Good grief, I'm exhausted.
I finished this in one sitting - and it's an audio book, so that's saying something. It's like 12 hours long. And it's not that it took such energy to listen - it's that this story just emotionally wears you out!
Sometimes you don't particularly care for a story overall, and that's the case for me here. There were evil people triumphing all over the place, good never won, despair everywhere. And good people doing bad things. And nobody listening to anyone else. All the characters were acting like children.
Which is exactly what they are! Children! That's what makes the story so good - these are kids placed into impossible situations which traumatize them, and they're doing the best they can. Kieran is trying to rise to a standard he's derived from both good and questionable role models. So naturally, he filters it through a 15-year old brain and behaves accordingly. Seth has a terrible role model and a terrible self-image, and he's honest enough with himself to believe the truth about himself and others. Waverly is just a victim of her circumstances, unable to see past her own trauma. These kids are behaving like real people. They don't communicate and there is no contrived plot. It's like the characters hijacked the story and left the author in the dust. Honestly, that's what makes a good book great.
I hated Anne Mather. I loved Seth. I felt sorry for Waverly. I think Kieran will eventually rise above his own ego. But most of all I am raging against the unfairness of it all! I want to kill those people on the New Horizon! Part of me wants to scream at Ryan for placing these poor kids in such horrible circumstances, and part of me wants to applaud her for making me want to scream at her!
Like I said, it's one of those books that's so well written that even when you hate what's happening, you can't get over the way the story moves you.
And that ending. Fortunately I am totally obsessed with another book that has a sequel coming out in the spring. Otherwise, I'd be obsessing over the sequel to this, and it's not due until next year. I sincerely hope that Ryan rewards our patience with good triumphing over evil. After this roller coaster, we need it.