is a Fan Fic
by Michael Grant
. It has the exact same premise as Gone
: All the adults disappear, a dome appears around a twenty-mile radius, and the kids get superpowers. Despite incorporating the same premise and many of the same tropes as Gone
, however, it focuses on a completely different group of kids, there's no Gaiaphage, and the adults disappeared for completely different reasons.
The chapters are very, very short (typically between 100 and 800 words), meaning that the author can get a lot to happen very quickly. The fic is divided into several 'books', each spanning fifty chapters exactly. The first book has now been completed, called Disappearance
. The second is in progress, and the working title is Control
The author, gradually, brought a theme out of the story. It's basically an exploration of how horrible violence can be, especially when people who aren't really evil commit it to each other. Throughout the series, we consistently get the POV of both sides of a fight, and we get everyone's reaction to every injury or death - the person being killed, the killer, and the killed person's friends all narrate.
The author started it impulsively one day, and he has no plans for it beyond the next couple chapters. Consequentially, it might not be published if it turns out to suck - even now, he thinks that the plot is rushed and that he's introducing too many characters at once to flesh them out effectively. Nevertheless, he's going to continue writing, just for the hell of it. He just probably won't publish it. However, if you like the looks of it, feel free to give advice on the discussion page.
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Gone Again provides examples of:
- A Death in the Limelight: The fist half of Control focuses heavily on Kristopher's character arc, only for him to die halfway through the book.
- Aborted Arc: Originally, Charlie was going to be a major villain, but the author couldn't figure out how to make it interesting, so he just had Yasuna kill him. At least he managed to get rid of the character without Dropping a Bridge On Him.
- There was mention early on of Grady trying to find adults; he presumably fails, but we never find out.
- Abusive Parents: Hazel used to have them.
- Action Series
- Adults Are Useless: Since, y'know, they all disappeared.
- Agony Beam: David can shoot them.
- Amusing Injuries: Hazel slamming a door on Grady's fingers, although it does create a genuinely tender moment when she gives him a band-aid.
- Anti-Villain: All of the villains, pretty much. You'd think David would be the exception, but only his crazy personality is actually a villain.
- Anyone Can Die
- Back from the Dead: Alex, essentially as a zombie.
- Bad Powers, Bad People: David's Agony Beam ability.
- Bad Powers, Good People/Beware the Nice Ones: Gav. His superpower turns out to be the ability to change how hard or soft an object that he's touching is. This means that he can affect how hard it hurts when he punches you and how much damage it does - if he wants to, he can crush your brain just by patting your head. But he wouldn't do that, because he's actually very nice and sweet. Unless you hit one of his Berserk Buttons, as Cassie learns the hard way.
- Badass: Gav, at one point, beats up Cassie, who was guarding the mayor's office, to get to Maria. He lampshades it:
That was the most badass thing I've ever done.
- Also, Cady turns out to be pretty badass when she gets into a fight with Rollins.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Between Will and Paige, until Will gets brain damage and can't recognize faces anymore. That puts a pretty big wedge in it.
- Big Bad: David.
- Bittersweet Ending: Control. Some bad things and some good things happened (although mostly bad things).
- The good things:
- The daycare was successfully set up, without David finding out.
- Paige, Sarah, Will, Gav, and Kaelyn have all avoided being killed by Rollins.
- Tobias, Rollins, and Cassie are beginning to work on plans to overthrow David and kill Yasuna.
- The bad things:
- Jason is trapped in David's basement, at his mercy.
- The protesters failed once again, and both Jobs and Fisher died in the effort.
- Rollins is going to be punished by David at any moment for not killing everyone he was told to kill.
- David has still failed to tell anyone about his Split Personality.
- Alex still isn't dead.
- Cary, Charlie, and Kristopher, on the other hand, are dead.
- Micah has run out of pills to treat her bipolar disorder.
- Will has been shot in the head and can no longer identify people by looking at them.
- Black Dude Dies First: Alex, the first character in the entire series to be killed, was black. The author didn't mention his skin color until after his death, and he didn't realize the Unfortunate Implications until after he wrote it.
- Blood Knight: David's sociopathic personality.
- Body Horror: Gav punches Rollins so hard in The Control that he swallows one of his own teeth.
- Boom, Headshot: Justified; none of the characters are trained gun-users, so they all think it's best to aim for the head. (This usually works out pretty well, since so far, almost all the battles have been very close-range.)
