– Amanda Panitch –
Margaret K McElderry Books
Published 12 April 2022
Did you know that if the electricity stops, 90% of the population will die? It’s this scary premise on which Gone Dark is built. I have to admit, it took me a while to be brave enough to continue reading this book after initially starting it. I wasn’t in the right headspace for “major event in which the population struggles to survive and people die”, you know, given the situation with things in the world right now, but I am so glad I did pick it up again, because I got hooked.
Gone Dark is a compelling story of survival and what it takes to be a survivor. Zara was raised by her dad, trained to hunt, prepare for disaster, shoot a crossbow and every skill she’d ever need to survive anything. But it’s been years since she lived on the compound, after her mother moved them back to civilisation. Now, Zara spends more time in survival video games than honing any real survival skills. But when Zara notices a pattern in the recent blackouts, she fears it’s a sign of something bad coming. No one believes her. Not her best friend, school friends or even her mother. So when the power goes out and stays out across the entire country, Zara does what she knows how to do – survive. But it will take everything she knows to reinuite with her mother, team up with and keep her gaming buddy Gabe safe, and rescue her best friend.
Readers who love dystopian books will love Gone Dark. It’s highly addictive and compelling reading and I can’t wait to add it to our shelves, alongside other “the world is ending but we’ll survive” titles. If there is a time to show just how strong teens are and can be, it’s now and Zara is one very strong character. Her growth across the pages of this book is absorbing and she swings from one crazy, horrifying scenario to the next, yet she doesn’t let it stop her. Her faith in humanity is challenged, but it’s how close to home this tradgedy is that really gets to her.
I loved the group that band around Zara. It’s starts with Gabe, but as they travel to find and rescue Gabe’s sister, they start to find other teens like them who want to survive. There is a bit of romance as well, which is the perfect relief to this otherwise thrilling (although the romance is kind of thrilling as well) tale.
Perfect for fans of Clare Zorn’s The Sky So Heavy and Erik J Brown’s All That’s Left In The World.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Category: Young adult fiction.
Genre: Dystopian, Adventure.
Themes: Survival, disasters, power outages, food shortages, prepping, family, father-daughter relationships, romance.
Reading age guide: Ages 12 and up.
Advisory: Strong detailed violence, death, injury, murder, gun use, hunting. Occasional coarse language, sh** (1), bit** (3).
Published: 12 April 2022 by Margaret K. McElderry Books.
Format: Paperback, ebook, audiobook. 448 pages.