Overall, this is a story with an intriguing premise, many deep and realistic characters, intelligent obstacles and clever solutions... even the pseudoscience is plausible. The writing is far from the best I've seen; I wasn't hanging on every word or falling in love with the characters like with the truly magnificent books, but it was decent all the way through without any serious annoyances.
My first impulse is to give this a solid 4/5 and recommend it to friends. However I've removed one star, and will be hesitant to talk about this book with others, on account of the author's decision to include several chapters describing in great detail the activities of a brutal serial rapist and one of his victims. Activities which, I might add, turned out to be utterly and completely irrelevant to the plot of the story or the lives of any of the major characters.
A quick skim of other reviews indicates that the sequels contain more and worse. I don't think that the story value is sufficient to convince me to endure that, so despite my curiosity as to what comes next I will not be purchasing the other books in the series, or anything else by this author.
Interesting premise but good lord man, could have -no SHOULD have- edited out a good 40% of the words used. Nothing kills a good story more than blathering on and on, using 15 words when four would have worked.
I don't usually write bad reviews, but I also have almost never been unable to finish a book...
The Book follows 3 teens who are so cookie cutter 'Disney channel' characters that its hard to take them seriously as real people. They start having 'Adventures' in discovering alien tech, and spying on the government without ever really explaining what their motivations are. In one chapter, they are just sending up a drone to spy on a government facility. There is no explanation as to why they are doing this, or what they are looking for, it's just what's happening. Predictably the drone crashes on the base and is seized. The director of the facility decides to keep it in his office, which makes zero sense, but it happens so the kids can spy on him with the camera that's still running on it. It's non-logic action, after non-logic action over and over again to further the plot, which would be fine if the dialogue were not so bad. The characters are constantly explaining things to each other that the reader already knows. 2 characters will see a thing happen, in detail, then they will go to the third character and explain in the same detail everything that happened AGAIN. Is the author paid by the word? He also started repeating himself between the end of a chapter and the beginning of the next chapter like you were coming back from commercial break. The whole thing reads like young adult sci fi but with some pretty borderline adult material thrown in like a graphic beheading, disembowelment, and implied rape scenes... so caution before handing this off to your kids. The only enjoyable part of this book for me was their discussion on practical science, and science theories, which were pretty solid. Though at times they got to repeating even that stuff several times in what I can only assume was padding for a longer book. I don't know about the rest of the books in this series, I couldn't finish this one. I tried a few times to just grit my teeth and grind through it but when I realized I only have 2 hours left and NOTHING has progressed or even begun to be wrapped up I deleted it. They are going to leave a ton of things open ended and I have no intention on following up with book 2.
An involving story that's got some scenes of violence that put it beyond teenage fare, and a teenager's story line that makes it a bit outside an adult's interest. Not sure where it fits.
I did enjoy it though. Well narrated.
I bought this based on the positive reviews, and for me this didn't live up to what I'd read.
There is a very interesting premise here, but the story is let down by:
* one dimensional characters
* too many subplots
* too much exposition
The author doesn't write convincing teenage voices, doesn't create characters we can identify with or care about, and certainly doesn't know how to create strong female characters. Women in this story are either simpering housewives or seductive vixens. It really grated on me by the end.
I'm not sure I care enough about the characters to come back for more. I need a break from them at any rate,
I have already bought the rest of the trilogy, but I don't think that I will listen to them for a while.
I will not listen to the next book in this series for a while. I will probably listen to some Stephen King.
The narrator was OK, it was the story and the writing that was bad.
I didn't think that anybody should be removed. The problem wasn't that there were too many characters. The problem was that this is a book written for young adults, kids.
I've seen several reviews talking about this being a YA book but I don't consider sadistic murder, kidnap and rape(?) to be appropriate for any YA. I stopped listening after the character kidnapped and shackled and tortured a young women in his basement. One of the reasons I often like YA fiction is because it tends to have less of this type of story element and I would not have wasted my money on this one had I seen a review that included this information.