- Chekhov's Gun: Jem has a conversation with Will and Paige about whether or not they're carrying guns. It seems insignificant at first, but it becomes important later: Jem was trying to find out whether or not Will and Paige could've forced Kristopher to give up his sisters at gunpoint. They couldn't have, and he didn't.
- Also, David's gun, which we see give the Touch of Death to Grady early on, is what makes Alex a zombie.
- Contagious Powers: The Touch of Death superpower is spread to Grady and Alex through David's gun.
- Crapsack World
- Creepy Child: Alex, after he comes Back from the Dead.
- Cruel Twist Ending: We learn that Cary's mom died of cancer, but that he's going to make an active effort to be strong and move on less than a hundred words before Rollins kills Cary.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Every fight that Gav gets into - he manages to severely beat up Cassie, Rollins, and even David.
- Cycle of Revenge: Discussed in Kaelyn's narration in Control, through a borderline Author Filibuster:
What would [Will's family] think if they could see what Will looks like right now? What would they think if they saw any of this? Would they want revenge on whoever did this? Or would they see the value in just ending the violence, ending the deaths? I hope, for Willís sake, that they would just want an end to the deaths, an end to stupid revenge. Because whoever did this to Will is an evil person, but shooting him in the face wonít make him any less evil. Itíll just put him through pain, make his family mourn him.
- Darker and Edgier: It's a little less dark than the series it's based on, but it's certainly edgier, being more up-front about cursing and sex.
- The Control is more of both than The Disappearance.
- Deadpan Snarker: Will can go to into it, mainly when talking to Paige. Also, Eve.
- Deus Angst Machina: The entire series. In particular, the pileup of really terrible events that happen to the daycare - among them Shelby's death, Cary's death, Jem giving away all of their names except Marco's to David, Kristopher's death, and Stella's Random Teleportation - were unrealistically tragic, even for a fan fiction of Gone.
- Disability Superpower: Everyone gets their superpowers after an injury of some kind, and some of the injuries can be pretty harmful. For example, Sarah gets her superpower after a baby accidentally set her on fire, Grady and Alex get their superpowers from getting shot with David's gun, and Gav gets his superpower after he crashed his car into the barrier.
- Downer Ending: Disappearance has one. Nobody except David get what they want in the least. Here's a sum of all the bad things that happened:
- Cady's protesters failed to accomplish anything.
- Nick, Shelby, and three of Cady's protesters are dead.
- Jem, Yasuna, Tobias, and Cassie are forced to kill all the kids in Grantsville except those that were taken to the daycare.
- Jem and David know the names of all the daycare workers except for Marco.
- All of the babies in the daycare are dead.
- Rollins is about to be forced to kill Gav, Kaelyn, Will, Cary, Sarah, and Paige.
- The final daycare kids alive have disappeared; the only person who knows where they are is Kristopher, and he doesn't want anything to do with them.
- Dwindling Party: The kids that Kaelyn and the others rescue. They rescue twenty-seven in total, but eight have already died, and there are plans to kill of many, many more.
- Ensemble Cast: The closest thing the series has to a main character is David... and he's the Big Bad.
- Expy: The author is a huge fan of both Michael Grant and his wife, K. A. Applegate, so he sometimes (whether intentionally or not) imitates their characters.
- The author admits that David is basically Drake and Caine rolled into one character.
- Kaelyn is based somewhat heavily on Cassie from Animorphs.
- Cary is pretty similar to 2Face from Remnants.
- Famous Last Words:
- "Yeah. Yeah, that works." - Shelby
- "David, no, please, no, you donít get it, you donít understand!" - Kristopher
- "Rollins? Whatís wrong? What happened to you?" - Cary
- "Do you want to see?" - Charlie
- "What do you mean?" - Fisher
- "Let us go, David. We donít want trouble from you! Weíll leave." - Jobs
- Fingore: Tobias loses part of his fingers when he touches Alex, not aware that Alex had the Touch of Death.
- Foreshadowing: Lots and lots of it.
- All that talk about the possibility of Kristopher making a Heroic Sacrifice? Really, the author didn't even bother trying to hide his fate.
- This trope also comes in not with what is said, but with what isn't - Jem is the only teenager that works for the daycare whose POV we don't get early on, because he's The Mole.
- Hell, that reveal was foreshadowed to hell and back with that technique. Jem was the only person left off the list that David gives to Rollins of people to kill.
