“All eyes are on Perdido Beach. The barrier wall is now as clear as glass and life in the FAYZ is visible for the entire outside world to see. Life inside the dome remains a constant battle and the Darkness, away from watchful eyes, grows and grows…
The society that Sam and Astrid have struggled so hard to build is about to be shattered for good. Who will survive to see the light of day?”
I liked the Aftermath chapters more than the ones leading up to it, to be quite honest. But overall, I’m just really happy that this series is finally done with, and that I can finally start forgetting about the characters.
Which is sad, really. I started this series with such high hopes. I liked the characters in Gone, more so because of their flaws. But when their flaws became too overpowering, and when there became too many characters, well, I sort of just gave up on it. Well, not really. Had I actually given up, I would have probably stopped reading by the third book.
Now, I don’t discount the fact that the book was engaging. It is. It’s just also really frustrating, because you feel like the characters are not growing at all. And the characters you’ve been told to care for, the ones who you have been following, are suddenly disposable. (Yes, I am talking about Connie Temple, and Dahra, and the Artful Roger. And yes, I also know that only one died from the three people I mentioned. That doesn’t mean they weren’t treated distastefully. Disrespectfully.)
I guess Michael Grant has done his job well, because he’s getting this kind of ire from me. But I didn’t want to feel ire. I wanted escape. I wanted a good story. I wanted characters to care for.
At the end of it all, the only character I cared about was Edilio. Maybe Lana. Maybe Diana. But Edilio is the only one who you can truly call a well-written character.
The problem really, and I’ve been saying this since the third book, is that there are way too many characters. You cannot root for a group of kids, unless you treat them as one unit. And I think the author didn’t want to do that, because that wouldn’t be true. Which is true. A group of kids as a unit would mean they are all on one side. When they aren’t. Which would be fine, if there weren’t two all-powerful almost-deities also fighting for control.
Had I been writing this series, there probably wouldn’t be six books. Just four. Book one was good as it is. Books two and three could have been combined, ending with the two sides of moofs joining forces to fight against the Darkness. Books four and five would’ve also joined together as the Darkness used the non-powered humans against the empowered ones. Ending with the birth of Gaia. The last book would start with the fight against Gaia, but would deal with the actual repercussions of what happened more. The Aftermath chapters would be longer, for sure.
We’ve seen a lot of useless characters take up pages and time when characters that needed development could have been given their due.
Connie Temple should have been a bigger character, the disintegration of her relationship with Sam deserved page space, and should not have been a throwaway line.
With the haphazard way the book was ended, I felt disrespected. As if, after spoon-feeding me information, the writer didn’t trust that I would be able to understand why so-and-so happened. That I wouldn’t be able to accept why this happened and that didn’t.
Damn right, I didn’t. Because I was not shown why. I was just told that it happened. That’s very lazy writing, if you ask me. And after sticking with this series for six books, I feel like I deserve better.
So as I close the last page of this book, I say good bye. And may I forget that I ever laid eyes on this series. That I ever started reading it.