This is really where this book shines. Yes, I love the characterization, but I think many readers could overlook bad characterization in this novel because of the plot. There’s always a new twist, that’s foreshadowed enough for it to make sense and yet still deliver impact. I will say my one less-positive thing about this book is that the foreshadowing is quite overt in times; sometimes the “twists” can be see coming. However, because of what those twists are(some of which are truly horrifying), its impact is not diminished.
Unfortunately, this is where this book lost its fifth star for me. Throughout most of the book, the pacing is great, but towards the end everything starts to seem rushed and the main character gets into a situation that should take a bit of time to solve, and instead more or less breezes through it. It’s a sequence of events that goes just a little too fast to make me as a reader feel there was any actual conflict.
OTHER ELEMENTS I ENJOYED
The writing. It’s simple, but effective.
The opening line, “T.S. Eliot was wrong. My world ended with a bang the minute we entered the Compound and that silver door closed behind us.” Aside from being just a really great opening, the T.S. Eliot reference was enough to hook me.
The lack of romance. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for romance when it’s called for, but it’s nice to know that Young Adult books can be written without authors thinking it’s a necessary ingredient.
Final Impression: I thought this was an amazing book all around, with one exception in the pacing area. It’s not quite what I was expecting, but I think that’s why I loved it so much. I am now determined to read some of Bodeen’s other books. I give it a 4.5/5 stars.