Suddenly there were no adults, no answers. What would you do? In the blink of an eye, the world changes. The adults vanish without a trace, and those left must do all they can to survive. But everyone's idea of survival is different. Some look after themselves, some look after others, and some will do anything for power.
I was so excited by the thought of this series that it sat on my shelf for ages! I kept wanting to keep it back to have as that rainy day read that you've been looking forward to. So anticipation was high when I went to read it-and I didn't like it much.
It started fine with the students at school slowly realising that something is wrong. The way the kids faced that first day not knowing what was happening was good in places but in other places I felt that it was just dragging. That is not a good thought to have at the start of a book over 500 pages. I didn't like the original bullies or what they were doing-I just don't find bullies entertaining to read about in any books, especially when they are kids. I do concede that the bullies WOULD take over in such a situation though so I grunted and got on with the book.
There were scenes that I did enjoy. I liked it when they focused on what was going to happen to the kids as they neared their birthday-and their own doom. I was curious about what actually happened to the kids and waiting for Sam to hit the magic number to get an answer. He hadn't by the time I stopped reading.
Where it began to change for me was when Quinn, who I had liked, suddenly started with his racist comments and started bullying Edilio. (I think that's his name...there's a chocolate smudge on my notes!) He became an asshat and I no longer had any time for him. I wanted him to disappear and to make it worse, he kept on being racist and Sam was barely trying to stop him. Edilio was a more interesting character than Quinn, that's for sure. Strike one for me.
The second thing I found is that I just felt bored by it. Yes there were plenty of things happening but I just never felt drawn into it. There was so much bullying that I was left thinking 'here we go again' and it had less of an impact on me each time because it was frequent. There was a lot of arguing and moving about town aimlessly and I found my mind wandering off the story. Then came the magic things which livened things up for a bit then the bullying and fights and aimless walking around began again.
To be honest I just never felt the book was going anywhere that interested me. It felt like we were going in circles waiting until everyone was called to the big battle with the Bad Kids. The book for me was too long and repetitive. They could easily have shaved 150 pages from it and cut the repetition out to make a shorter but plot tight book instead. Would I have liked it better that way? Possibly but I might still have DNF'd.
Had I got that far, the end would have been a big disappointment. I've seen the other reviews of the book now. I don't like a big build up to a duel and it just ends and everyone goes home instead. Imagine if Harry Potter got through all the protections in the Philosopher's Stone and found nobody at the mirror and just went to bed? That would have been unsatisfying. So I'm pretty glad I stopped when I did.
I will not be continuing with the series, and I have tried other books by the same author since then and decided that his work was not my thing.