- It got even more foreshadowing when Yasuna mentions that someone was missing from the meet-up of David's workers. Jem was the one missing.
- Both of the above reveals get foreshadowed in the same scene, if you know what you're looking at. Jem asks Will and Paige if they had guns. This foreshadows both that Jem is The Mole, and that David suspected that Kristopher was lying.
- David gets a few Out of Character Moments towards the end of Disappearance, foreshadowing his Split Personality.
- Gotta Kill Em All: David is on a mission to kill every person under six in Grantsville. So far, he's succeeded with all but eighteen.
- David also sends Rollins on such a mission, to kill Will, Cary, Gav, Sarah, Paige, and Kaelyn. Needless to say, it doesn't go very well, although he successfully kills Cary before giving up.
- Gone Horribly Right: David's plan to kill the kids? So far, he's succeeded at all but eighteen. The problem is, this is a huge source of guilt for his sane personality.
- Grey and Gray Morality: Nobody is wholly good or wholly evil.
- Discussed (sort of) by Rollins:
"Maybe it would just be better to get myself killed by David. Maybe I should just go to him and say, ďI canít do this, just fucking
shoot me already.Ē It would certainly save me some time - I feel certain that if he doesnít kill me now, heíll do it later, when he realizes that I couldnít kill Gav.
But no. I have to prolong my life as long as possible. Every time I think of telling David to shoot me, of me getting shot, I know that I canít do it. I have to survive. Thatís my goal. Survival. Iíll do whatever I have to, kill whatever I have to, just to stay alive. Does that make me an evil person? Maybe. But itís what I have to do. Certainly, what Iím doing is wrong, but it doesnít matter, because I donít have a choice, not really. The right thing to do would be to make some heroic sacrifice
and let myself get killed rather than kill people, but who would honestly do that? What person would honestly let themselves get killed? Nobody, thatís who. Only a suicidally depressed person would choose death, no matter how horrible the alternative is."
- Heel-Face Revolving Door: Kristopher changes sides quite a bit.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Kristopher is in a position where he might have to die in order to protect his sisters, and he's pretty nervous about it.
Thereís just no way [David] will be okay with this. I want to be loyal to him; it might be the only way to stay alive. But I canít get my sisters killed for that - thatís all there is to it.
And this is the alternative. The alternative to getting my sisters killed might be to get myself killed.
Iím not sure if Iím okay with that. I mean, everybody thinks that theyíll be able to sacrifice themselves for the people they love, but nobody ever has to actually do it. And now that Iím in that situation, Iím not sure if I can. I once heard a comedian say something like, Thereís no one worth dying for, because then youíre dead, and you canít know if it was actually worth it or not. Itís like throwing a million dollars on the sidewalk and hoping someone that works for a charity will pick it up.Ē The guy might be right - if David kills me, that doesnít necessarily mean Sloane and Maddy will make it out alive. Maybe if I knew for sure that they would, Iíd be willing to go through with this. But without that certaintyÖ
- In the end, Kristopher has to go through with the sacrifice, but he manages to save his sisters, at least for now.
- Infant Immortality: Averted, oh so much. Kids constantly die in the series, and David's friends successfully kill fifty-one of the seventy young kids in Grantsville.
- Instant Death Bullet: To some extent. In this universe, you can be shot without dying - just ask Will - but a direct shot to the head with cause an instant death.
- Jerkass: Taken Up to Eleven with David, done to a lesser extent with Tobias, Nick, and Yasuna.
- Kick the Dog: The series gets quite a few moments.
- Gav beating up Cassie for information.
- Gav punching Rollins in the face and knocking him out for two hours.
- Yasuna stabbing Cassie in the neck to prevent her from stopping Charlie's capture.
- Rollins giving Will brain damage, although he was attempting to Shoot the Dog.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Gav beating up David.
- Kill 'em All: The author's intent for the ending. Or maybe just the entire thing.
- Kudzu Plot: The plot introduced several narrators and sub-plots at once, some of which don't interact with each other at all. The author also admits that whenever he doesn't know where to take his current plots, he just adds a new one to give himself more time to think.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Averted when Will gets shot in the head. He still has all his memories, but he has... other mental problems.
- Living Battery/Shock and Awe: Sarah's superpower.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: There've been nineteen narrators so far, in forty chapters.
