Top critical review
A Reading the Paranormal Review
Reviewed in the United States on June 2, 2013
I have a confession. I was enjoying this book quite a bit right up until Russ started going along with the "testing" regime he was subjected to by the bad guys. Or, who I think are the bad guys. I mean, it seems pretty cut and dried to me that they're not *good* considering the lengths they'll go to to get Russ to join them and keep their shady dealings under wraps. My point is, for a smart kid, Russ does everything he's told to do for the test and he never really seems to exert himself to find another way out of the situation other than going along with them. Now these jerk-faces have all this information on what he's capable of and that seems like it's going to be phenomenally bad for any future interactions between them. It's never a good idea to let your enemies know precisely what you're capable of, is it?
That aside, I did enjoy this book. Yes, I spent the last 15% of it with my rage-eyes firmly on, but I can also see that he was under a lot of pressure and he wasn't at his best when the situation was forced on him. I just... see a lot of potential for the information that he allowed them to gather being used against him. And that's never good.
As for the characters, I liked Russ for the most part. I liked to dislike Jameson (his arrogance and the way he talked down to Russ were annoying but I placated myself by imagining Russ Hulking out and punching him in the face). I'm not quite sure what Russ sees in Mallory other than she's a pretty girl who's paying attention to him. Probably the person I liked the most (next to Russ) was Nadia just because she's so screwed up. That girl needs to get out of her house and away from her family before she loses it completely. There are several hints that are dropped about Russ and his family that even I caught. Frankly, if I misunderstood what was being implied, I'm going to be shocked.
Overall, the book was fun, I just wasn't thrilled with the way Russ handled what the Associates expected him to do. On the other hand, I don't know if I trust the Guard completely, either, but they seem to want what's best for everyone, especially the kids caught up in this. On the story front, enough plot threads were laid out that book 2 looks like it'll be an interesting ride and some of the questions posed in this book will be answered.
-Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal