I love it when new books hit the shelves at Borders or Barnes and Noble and they get put on that special "Newly Released" shelf! Everything is so shiny and new! I've seen this book on said shelf frequently in the last couple months. I finally remembered to put it on hold at the library so I could read it!
Gone is the story of a bunch of teenagers who suddenly find themselves in a world without parents. One day, all people in their town over the age of 15 simply vanish (or "poof" as many of the kids call it). I eagerly dove in to this book waiting to find out the reason for the disappearances. Was it going to be an alien invasion? Parallel universes? Some spiritual disturbance? Bizarre natural disaster?
The book is fairly well paced, and interesting. There is a LOT of flip-flopping of the balance of power though. Part way in the kids and teens start to fall into two groups - for the sake of this entry I'm going to call them the "good kids" and the "bad kids". Clever aren't I? It seems that every 1-3 chapters the power would transfer from one group to another. The bad kids took over the town. The good kids fight back and surprise the bad kids. The bad kids are sneaky and gain back control. The bad kids are going to kill some good kids. The good kids escape. The bad kids catch them again. They're trapped. Then they escape. Etc. Etc. I like not knowing what's coming next, but after a while I started to feel a little tossed about by this pattern of events.
Most frustrating - the ending was completely ambiguous and did not give a clear explanation of what caused the disappearance or even what was happening with certain characters! I was completely shocked by this non-ending. I thought this was a stand-alone book! Then I got online. Somehow I had missed the fact that this book is the first in a series - a series that will likely end up having 6 volumes! So now I can forgive the cliff-hanger ending. Unfortunately I'll have to wait awhile to read more of what happens.