer, kind-hearted soul there too.
    • Astrid is an interesting mix of Ax, Jalil, and Cassie. She loves science and analyzing things like Ax, is a rational thinker much like Jalil but she's every bit of the heart and Team Mom that Cassie was.
    • Dekka is basically a transplanted Tate, with shades of Rachel.
    • Caine has every bit of Yago's ambition and ruthlessness and Diana is as manipulative and cunning as 2Face.
  • Faith Heel Turn: Britney in Plague. Also Astrid, after seriously questioning her faith, becomes much more of an Anti-Hero.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Regular kids against the Moofs (mutant freaks).
    • Quinn at his lowest points resorts to actual racism, usually against Edilio. In fact, nearly every villain refers to Edilio as "the Mexican". Lampshaded in the second book by Edilio himself:

Edilio: I'm not just your good-looking Mexican sidekick.
Sam: You're not Mexican, you're Honduran.
Edilio: Sometimes I forget.

    • In Plague, Lance goes full-out racist and blames blacks, gays, Mexicans and Jews for all his problems, as well as freaks.
  • Fille Fatale: Diana, to some extent, although relative to the rest of the FAYZ, fourteen isn't that young.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: "Brittney had no romantic feelings for Edilio, but what she had went a lot deeper. She would rather burn for eternity in the hottest fires of hell than let Edilio down. "
    • Dekka and Sam:

Sam: I don't want to sound weird, but you know I love you, right?
Dekka: Love you too, Sam.

Howard: "Don't worry about it. It's just a FAYZ!"

    • The E.Z Killers (mutated worms), or "zekes".
    • The SDC, "supernatural death cough."
  • Gallows Humor:

Quinn: It looks like the world's worst picnic.
Astrid: I believe that's what's referred to as Gallows Humor.

  • Gender Blender Name : Quinn is a boy.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: When she meets the Darkness in Plague, Brittany goes mad and coems to believe that it is God.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck: Diana is often referred to as witch, instead of the obvious swear word bitch.
    • She actually refers to herself as a bitch in Plague, subverting this trope.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: The good guys are not wholly good, and the bad guys are not wholly evil. Except for Drake, again. And Penny.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Caine throws Duck at the Darkness. It doesn't seem like much, but Duck has altered his mass to that of a mountain.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Duck dies in order to defeat the Darkness
  • Harmful to Touch: Touching the barrier feels like sticking your entire arm in an electrical outlet.
  • The Hero: Mercilessly deconstructed with Sam who by the end of Hunger, gets so fed up with the stress and dealing with everyone else's problems that he quits.
  • Heroic BSOD: Sam and Lana, in Lies.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: Howard and Orc. Sam and Quinn originally.
  • High Heel Face Turn: Zig-Zagged with Diana. Throughout the series, she's probably the least outwardly loyal Coates kid, often to the point of sabotaging their plans, but is the only one that actually cares about Caine. She stays even after half the team Heel Face Turns but is openly critical of how things are being done. Finally, in Plague, she leaves for good. But she remains on her own side the whole time, so there's no technical change.
  • Homeschooled Kids: Emily and her brother, Brother. Well, before the FAYZ, anyways.
    • And Orsay.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: Most mutants.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: Brittney begging Sam to kill her (and Drake) in Lies and Plague.
    • In Plague after Dekka gets hit by a greenie.

Dekka: Don't let it happen. Swear to me Sam. Swaer it to me by God or by your own soul or whatever you believe, swear to me, Sam.
Sam: I won't let it happen, Dekka. I swear it.

Grant: Cheerful line-up, eh? Gone, Hunger, Lies, and Plague. Ah, good times in the FAYZ."

    • The defining characteristic of the series. If it gets better, it will get worse.
  • Jerkass: Caine in Plague.
  • Lack of Empathy: Drake. Also, Caine is becoming more this way by Lies.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Diana becomes pregnant quite quickly once her and Caine get down to it, even though not long before that she was very badly starved, which should have had some kind of effect of her fertility/menstrual cycles (it should have stopped them.)
  • Lampshade Hanging: Astrid has a habit of pointing out the techniques people use in their speech, e.g. "Rhetorical question" or "Defensive humor."
  • Little Miss Badass : Arguably, all the female cast, but especially Brianna, one of the youngest Action Girl of the series.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters : At the beginning of Hunger The list of people alive in Perdido Beach is at 332, and at least sixty names come up on a regular basis.
  • Love Makes You Dumb: This is parodied in Plague

Virtue: I'm going to refuse to do puberty. It makes you stupid.

Lana: Maybe you're attracted to dangerous unbalanced people, but listen up: I'm not Edward and you're not Bella.
Sanjit: I don't understand what that means.

Diana: This isn't the movies, Caine. He looked like roadkill.

Dekka: I'm black and I'm lesbian, so believe me, there are always lines.