- Meaningful Name: All of the names are named after a character from something, usually a book:
- Gav, Kaelyn —> The Way We Fall
- Hazel —> The Fault in Our Stars
- Grady —> Parrotfish
- Maria —> "Dear Maria, Count Me In"
- David —> Adaptation
- Tobias —> Animorphs
- Will —> Will Grayson, Will Grayson
- Sarah, Kristopher —> Shattered Mirror
- Paige —> Foxtrot, officially, although it could also be What Happens Next
- Cassie —> Officially Give Up the Ghost, although it could also be Touchstone and Animorphs
- Nick —> Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist
- Alex —> Ashfall
- Jem —> Infernal Devices
- Cary, Sloane —> This is Not a Test
- Maddy —> And All the Stars
- Tim —> Give Up the Ghost
- Connor —> A Monster Calls
- Peter —> Pete Wentz, officially, although it could also be Gone, Foxtrot, or Peeta of The Hunger Games.
- Yasuna —> Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl
- Eve —> Eve and Adam
- Darla —> Ashfall, officially, although it could also be Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
- Romeo, Jobs —> Remnants
- Cady —> Mean Girls
- Jason —> Jason Lancaster, officially, although it could also be Crazy.
- Shelby —> Crazy
- Billy —> Doctor Horribles Singalong Blog, officially, although it could also be Remnants
- The Mole: Jem.
- Mood Whiplash: The series can be extremely dark and heavy-handed, but every once in a while, we get a lighter, comic relief scene.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Jem saves the lives of all the remaining daycare workers by telling them that David knows their names.
- Oh, and X Dies: Inverted; in something similar to what K. A. Applegate did in Remnants, the author has said that he'll do his best to keep Hazel alive, although he can't promise anything. He's also given tentative immortality to three other characters, and marked a bunch of characters that he knows are going to die.
- It's down to two people with tenative immortality; the third already died.
- Oh, Crap: When Jason wakes up to realize that David has him trapped in his basement.
- One Person, One Power
- Only Child Syndrome: The author's goal was to avert it where Gone had played it straight.
- Only Fatal to Adults
- Playing with Fire: Jem ends up having to kill a baby because it couldn't control where it was shooting fireballs.
- Plot Allergy: One of the little kids that Marco and Sarah were taking care of dies when they give her nuts.
- Population: X, and Counting: The author is keeping track of the population of Grantsville as people die. It started at 151 (not including the adults), but it has since dropped to 130.
- Porn Stash:
Nick: You donít have any kids hidden anywhere?
: Iíve got some porn hidden in the closet.
- Posthumous Narration: A few characters, like Kristopher, narrate their own death.
- Power Glows: Everyone glows when they use their power, and the way they glow depends on the power. So, for example, Grady can disintegrate things with his hand, so he glows black. The baby that Jem kills shoots fireballs, so she glows red.
- Power Hair: Sarah's Living Battery power only comes from her hair.
- Power Palms: Played straight with Grady, averted with everyone else. It's justified in Grady's case - he got his powers when he got shot from David's gun, and David shot him in the arm.
- Random Events Plot: The author has no idea what he's doing. He's just throwing out new plots for the hell of it to see if he can tie everything together. He's doing far better than he expected, all things considered.
- Random Teleportation: Stella, who transports all of the non-baby daycare kids to her older brother's house when Jem and David invaded the campsite.
- The Reveal: David has two personalities, apparently, in something the author has yet to explain. Because he doesn't know why it happened.
- Jem was The Mole.
- David knew that Kristopher was lying about being forced to give up Maddy and Sloane the entire time.
- Will got brain damage from when Rollins shot him in the head.
- Shoot Everything That Moves: A battle in which this is the only option occurs at the end of Disappearance. The mayor's hall is complete chaos, with protesters, David's workers, and little kids mixed in - nobody can see who they're targeting, they just have to shoot.
- Shoot the Dog: The series gets quite a few moments; virtually every death in the series was done to someone that was completely unprepared to stop it.
- David and Jem killing the babies in the daycare.
- Yasuna, Tobias, Jem, and Cassie killing the kids that David had captured.
- Yasuna killing Charlie.
- Rollins killing Cary.
- David shooting Alex in the head.
- David killing Kristopher.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: It happens in a couple of character arcs.
- Cary dies right after deciding that he'll stop angsting over the death of his mother and get in a healthy relationship with Sarah - he'll never get to do either one.
- Kristopher dies before he can know for sure whether or not he protected his sisters successfully. As of now he has, but he'll never appreciate it.
- Shout-Out: When David awakes to find Maria standing over him and trying to kill him, he says, "Hello, little girl."
