Things that make you go hmm...
That's pretty much SYLO in a nutshell. This is going to be very hard to explain without giving away everything.
Here is what I can tell you right now: This is not a dystopian. Yet. I spoke with the author while getting a copy of SYLO signed at a convention a few months ago and he shared with me some interesting tidbits about the series. So far, SYLO is a mystery that sets the stage for the remaining books in the trilogy. It is not a dystopian, which was a bit disappointing since the book synopsis made it seem that way. However, MacHale did say that the second book (Storm) will definitely have a dystopian feel to it.
While I found this an easy read that kept me turning the pages, I found a few things that annoyed me along the way with our narrator, Tucker. Tucker is very wishy washy. He has ideas that he will share, but he quickly tosses them aside if someone offers a counterargument or alternate plan. That does not make a strong leader, and Tucker is part leader in his motley crew of renegade teenagers. I was also not thrilled with some of the people picked up along the way. While Olivia grew on me, Kent did not. I do not like Kent. He seems volatile and I do not understand how he is going to fit in Tucker's crew. Maybe that will become clear in the next book...
The plot is pretty straight forward and predictable. Do not expect any shock and awe here-- at least until the final chapters. I will admit I had a feeling where things were headed, but then I was thrown for a major loop when a HUGE discovery was made. Again, this solidifies that the remainder of the series is going to take on a dystopian feel. It's pretty imminent.
I just hate that the best part of the book was at the end. I really wanted to find out more, but now I will have to wait. I am not a patient person. This is a fast read that I feel would be suitable for reluctant or struggling readers. It is a low level read, so anyone could read this without any trouble. If I were still in a classroom, I would get a copy of SYLO to put on my bookshelves. The boys would love it.