This review WILL contain spoilers for previous books in the series, so if you haven’t yet begun this series I urge you not to continue.
It MAY/WILL contain spoilers for LIGHT.
BEWARE OF EMOTIONAL OUTBURSTS, TOO.
‘Turn out the light, Sam.’
Sam reached for the switch and turned out the light.
Title: Light, Gone #6
Author: Michael Grant
Publication: April 1st, 2013 by Egmont Books
Format, pages: Hardcover, 576
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction, Apocalyptic
IT’S THE END OF ONE OF MY FAVOURITE SERIES!
It’s been more than a year since every person over the age of fifteen disappeared from the town of Perdido Beach, California. In that time, countless battles have been fought: Battles against hunger and lies and plagues and worse, battles of good against evil, and kid against kid. Allegiances have been won, lost, betrayed, and won again; ideologies have been shattered and created anew, and the kids of the FAYZ have begun to believe that their new society is the only life they’ll ever know. But now that the Darkness has found a way to be reborn, the tenuous existence they‘ve established is likely to be shattered for good. Will the kids of Perdido Beach even survive?
Light, the sixth and final book in the New York Times bestselling Gone series (which has spanned more than 3,000 pages!) asks as many profound and provocative questions as it answers, while bestselling mastermind and author Michael Grant creates an unforgettable, arresting conclusion that readers won’t able to stop talking about.
For the past four years I’ve followed Michael Grant’s Gone series. I’ll admit I came to this party almost three years late. One day browsing Borders I stumbled upon this book with blue-edged pages. That book was, of course, the UK hardcover of Lies, the third book in the series, which had just been released. On impulse, and being ignorant of the fact that it was the third in a series, I bought it. I liked the blue. But I had no idea that that impulse buy, sheerly on the colour and design of the book, would introduce me to a series of impressively written teenage characters, many whom to fall in love with, a series to follow and be apart of until the end in years to come (e.g., now), and a series to call one of my favourites.
This series also made me a fan of Michael Grant, an author who consistently pushes the boundaries of reality, of fiction for teens and young adult, producing a world such as the FAYZ that could very well happen, and a diverse range of characters, of young people, that could very well attend your school, or even be in your class, with crippling secrets and haunting pasts, with feelings and fears and desires that you would otherwise never had known they possessed if you did not take the chance to meet them, follow their stories, experience what they experienced, how they changed, for the better or for the worst. For the past six years, six books, three thousand pages, from Gone all the way to Light, that is exactly what we, the readers, did. We took a chance and met Michael Grant’s characters – Sam, Caine, Astrid, Diana, Pete, Quinn, Edilio, Lana, Brianna, Jack and all those others. Even Drake and Brittany and the gaiaphage/Gaia. We took the plunge into Michael Grant’s story, followed it from beginning to end, because we found something special within it, grew an attachment to it – whatever ‘it’ was. For me it definitely was the characters, their struggles and triumphs, their fears and doubts, their beginnings and ends, that made me keep returning. After reading the conclusion, the finale, the endgame, it was sad to say goodbye. It truly was.
So thank you Michael Grant. For this series. For these characters. For a story and message(s) that will linger, forever, deep within, and whenever I look upon my shelf and see those books I will remember what they hold: the power to choose – the power to choose good, be good, wield good. To not be afraid. To be someone that chooses wisely, someone who uses their power – whatever that power may be – for good in changing and making the world a much better place to live in. Every teenager that reads these books will understand, despite whatever they’re battling – depression, illness, failure, suicide, heartbreak, loss, addiction, sexuality, among others – that the power lies in their hands, and we can only hope that they discover that power and use it to emit light, guidance, strength – a future to look forward to. And just like what I deduced from Fear, it’s up to ourselves to transcend our deepest and darkest fears.
Michael Grant understands his readers, the modern teenager, and enhances his stories with this understanding. After all, we need to battle through darkness to discover a world of light. Adults censoring or banning such works like Michael Grant’s from their children could learn a thing or two, with the adults doing much more harm to those their “protecting” than these books could ever do: none and quite the opposite.
It’s not easy ending a series and Michael Grant ended it with integrity and intrepidity, both of those things I love to see in what I read. There was a lot of horror and pain, torment and loss in Light – all of that belongs to be in the book, rightfully, dutifully. Because, after all, we are human; there’s good and evil in each and every one of us, chances for redemption and atonement if we allow ourselves change in our lives, a chance to love and respect, a chance to live and survive. We have that right if we choose to accept it. There are other times when we are far beyond being given the right to choose, clouded too heavily in darkness. That the choice, if there ever was one, was made without us even knowing, subconsciously, predetermined. This was the case with Drake. He was predetermined to take on a dark role within the FAYZ, and there really was no change in him since the first book other than physically and in his thirst for more power.