Perdido Beach seems like hundreds of other small coastal towns. It does have a nuclear power plant and a private school (Coate’s Academy) for, well let’s call them challenging students. But everything is pretty normal until normal disappears.
It’s every kid’s dream. All the adults just disappear. Anyone over the age of 14 just “poofs” out. Kids rule. Yet, it turns out to be more of a nightmare than a dream come true. Order disappears along with the adults. Bullies reign. To make things even more unsettling, animals start mutating and some kids develop strange, often dangerous powers. And there’s no getting out. An impenetrable bubble has surrounded the town of Perdido Beach, cutting everyone off from the outside world. This story is an intense battle between good and evil. Some readers might find it reminiscent of Lord of the Flies.
The survivors have divided themselves into two groups. One is led by Sam, a teen from the local public school. Known as School bus Sam because he once took charge and saved the day when the bus driver had a heart attack while driving a busload of kids. The other group is lead by Caine, a student from Coate’s Academy. Sam is the reluctant hero, while Caine is a power grabbing bully. They share a hidden past they are both unaware of until one of Caine’s followers starts researching everyone’s backgrounds.
Young adults (and adults) who enjoy futuristic dystopian stories will enjoy this series. Gone is the first in a series. However, adults should be prepared to be shocked by some of the behavior. Kids can be scary. If you enjoyed Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games or James Dashner’s The Maze Runner, you should give this series a try.