The Escape from Furnace had one main character, like ninety-five percent of books do. This one has tree, and later on, four. The world has turned upside down on them and they don't know why. The crazy thing is, neither do we. Cal, Brick and Daisy are three ordinary teens: Cal's a football player trying to get the girl to notice him, Daisy and her friends are mocking Romeo and Juliet while rehearsing it, and Brick is trying to win over the girl as well in an abandoned amusement park. As an outsider, Brick feels it's the best place he can call home, all quiet and no regulations. Then one day, the whole world turns against them. In football, Cal all of a sudden sees all the players stopped and looking at him. In fact, the whole stand is looking at him, and these looks are all beyond just pure hate. They want to murder him. All of a sudden, all three teenagers end up being against the whole wide world and with nowhere to turn because everyone they meet ends up with fiery red eyes. I may not be describing the situation well, but trust me, if you read the book, Gordon's details will leave you breathless and shaking.
Trust me, Alexander Gordon Smith is one of the best authors around. He brings terrific description without ever becoming confusing or, at least usually, boring. Something tells me he made up a lot of the story as it went like he did with the Furnace series, and for the most part, it really works here. Another thing this book has is unscientific science fiction and fantasy. The monsters in this book are a mystery to behold. The problem is the, ahem, execution of the whole affair. You may be sick of me doing thumbs-down reviews by now, and I wanted to give this thumbs up, and for about five sixths of the book, I thought I would. But you know how I said there are four main characters? More and more pop up for the occasion, differing away from the main characters and going to another situation briefly regarding this incident outside of the teens' main problem: The Fury: and giving off short descriptions of their lives before diving into another action scene. I found that Gordon said he decided midway through that he was telling a big story and he was, and he kept imagining the characters fighting over a chance to be in the spotlight. Every time a new brief character was introduced for a longer than average chapter, I felt my patience fighting as well and wanting to go back to the interesting thing. It's like every time there's an interesting idea in a short chapter, it ends at a cliffhanger and then shifts to another character before continuing. Kind of like one certain character who is so annoyingly brutal whom I think we spend too much time with, you feel this book is terrific but has a little too many elements mixed in. I also finished it with a few unanswered questions and there is a final battle, that takes about two hundred pages to go down.
Look, this whole book is beautiful and a great achievement but I think I just don't like long books in general. Not one book over four hundred pages has gotten 4/4 yet or a genuine thumbs up from what I can remember. The final act is the biggest sin. Like Transformers: Age of Extinction, I liked both achievements well enough but both endings do not know how to end. There are too many explosions, too many (I am going to die) over there, too many (That is the _______st thing ever _______). It got so repetitive that I lost sympathy for any of the characters. My advice: I think you will like the book. But you can stop after page 500.