This book did not live up to the promise of its first 50 pages. The plot turned out to be formulaic and the narrative not nearly as vivid as it should be. Riggs was much better at describing the normal than he was at the peculiar, and that was a big problem in this book. And as a young adult novel, I found it uneven and I was unsure as to its age appropriateness. The narrative of the first 100 pages spoke very clearly to a teenager and up, but by the end I felt like I was reading a children's novel. Still, I feel bad giving it less than 3 stars, because the book had heart and I know I will read the follow-up next year, with hope that the story will become more complex and more imaginative.