I have generally mixed feelings for this book. I have no idea if I love this book or not. The structure was good, as well as the organization. It's interesting enough that I actually finished reading it. Although I am sad to say that I did not scream in agony over Doby's death or cried happy tears when Matt and Amer had kissed. Honestly, this had disappointed me because that's how I know if a book was fine, good, great, amazing or just too damn awesome to actually want to let go of. Also, I really don't belong to any of its fandoms. Now for the more intricate details. Let me start with the story. It's a good one. It really is. I love how the author, Steven, writes in such detail. But the thing is, after a while, I kinda get bored. Not that the narration is boring. No. It's more like it's too slow or lengthy at times. I find myself speed-reading so I could finally get to the dialogues or the action. The plot was very well thought of so it was okay. It really is an interesting book with an interesting story but I'm not sure if I have come to that point of being "in love" with the book. But when the action started happening, I was stuck to it. I imagine it would have been like being high on drugs but since I've never been high or on any kind of drug, I wouldn't know how that felt. I truly do want to read the next one. Next part is, the characters. I just couldn't connect with them. I know that they're all interesting in ways and they do interest me but I just could not be very passionate with them. In the initial part of the story, I was generally sad about what happened with Matt losing his dad to Sandstorm prison. Who wouldn't be when a boy as young as him lost his own dad? But it's wasn't an overwhelming kind of sad. The book didn't elate strong emotions from me I think that's a real problem for me. I know when a book is amazing when it can make me tear up or rage in frustration or blow up in anger when the characters do something real stupid. I was really missing that part about reading a book. I felt sort of distant with this one. I think that's because I couldn't get to know the characters that well. I was reading about them but they were strangers to me. I'm surprised at how good the physical aspects are described in this book when the emotional and personal aspects are not as clearly defined. I find it difficult to imagine many of the characters so vividly in my head. The book needed more personality to it. The difference was that I saw them as characters and not really as people. They weren't very real to me because there was a lack of information about them. I'm not asking for addresses or phone numbers or schools or something like that. It needed more of the little details like for example, Mr. Xoner hated cats because they always looked at Mr. Ferret funny like he was the most delicious thing in the world. Or something like, Matthew wears his lucky socks at every game, and hasn't washed them for 3 years since he'd won his first game. The little details that made the characters more like people you would actually know and say hi to in the halls or whenever you passed by. As I was reading the book, they seemed distant and unreachable to me, like I'd reach out for them and I'd just be ignored by them. I did not like that, to be honest. They seemed more like characters in a story following a plot than people who've ended up in a whole lot of trouble or looking for trouble to get to their goal. Books are worlds in and of itself. To simply put, I was more like a bystander while I read and did not quite belong in it. My favorite characters so far are the triplets, Stanford, Stanley and Nacia. I love the bit where they can't be like a few feet away from each other. That would be so amazing if that were actually real. It's awesome, and fun. Next on my list is the world of the book itself. It is magnificent and I really wish I were a scaper just to get into their school. I am so jealous of these kids! Ugh! I wish I was in there with them to make things a little more crazy with them. This last part is about the cover. Like any other reader, I would also consider judgement over the cover. It's a nice cover but I don't find it eye-catching or very intriguing. The cover kind of adds to that desire to read it. It's a nice cover but it could have been better. Or creepier. Or something just as eerily like the book. I find the cover too simple for a story of this magnitude and honestly think that it does not do the book justice. Just saying.
P.S. Mr. Cypert, please write the next book because I really want to know what happens next, and I'm curious about this Nox guy I've heard so much about. Thanks :)