Years ago back in school, I knew a boy who started every book he read by skipping the first ten pages. ‘They’re always boring,’ he explained. ‘The story doesn’t get going until at least page 10.’ I felt a little bit like that when I began this, with its opening that consists of a group of teens hanging out in the park discussing homework. There’s little excitement, or impetus to keep reading.
But the more you do, the more you realize what’s Patrick Ness is doing. Each chapter begins with a summary of a ‘Buffy-style-super-teens’ adventure, the adventure that’s taking place while the teens you meet in the opening go about their ‘normal’ lives. And you realize that the events these ‘normal’ teens are experiencing are just as dramatic as anything the super-teens have to contend with.
And just as compulsively readable.