SYLO is a complicated, high-concept jigsaw puzzle. Book one dumps all of the pieces out on the floor in a jumbled pile you have no idea where to start..Show More ».
Now, this is kind of the norm only instead of having your edges done by the middle of the book and the complete picture by the end, SYLO just continues to dump pieces onto the pile.
By the end of the book I maybe, MAYBE had the corner pieces. In honesty I still have no real idea of what the heck is going on and neither do our heroes.
I’d normally hate a book with so little resolution/explanation but there was just something about the well-written and smartly paced story that still made it rewarding. The characters were great – not outlandish or standout just real and genuine enough to make their bravery and daring deeds under extreme circumstance even more impressive.
It also helped that I’m a sucker for stories that use setting as character and fictionalised Martha’s Vineyard was a rich background to juxtapose an outlandish story.
DJ MacHales excessive forward grated on me but the guy clearly has skills and totally won me over.
So while I didn’t like where the story ended, I loved the bulk of it enough to give it a qualified recommended.
It was a seriously high-concept story that remained totally grounded so it’s great for young and old readers not into hard science fiction or fantasy (like me).
However, I can see the lack of resolution and clarity by the end being a real problem for some readers. If you’re concerned maybe wait until book 2 is released. I’d be a lot happier if I could go straight into the next volume!
Storm contained a lot of what, I felt, SYLO lacked; that the would be fast-paced with lots of action. In retrospect, I realize that wasn't what was ne..Show More »eded. There was a need for the slow build. Otherwise, you wouldn't really understand what Tucker lost -- his home, his friends, his identity, his world. I guess, as of fan of his other (and dare I say most excellent ) series, Pendragon, I was expecting action from the get-go. Which is what Storm delivered. So, I humbly take back a lot of the criticisms I gave SYLO and especially Tucker.
In SYLO, felt that Tucker had a reliable narrator, yes, but not a strong enough character to carry the story and step into the leadership role with his friends. Somewhere in the midst of it all, I forgot he was 1) only fourteen and 2) extremely traumatized. Sees a literal UFO in the sky, idyllic island home invaded by the military and turned into an internment camp, his best friend is killed, his parents turn against him, he's left with "friends" he doesn't really know, surrounded by a bunch of people he can't trust and two branches of the United State Military are duking it out against each other. That's a lot of plot, so sorry McHale, I was wrong.
In Storm, you see this gradual shift of Tucker going from puberty into adulthood. Doesn't matter anymore that he's 14 years of age; he's faced too much to be in his youth. In the beginning of the book, some of the things he does are still childish, but by the end of the book his actions are calculated and purposeful.
When it comes to his companions, I love how each of them doesn't necessarily do anything blatantly suspicious, but all of them could be a Retro infiltrator. I have to admit, I was suspicious of Olivia from the start. She just kept popping up at the right time and her personally shifted. Was she in the end, the bravest of them all as Tucker said or was she playing them from the start? Kent is just an idiotic, egotistical jerk -- or, is he a good actor? He was with Olivia from the beginning and his parents supply of the Ruby was. Even Tori's actions are questionable. With all her anger fueling her, were those little peaks of vulnerability. These characters are well crafted and keep me guessing.
I'm not going to dive deep into the plot, but at the end of this book which leads up to the trilogy's conclusion, I''m asking all the right questions. Who are the Retros and what is there agenda? What is SYLO really? What did Fithe mean he was like them? Those are questions I am really going to enjoy getting answers to.
FINAL THOUGHTS:: As the last words were spoken, a huge grin exploded on my face. Pretty much says it all.
RECOMMENDED FOR:: For those who love science fiction/adventure read.