Everyone over the age of 15 disappears in a poof. Everyone under the age of 15 must fend for themselves. Most of the story focuses on Sam, a reluctant hero, and his smart and resourceful friend Astrid. Astrid’s main concern is taking care of her autistic brother, but she also wants to solve the mystery of why there is a giant dome covering their adult-less town. Of course, a cruel and twisted boy from the private school on the hill wants to be in control, and he sees Sam and Astrid as major threats to be taken down.
There is a lot of violence and gruesome imagery, and because of radiation, the kids develop lots of creepy mutations and special powers. The special powers contribute to the growing panic, and also intensify the Lord of the Flies atmosphere.
I couldn’t stop reading the book, but looking back, it was a bit unsatisfying. Like Hunger Games, but with flat characters. Also, while the content is 14 and up (death, violence, etc…) the writing feels suited for lower level readers. Since no character can be above the age of fifteen, there is the added feeling that most of the characters are extremely immature and inexperienced.
I know I am only giving it two stars, but it is still worth reading if you want something easy and entertaining.
Nora’s rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Author: Michael Grant
Publication date: 2008
For more reviews of dystopian fiction check out fellow blogger Presenting Lenore’s Dystopian August page!