I read these years ago, when I taught middle school, and my students were all in love with the series. At the time, I didn’t read past the 3rd book, as the 4th one was checked out, and I never returned to the series.
This story is fast-pace, with easy to understand world building, and a middle grade voice, including middle grade humor, with a main character that is 14, which may appeal up to some YA readers. I think the style makes it highly appealing to reluctant readers.
While I like the books, I have not enjoyed them as much on this reread as I remembered. There’s something about the world and world building that doesn’t go deep enough and is just occasionally a bit too preachy for me. That’s probably because I’ve read so many other YA Sci-Fi worlds since then that have really captured my heart.
Regardless, this is still a quick, enjoyable read, and I’m going to keep reading this time and see if I make it to the end of the series. The characters are interesting and growing, even though I wish they would run just a bit deeper.
I do hate the audiobook version, as it is scored with all this electronic music and sound effects that is far more frustrating and distracting than helpful. It actually makes my ears uncomfortable when the sound cues up, but if I turn it down, I can’t hear the narrator, as it was cued way too loud. So the audiobook sucks, but the story is decent.
Book 2 is also pretty good, though I confess I could do with a bit less telling in this one. The environmental commentary is starting to detract from the story more than help it. However, I did enjoy the small bit of normalcy that the characters were able to have, and this is also a fast-paced read.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is another fast-pace, action-packed read with just a bit less depth than I crave.
This book was frustrating, tedious, and sacrificed its plot, world building, and character development to an endless platform to speak about political issues and global warming.
The really exhausting part is that I do agree, overall, with its message, but I was so tired of being hit over the head with a constant lecture, right in the middle of every potentially interesting scene, that I just wanted to quit the book.
It’s condescending, both to adults and tweens, in terms of its information delivery on political viewpoints, and many of the messages could have been made without all the exhausting preachy crap that was unnecessary to the story.
If the next book is like this, I’m quitting the series. This fails as both an enjoyable read and as an awareness piece for global warming, because by the end, I feel so aggravated that I will probably scream if anyone says the words global warming to me today. Since this was not the intention of this lecture, which is what I’ll call it, since it’s definitely not a decent sci-fi novel, I think this can be considered a fail.
Also, the delivery is absolutely terrible, which surprises me more than anything.
This one is far better than the last one. I don’t love it, but it was a marked improvement.
Since it’s quick to read these audiobooks (about 3 hours on double speed), I’ve decided to keep plugging. For some reason, I want to complete the series, as I am curious how it will all wrap up. If I were reading in print, I probably would have quit by now, but on audiobook, these are fast pasted. They’re interesting enough to keep my attention, but they’re not so deep that if I get lost if I zone out for a minute.
I still think this is a good series for middle grade readers, especially reluctant readers.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book was a major improvement and renewed my interest in the series, as well as compelled me to read onward. Whew! Thank goodness. After the last two, I was thinking about calling it off.
And my score is down again. This one seemed especially melodramatic.
Also, I listened on audiobook, and it was terrible. They had all this background noise and sound effects that were just that. Noise. Annoying, frustrating, distracting, and cued up way too loud for me to be able to stay focused on the narrator.
I was determined to finish this series, but I can’t see the point in continuing on through 2 more books. I’m feeling over it. I made a valiant effort.