Paige: Alright, which one of you is Sloane, and which of you is Maddy?
Sloane: Iím Maddy.
Maddy: No, youíre not. Iím Maddy, remember?
Paige: Maybe youíre both Maddy.
Sloane: Yay! Weíre both Maddy!
- The opening line is done in a similar style to the opening line of Eve and Adam:
- David, of all people, at one point says, "This leader business really does suck.
- The author does one to Michael Grant himself by naming the town they live in Grantsville.
- Kristopher, at one point, quotes a phrase he said he heard from a comedian. It does actually derive from something that was said on A Dose Of Buckley, although the author altered it a lot to suit his needs.
I once heard a comedian say something like, ďThereís no one worth dying for, because then youíre dead, and you canít know if it was actually worth it or not. Itís like throwing a million dollars on the sidewalk and hoping someone that works for a charity will pick it up.Ē
- Split Personality: David has one.
- Switching P.O.V.: In the eighty chapters so far, the complete list of narrators is as follows: Gav, Hazel, Grady, Maria, David, Kaelyn, Tobias, Alex, Nick, Sarah, Cary, Will, Kristopher, Cassie, Rollins, Paige, Yasuna, Eve, Fisher, Marco, Isabelle, Gerard, Charlie, Bonnie, and Resse.
- Teenage Wasteland
- Those Two Guys: Tobias and Nick, until Nick dies.
- Token Minority: The author tried to make the story just as diverse as Grant's stories are. To that end:
- David is Ambiguously Brown in-universe, although he's Chinese according to Word of God.
- Cary is Chinese, although you can only tell from his last name (Chen).
- Alex and Maria, brother and sister, are both black.
- Kaelyn is half-white and half-black, although it hasn't been mentioned in the story.
- Yasuna is Japanese.
- Marco is Hispanic.
- Eve is disabled.
- Tobias is gay.
- Touch of Death: Grady has it in his left hand, as he discovers when he accidentally kills a cat. Also, Alex has it in his entire body. It turns out that anyone shot with David's gun gets the power.
- Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Where the hell did David get all his sociopathy from? (We get an answer: he has multiple personalities, and only one of them is evil.)
- Unexplained Recovery: After David shoots Maria in the stomach, the injury disappears with no explanation. The author forgot about it.
- Villainous BSOD: All of David's supporters except Yasuna ( and yes, that does include David himself) in Control.
- Villains Act, Heroes React: To the point where the series is more about David and his friends than anyone else.
- Violence Is the Only Option: David sure seems to think so - any time anyone opposes him, or gets in the way of Grantsville getting food, or lets him down... congratulations, you have just been shot.
- War Is Hell: The message is more that violence is hell, since there's no actual war, but the author does indeed believe that war is hell, and that comes through a lot in the writing.
- Wham Line: From Jem's narration:
I shoot Shelby in the head. She collapses, dead, before she even figures out whatís going on.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: At one point, the author forgot that Jem was with Kaelyn, Sarah, and Cary, so he had to sort of retcon Jem into having walked off with Kaelyn.
- Would Hit a Girl: Surprisingly, not David this time. No, this time, we're talking about Gav, of all people, who beats up Cassie to get into the Mayor's Hall. And he doesn't even give it a second thought.
- Would Hurt a Child: Kaelyn, Sarah, Cary, and Jem all struggle with the fact that they have to kill a baby that was shooting fireballs at them uncontrollably. Well, it turns out Jem didn't mind it too much, but the others did.
- David shoots Alex in the head. Twice. In front of a large crowd of people.
- Writers Cannot Do Math: The author went to great lengths to avert this. He's not very good at math, but he still wanted to keep track of Grantsville's population so that he didn't write too many or too few people after he (accidentally) wrote the town to have a population of 151 people. As a result, there are only ten people in each age group (except the fourteen year-olds; they have eleven).
- Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: The author started it impulsively one day because he had finished his assignments in his creative writing class early. He has no idea what's going to happen next, no answers to any of the mysteries, and no plans at all, other than an extremely rough synopsis of who's going to make it to the end of the series and who won't. (And he's already broken that synopsis more than once, so there really are no plans.)
The Character Sheet
The current leader of Grantsville, he is a sociopath who enjoys killing.
One of David's workers, who has less moral qualms about what he does than most of the rest of them.
Kristopher is another worker, who gives his sisters to the daycare and tries to hide it from David.
