This excellent book depicts the life of the Wright family throughout the 2011 year, seamlessly mixing realistic day-to-day lives with supernatural interventions.
I got hooked immediately after starting it. The storytelling is original in the fact that chapters are actually entries of a family blog. Therefore the story keeps progressing in first person view, but through different eyes, all accordingly narrated. The tone is darker and more serious when the adults (the father and mother) tell their story. It becomes much lighter when the teenagers are the one contributing. Thus, the reader, going through the chapters, always get a nice impression of change while the overall progress of the story remains unaffected.
Also, descriptions are just as long as they need to be :
- enough details to put things in context.
- no unnecessary extra passages or extended descriptions (which can get boring in other books).
The high readability puts you straight to the action and intrigue and multiple references to 2011 events (Japan Tsunami, war in Libya but also Playstation Network outage, ...) add to realism, not to mention that the story takes place in London. What the Wright family went through could happen to anyone and that is, in my opinion, the scary part of the book. All the disasters that affect the Wrights are depicted with great precision and no exaggeration. By no exaggeration, I mean that even if they are supernatural, the author did not depicted them as "too ... to be true". Because it is so down-to-earth, the reader may very well think that such things could happen to himself (I personally did).
Also, the moral of the story leaves something to all of us to think about : war victims, but also how a family struggles and lives through a difficult time, greed... Several topics to make the reader think. As for the many interesting religious references (mainly taken from the Muslim culture), they support the plot and the supernatural aspect of the story but the message is universal.
I went through all kinds of emotions reading the book : the book is sad, funny, thrilling, scary and also touching at the same time. Definitely a recommended read.