Publication Date: November 24, 2015
A monster is sweeping through the small, quaint town of Autumn Hollow.
Four kids are discovering that what they know isn't quite what it seems.
An evil scientist as a plan to take over the world.
Tied together, an adventure begins, pulling the kids, monster, and evil scientist together in a way they never would have imagined, or expected.
I'm not really huge on Middle Grade books, especially now that I'm in my late teens, but this was a surprisingly decent debut Middle Grade novel. Considering that, and the fact that this is the first book in a Middle Grade series, it actually wasn't too bad of an introduction to what this author can do.
I will say, something that bothered me quiet early on was that the author kept spelling "through" as "thru." Now, you might wonder why it annoyed me, especially when it's a dictionary accepted spelling of "through," but I didn't think it was...well, I didn't see why the author didn't just spell it correctly in the first place. I don't think it would have taken a lot more time to type the full word instead of the shortened version, so I just didn't see why the author chose to use the shortened version throughout the entire book. And that annoyed me a lot because I saw it as bad grammar and a lack of editing and revision before the book had been published. And no, it doesn't have to do Regionalism because that was quite literally the only word that was never spelled in its full form. I started off correcting "thru" every single time I saw it come up, but eventually, I gave up and just stopped.
Another thing that bothered me was the fact that the author would end a sentence, and the sentence following could have been a part of the first sentence. There was no need to separate them into two different sentences when it would have worked as a full sentence to begin with. Adding to that was the fact that the book was missing quite a few commas where they were due. It would be something quite basic in the rules of grammar, but the rule of commas seemed to be ignored quite a bit throughout the book. Which is just annoying for someone like me, a reader who does judge a book by how it's written and whether or not grammar is used correctly within the writing.
But apart from that, I did think it was really enjoyable. The storyline was simple and really easy to read. There was a decent amount of action that was sprinkled all through the book and the author did do a good job of keeping you in suspense about certain things.
I did think that there was quite a bit of info-dumping closer to the end of the book, just because the characters needed to find out certain things and info-dumping was the only way for them to learn what they needed to know. But I did think that it could have been spaced out a little more.
Also, I was really confused about one of the POVs, which belongs to an adult. It wasn't that I was confused as to why an adult had a POV in the story, but it was more along the lines of my confusion as to how someone quite a bit younger than me would connect with the adult's POV and feel for her. It didn't seem to click in my mind as to why the author chose to write things that way, but at the same time, I did understand that it was the only way for him to give us more information about the storyline.
Oh, and don't be surprised if the POV changes within a chapter. It happens all the time in this book and I just got used to it.
This was a really quick read for me. It took a total of two days for me to finish the whole thing, which is pretty fast considering that I was pretty busy during that two days. I think it has to do with the book being Middle Grade and written in a much simpler way, but I also think that the author managed to keep me interested whenever I was reading.
The story lagged a little for me as I got closer to the end, but I did still like the ending. There was enough of a conclusion that you felt satisfied, and it also had a good set-up for the next book, which I think I'll check out when it's published.
I don't have much to say about the characters. The kids were all about 5-6 years younger than me and I couldn't relate to them. However, I did enjoy hearing their voices and reading about them in general.
3.5 stars. I would say that this is something you could pick up for a younger sibling, cousin, family member, or a younger friend who is just getting into reading. It's not the best book out there, but it definitely has its own charming qualities.
Thank you to NetGalley for hosting this on your site. Thank you also to New Generation Publishing for approving my request to read this in exchange for an honest review.