- Heel-Face Revolving Door: He doesn't seem to know which side he's on.
- Killed Off for Real: David shoots him in the head once he finds out that he had willingly given away his sisters to the daycare.
- Posthumous Narration: He narrates his own death, and says in the narration that he's dead.
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Namely, with a shot in the head, via David.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: His goal throughout the series is to ensure the safety of his little sisters without David finding out. He manages to save his sisters, for the time being anyway, but David knew what was going on pretty much from the beginning, and Kristopher got shot for it.
She's another one of David's workers, who justifies what she does by the fact that she has a crush on him.
- Flanderization: Her love for David became very exaggerated starting The Control.
- Kick the Dog: When she stabs Cassie in the neck to prevent her from stopping her from capturing Charlie.
- Shoot the Dog: When she kills Charlie.
- The scene where she helped kill the kids that David captured also counts.
- Token Minority: She's Japanese.
- Would Hurt a Child: She's one of the ones that killed the kids that David captured.
- Yandere: To David.
David uses him as a hit man to kill people that he doesn't like. Naturally, he struggles with this quite a bit.
Like Tobias, he's one of David's workers, and he has few moral qualms about what he does.
Cassie is one of David's workers, although she has yet to have a distinct personality.
- Butt Monkey: Her sole role in the story seems to be so that different people can beat her up.
- Shoot the Dog: When she helps kill the kids that David captured.
- Would Hurt a Child: She's one of the ones that killed the kids that David captured.
The Daycare Workers
Another daycare worker, who seems to be very disconnected and dperessed, except when it comes to his little brother.
Sarah is one of the daycare workers, with no personality whatsoever. She's implied to have a sort of connection to Cary, but it hasn't been expanded upon yet.
Will Grayson is another daycare worker, with a crush on Paige.
Paige Fox is yet another of the daycare workers. She has a big personality and a relaxed sense of humor.
One of the kids that David captures to kill, with the ability to cause explosions by clapping his hands.
- Decoy Antagonist: The author originally planned to make him a major antagonist, but he couldn't figure out where to take that plot, so he just had Yasuna kill him.
- Killed Off for Real: Yasuna slits his throat in The Control.
- Not Quite Dead: Everyone assumed that he died in the explosion he caused, but they were all unconscious, so no one really saw. Turns out, he survived.
- Person of Mass Destruction: He kills around ten kids with an explosion he created in the middle of a battle in the Mayor's Hall.
- Power Palms: His explosion comes from clapping his hands - he can control the size by clapping his hands harder or softer.
Cady is the leader of the protesters, despite not having any younger siblings among the kids that David captured. She does have a little brother, though, Jason, who she tries to protect.
- Badass: When she fights Rollins.
Grady is one of the few boys in David's class that didn't ally himself with David. He gained the Touch of Death
power early on, and since then, he joined up with the protesters to try to throw David out of power.
- Dogged Nice Guy: Towards Hazel.
- Informed Attribute: We didn't find out that he was one of the protesters until after their major battle in The Disappearance; we don't know if he was actually part of it or not.
- Touch of Death: His superpower - his right hand (and only the right hand) can disintegrate anything it touches.
Gav was the first narrator of the series, who crashed his car into the barrier. He then rescued Alex and Maria, and after Alex was shot by David, he dedicated himself to protecting Maria.
Hazel is one of the fourteen year-olds, who went to school with David. She's currently living on her own - her only sibling was her older sister - and is starting to become friends with Grady.
Alex's older brother, who Gav has been protecting.
- Demoted to Extra: In The Control.
- Little Miss Badass: Subverted. She sneaks out to kill David, and at first, it looks like she might succeed. Turns out she has no idea what she's doing, and the only result of her attempts was getting her nose broken.
- Unexplained Recovery: After David shoots her in the stomach, the injury disappears with no explanation.
- Token Minority: Like her brother, she's black.
Eve is a disabled girl who wants to protect herself without her sister, Darla. (That's it, so far - she's only had one POV chapter.)
Plot summaries (with spoilers unmarked)
The summaries go chapter by chapter, with a new paragraph break for each new chapter.
The book opens with Gav driving directly into a wall that suddenly appears in front of him. His mom was in the seat beside him; she's gone now, and he doesn't know what happened to her. He sees another car where the adults disappeared, with two little kids (Alex and Maria) inside it. He takes them with him to go back to town.
Meanwhile, at school, there's chaos. David quickly goes home, brings a gun, and declares himself in charge until the adults return. Grady resists him, so David shoots him in the arm.
