10 May 2012

Review: John Gone by Michael Kayatta

John Gone (The Diaspora Trilogy #1) by Michael Kayatta

Published: 22 December 2011

Pages: 478 (paperback)

Genre/s: Young Adult, Science Fiction

Source: Author for review

Check it Out: Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK 


Sixteen-year-old John has never left Florida. In fact, he’s never traveled past Longboard Key, the small aging island of his birth. Suddenly, everything changes when he finds an odd wristwatch that begins to uncontrollably teleport him from the island each day at 3:14 P.M. He might appear anywhere--a burning African desert, a Canadian forest, even a Siberian gulag--and when two mysterious men begin pursuing him, he must do what he can to survive until 3:14 A.M. when the watch takes him home. Things soon become even more complicated when the watch’s inventor, a scientist cryptically trapped deep underground, makes contact through a hologram in the watch’s face. After the man explains that using the watch will eventually kill him, John must make an impossible choice: continue to risk his life teleporting across the globe, or change the watch’s hands and switch places with the scientist underground, thereby risking his freedom forever. 

My Thoughts

Teleportation is an idea that has always fascinated me. Imagine the possibilities - that nasty work commute is over in the blink of an eye, no more 'I-want-to-pull-my-own-eyeballs out' long-haul flights and popping to the shops becomes literal. But for John, teleportation comes about by accident and has potentially devastating consequences when he finds a watch on the beach near his home.

John Gone is a well-written and enjoyable YA science-fiction story. John is a likeable teenage boy who has a close relationship with his mother, but feels socially isolated growing up on a Floridian island surrounded by retirees. His friendship with Ronika, a kooky computer whiz is genuine yet complicated, and as the story progresses their growing friendship feels natural and not at all engineered. When John is teleported to new and unknown locations the action sequences had me hanging on every word.

The ideas behind the story are sold well, but I did find the science a bit too overwhelming for me personally. And although the story of the scientist, Felix, who invented the watch was interesting, it all felt a little bit too drawn out and at times I found myself struggling to understand exactly what was happening.

Overall, John Gone is an enjoyable read with an entertaining storyline, a believable main character, and some very intense science.


  1. This sounds like a good read. Is it part of a series for young adult readers? Sounds like a future motion picture to me.

  2. Yes, it is part of a series (The Diaspora trilogy), which I forgot to mention and will fix now!

    For a reader with an interest in the science behind science-fiction, I'd highly recommend this book!

  3. This sounds pretty cool. I am curious, though, whether the error in the description ('Sibern' instead of 'Siberian') is also in the text. Because that would kill it for me immediately.

    1. I think that was my bad! I did C+P the synopsis from Amazon but I've got an overly sensitive laptop!

    2. I actually didn't notice any errors in the book itself.



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