22 June 2014


Author: D.J. MacHale
Series: The SYLO Chronicles #1
Rating: 3 / 5 stars
Verdict: Borrow

I never finished the Pendragon series by MacHale, but it was a series that I started a few years back and wish to revisit.  MacHale writes more on a pre-teen level than a young adult novel, so I reminded myself of that when I started into SYLO.

SYLO is an interesting, if not a bit confusing, of a novel.  It starts off following a young man sitting on the bench in his high school football game, terrified he will be called into action, when suddenly one of the players on the field drops dead without a warning.  This kid may be the first to die on this little island town, but he won't be the last.  The novel then follows as our main character Tucker tries to discover just what happened to his teammate.  Enter Ruby, and things become even more complicated, especially as the military/government agency of SYLO takes up residence on the island and quarantines it due to the deaths piling up.

While the plot of SYLO itself is a bit sloppy and the novel was a little difficult to muster the strength to get through, the ending is certainly promising and the reason I am ready to start Storm, the next novel in the series.  SYLO opens itself up to a rather radical dystopian/post apocalyptic world and MacHale introduces a lot of unexplored and unanswered questions at the end of the novel that promise excitement and adventure for our rag tag team of heroes.  SYLO felt like one long, over extensive build up for Storm, without a lot of the character development you typically expect from slow first novels in series.  Now, if Storm ends up subpar as well, I will not waste my time further with the series, but SYLO at least shows promise at the end if you can tolerate the plot and the dumbed down narratives for the younger crowd until then.

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