Grady discovers that he can disintegrate anything he touches
... but only with the arm that was shot by David's gun.
David calls a meeting in the gym for all the kids that show up. Gav, Maria, and Alex make it back to town while the meeting is still in progress.
David shoots Alex in the head
, killing him
This naturally outrages the other kids, but David basically explains that since he has a gun, there's nothing they can do about it. He wants to kill all the kids under the age of six, because they can't work to make food.
This inspires Kaelyn to take her brother, Aubrey, and anyone else she can find to make a daycare to protect the kids.
Meanwhile, Maria makes plans to get revenge on David for killing Alex.
That night, Tobias and Nick, two of David's friends, go back to the gym to dispose of Alex's body. But he turns out not to be entirely dead
... and he can disintegrate your skin by touching it.
Tobias and Nick flee in a panic.
Meanwhile, Maria sneaks into David's room (in the Mayor's Hall) and tries to stab him with a butter knife. It doesn't work - he just wakes up.
David starts to beat her up. He probably would've killed her, if Nick hadn't come into David's room to tell him about Alex.
Meanwhile, Kaelyn has recruited plenty of others to get kids for the daycare, including Will, Cary, Jem, and Sarah. A baby that Sarah is holding starts shooting fireballs uncontrollably,
almost killing them.
Nick begins to take David to Alex.
Will and a girl he recruited, Paige, are looking for kids when Nick, David, and Tobias come down the street, following Alex. Will and Paige hide as David discovers that shooting Alex results in nothing happening. Will and Paige decide to regroup with Kaelyn and the others.
Gav notices that Maria is missing and he tracks her to the Mayor's Hall. He asks Cassie where she is, but instead of being helpful, Cassie decides to pull a knife on him, as per David's orders.
Kaelyn, Jem, Sarah, and Cary decide that they have to kill the baby that was Playing with Fire
- Jem is the one to stab it. Will and Paige then come back. They all decide to go into separate groups - Sarah and Cary take the kids they already have to the lake, and the others go to find more kids.
David realizes that every time he shoots Alex, his black glow gets stronger. So he and Nick put on gloves (to avoid the Touch of Death
) and drag him back to town.
Gav beats up Cassie
to figure out where David sleeps.
Cary gets all the kids into a car and starts to drive to the lake.
David and Nick lock Alex in a room, but Alex breaks free with his Touch of Death
Will and Paige recruit Kristopher's sisters, Maddy and Sloane. Kristopher works for David, so he makes them promise not to tell David what happened.
Gav rescues Maria and takes her back to his house.
Cary and Sarah discover that the lake is outside the barrier. A little kid named Connor touches the barrier and dies.
David stabs Alex with a knife, and he actually does die this time. David tells Tobias and Nick to take Alex away.
Kristopher tells David that Will and Paige forced him to give up Maddy and Sloane at gunpoint (which is a lie). David tells him that he already knew Will and Paige were taking kids, which makes Kristopher nervous about Maddy and Sloane's fate.
David sees Cassie with a black eye, and asks what happens. After Cassie gives her explanation, David swears to go to Gav's house and kill both him and Maria.
Grady sees Tobias and Nick dragging Alex across the street. When they explain why, Grady gets scared that David will kill him if he reveals his superpower.
Sarah and Cary take the kids away from the barrier and wait for the others to show up. Cary angsts a bit about a nonspecific topic, and Sarah discovers that her hair
is a Living Battery
Hazel is lying in her bed when her father comes in, despite her father having disappeared with the other adults, and he molests her
David goes to Gav's house, and shoots Maria in the stomach. Gav punches him in the face so hard that he retreats.
Tobias and Nick successfully dispose of Alex's body against the barrier.
Will, Paige, and a new recruit named Marco briefly regroup with Kaelyn and Jem. The former three decide to go back to the camp.
David gives Rollins a list of people that he wants killed, including Will, Paige, Kaelyn, Gav, Cary, and Sarah.
Gav fixes Maria up and puts her to bed.
Jem and Kaelyn show up where Sarah and Cary are waiting with more kids; they all walk to a campsite together.
David goes home and reveals two things to the reader: his father knew the border would appear before it happened, and David has multiple personalities: an evil one and a good one.
Hazel decides not to tell anyone that she saw her father last night.
Everybody finally sets up the daycare at a campsite. Marco and Sarah get the first watch; Will and Paige walk home together.
