The sheer size of this book at first may seem daunting. However the story istelf is so well written and so interesting, you don’t realize how far into the novel you got until you stop and take a break. Then you realize, the book was certainly fast to go through because it was just that good. The action starts right at the first page. It then keeps going. I loved the mystery behind it all. Little bits and clues are finally given through the later half of the book, but it’s well drawn out. Not to mention, there is also the survival issue that plays a very important part in this book. A lot of the emphasis is on survival and the breaking off of the teens in several groups or cliques. The plot does certainly become darker up to this point. Especially when the bullies come in to enforce their own style of rules. When Caine steps into the picture, the plot takes another twist. It was one thing after another, and I could not tear my eyes off of this book. I was so engrossed in it, I had to keep going back after taking a break because the plot was just that interesting. You could say it’s a version of Lord of the Flies on a grander scale. It also shows human nature and its brutality through Caine and his group. Some of the things his group does may seem shocking, especially as these characters are teenagers and not fully grown adults. (I could not get over the cement thing...just could not) There is quite a number of characters to keep track of. However it’s not hard as each and every one of them are memorable - whether through their personality traits, or their own super skills, they’re easily identifiable. It’s also made simple. There’s good versus evil. Then you can even break it into smaller groups based on their ‘social status’. You can even go further and organize the characters by their skills or powers if they have any. It was a great way to identify the character and remember them throughout the book. More do get added as the story progresses, but their personality traits are different from one another so it’s not hard to remember them at all. I can’t really decide who would be my favorite character. All of them have something I like. Except for Quinn. He’s the biggest coward on the block. I admire Sam for being so forgiving. I however, probably wouldn’t be so forgiving towards Quinn for his idiocies. He would be my least favorite character in the book. I like how some of the more important characters have their own story, and their own issues. It certainly does give them a more ‘three-dimensional’ feel to it. I had already picked up the second book, Hunger, before finishing this one, and I have no regrets purchasing it. Gone is by far, one of the best books I’ve read this year (even though I’m a little late to join the bandwagon on this series!) I do recommend this to everyone, even if you’re not into YA but like books where things in the world just run amok. It’s a great book and well worth the time spent reading.