on 2 April 2015
So in this installment, we jump in 5 months after the little game the psycho master had them playing, and I loved getting to see how it all played out, what happened to the Gamemaster and how the events effected everyone involved, we got to see the previous storyline conclude pretty much perfectly.
We also got to see how the plot twist from the third book played out, and the answer is, not well for Ben, the gang's kinda fractured when we join them in the book, they aren't a pack and they aren't working well together, Tory and Ben haven't spoken in months and Ben has this weird addiction to the flare almost. I will admit, for the majority of the book, Ben was being kind of a douche, and at points I really wanted to punch him in the face and didn't particularly like him much. I am Team Tory and always on her side, so yeah. But then eventually the gang got back to working well together and fixed themselves and Ben actually came across as quite sweet at one or more points, rather than his usual stoic self, so it was all good. But for a moment I was worried I was about to have issues with one of them!
I'm beginning to have vibes about Tory, there's a lot unresolved, with her mother's death, and I'm slowly convincing myself it wasn't an accident, and I know it's probably because I watch too many crime shows but still. Also with each new book, Whitney annoys me more and more. As someone who doesn't like being forced to do things, or told what to do, Whitney really grates, as does Tory just taking it and go along with whatever she wants, I'm hoping it'll eventually come to a head and Tory will finally get Whitney to back off and stop trying to make her in to her, because to me, Tory is a strong character, and she seems quite independent at times, and her just going along with Whitney for the rest of her life doesn't mesh with the sense of her that i have as a character. Or ya know....Kit could finally dump her. Whichever.
An intersting point of this book was that, we didn't have a creepy bad guy POV until we knew who the bad guy was, I was sad, because they're my favourite, but at the same time, it really added more intensity and foreboding and danger to the book as well as intrigue, we did have the creepy first chapter though! More importantly we got the POV of Ben, Shelton and Hi, briefly towards the end, which I liked because it gave you a sense of each character a bit better, and made the whole disappearance thing even more heart pounding, as they raced to put everything together and find her and so on. I don't know, I love Tory and her narrative, but it made it more interesting than just being from Tory's POV and then finding out what the boys did.
I gotta say, I love Hi and Shelton more with each book! They really do crack me up and stop the books from being all dark all the time. I particularly enjoyed how they where all heroes after the events of the third book and even the Tripod decided to creepily be nice to Tory!
Now, don't get me wrong, I love the boys, really I do, but I LOVE ELLA SO MUCH. Seriously. She's a fantastic addition to the cast, she's the friend Tory needs, and it's so great to see her interact with a female friend who can make the fancy events she's forced to go to less boring. It's great to see Tory finally have someone other than the guys to talk to about stuff, and with the whole Ben thing, I think she's gonna need her. I was so devastated when she was kidnapped, not to mention also slightly gutted cos I started to think she had something to do with it all! These books have taught me to be suspicious of all new characters added to the mix!
There's less of Jason, but there's more of Chance, and even a little Chance POV to give us an insight in to what he's doing and why, which was interesting, because at one point I really thought he was going to be a huge, "I'll kill you all" crazy person problem, but I can see where he's coming from and his determination to find out what the hell was going on, as can Tory, I think. He's clearly up to something dangerous that he then realised was dangerous and then the ending? Man I'm excited for the next book to see how this plays out, I had my suspicions about the "weird feeling" Tory was getting and it is the ONLY thing in these books I've ever worked out right! But yeah....interesting to see what changes.
So I always say how I like seeing their powers change and develop rather than being a stagnant thing that they just have, and this book shows how potentially unstable their powers are. Either they where out of whack because of Chance, or Ben's theory was right, or they genuinely are dangerous and could kill them, but it was interesting to see them take a sinister turn. The Flare snapping off randomly, not being able to Flare, intense pain trying to Flare, it's going to be interesting to see what's behind it in the next book and what's going to happen with it next.
This book, again, had a different vibe to the other books, they where looking for their classmates, while the noose tightened on them from Chance's investigations. It was kinda like a junior Criminal Minds or something, I don't know, but it was cool and a different take to the other books.
The creepy calling cards where suitably creepy, and I will admit, I found all the stuff about the Zodiac really interesting, so interesting I looked it up to check on my star sign, but I'm still narrowly a Pisces! Not sure whether I'm pleased or not to be honest! Speaking of the Zodiac, we see another corner of the world in this book, from the fairy shop to the huge estate with plenty of interesting history to it, I'm always interested to hear what historical tidbit about the area will be revealed!
The ending though...holy wow. It's like a punch in the freaking face. I was literally sitting, totally stunned for a good few minutes. Then I was freaking out and then I was thanking my lucky stars I can move on to the next book straight away. Props to the fans who've had to wait however long after that bombshell. I can't even. So many interesting paths have opened up, I can't wait to see what's going to happen next!