David's friends all regroup; they all go on a mission to take everyone's food and little kids.
Tobias searches Eve's house.
Nick takes Fisher's little sister away. Jobs comes to Fisher asking if he wants revenge, but Fisher turns out to be too young to join Fisher's rebellion.
Marco and Sarah feed the kids. They give one of them peanut butter, and she has an allergic reaction and dies.
Rollins reports to David a bunch of people meeting in a basement.
Cady is leading a bunch of protesters to try to save the kids that David's friends captured.
Isabelle, a little kid, was captured by David and thrown into the basement of the Mayor's Hall. But an explosion breaks down the door, and she escapes.
It's Jem and Shelby's watch at the daycare. Jem shoots Shelby in the head, revealing him to be The Mole
. He and David shoot all the babies in the daycare. However, when they go to shoot the older kids, they all disappear
The protesters arrive at the Mayor's Hall and go inside to rescue the kids. David's friends fight back. The kids had already escaped, due to the explosion, creating chaos as everyone tried not to shoot the people on their own side. In the end, an explosion knocks out everyone in the room. Nick is blown across the room; he lands on his neck, which kills him.
David and Jem look around for the kids, but they're nowhere to be found. They decide to head back to town.
David and Jem return to the Mayor's Hall to find Nick dead and everybody else injured. Everybody except for the kids are herded out, and the kids are killed.
It turns out that all the kids that disappeared from the daycare had been teleported by Stella to her older brother, Gerard's house. Kristopher finds them there and vows to save them.
Grady, who had become one of the protesters, goes into Hazel's house so that David can't find him. He starts to show an interest in Hazel, but she tells him to back off. The end.
Rollins reluctantly prepares to kill the people on the list that David gave him.
Tobias swears to get revenge on David for Nick's death.
Cady and her protesters regroup after their crushing loss against David. They make plans to make him surrender that night, and to kill him if he doesn't.
Kristopher walks to Paige's house and tells her where the kids are.
Hazel wakes up to find out that Grady has left.
Cassie, Tobias, and Jem deliver breakfast to everybody in Grantsville.
Rollins goes to Will's house and shoots him in the head.
Paige and Kristopher walk to Will's house and see his unconscious body. They take him inside and tend to his injuries.
Kaelyn walks to the daycare for her shift to take care of the kids, only to find Shelby and the babies dead, with everyone else missing.
Rollins goes to Gav's house with the intention to shoot him; Gav punches him in the face so hard that he swallows one of his own teeth.
Kristopher gets Sarah, and she takes the kids from Gerard's house to the empty house next door.
Charlie, the kid who caused the explosions in the Mayor's Hall, wonders whether or not his mom is alive.
Kaelyn shows up at Will's house. The two of them leave Will and walk to Gerard's house.
David shows up at Kristopher's house and tells him that he knew that he had given up Maddy and Sloane involuntarily the entire time. Kristopher tries to explain, but David shoots him in the head
, killing him
Grady, restless before the attack on David with the protesters, goes to Hazel's house to hang out. She doesn't want to hang out, but she helps him after she accidentally closes a door on his fingers
Rollins picks himself up from Gav's doorstep and goes to Cary's house.
Paige and Kaelyn meet Sarah at the house where she took the kids.
Jem finds out about Kristopher's death and blames himself for it.
Yasuna and Cassie discover Charlie hiding in his house. Yasuna is in favor of killing him, especially after he causes an explosion with his hands, but Cassie is dead-set against it, not wanting to kill any more kids. So, Yasuna stabs Cassie in the neck
and takes Charlie anyway.
Cary decides to make a concious effort to be strong and move past his mother's death. Then, he hears a knock at the door. It's Rollins, who kills him
Paige sees Jem kneeling over Kristopher's body. Jem tells her that he was The Mole
, alerting Paige that one of David's friends was on the way to kill her and her friends.
She punches Jem in the face in anger.
Will wakes up, and is in immense pain.
Yasuna takes Charlie and Cassie to David's house, David orders Yasuna to kill Charlie, which she does. The two then eat lunch together.
Exhausted, Rollins goes to Tobias's house. Together, the two agree to find a way to get revenge on David.
Paige goes back to the daycare and informs Sarah and Kaelyn that they have to stay inside the house for the time being. They agree to have Marco get the kids food from the campsite, and to then get Will.
Bonnie, a protester who had lost her little brother in the attacks, prepares to fight David.