Great potential for a paranormal series with a gay protagonist.
Genre: Y/A, Science Fiction, GLBT
No. of pages: 257
Every high school has it’s social elite; the football players and cheerleaders … you know, the popular crowd. At Butler High, Jack Barely was as close to the top as they came. Captain of the swim team, great hair, and abs that most would die for. However, that was all before the Leeches attacked, taking away everything: his popularity, his house, his grandmother, and even his best friend, Caleo, whom he secretly loved.
Now, living in a destroyed world, popularity means nothing as Jack struggles just to keep him and his twin sister, Jillian, alive. With attacks happening more frequently, Jack starts to wonder why they are even bothering to try and hold onto the past when it just reminds him of all they have lost. Just when he has given up hope, Jack hears a rumor that Caleo is still alive and sets out on a mission to find him. But will Jack make it to finally tell Caleo how he really feels?
With a fantastic premise set up in ‘Caleo,’ even if I had issues with the writing style, I was still excited to continue with this trilogy. ‘Jack’ still brings that level of immaturity in the narrative that bugged me from the first novel – but much less of it, thank goodness. We get a clear case of what is going on with the plot of the trilogy for the most part, but there is still a little confusion of some scenes not making sense. The stakes are definitely higher. There is a lot of action, pummelling, fighting and injuries… it is starting to feel like a bloodbath. So, while not top-tier writing, it is definitely compulsive.
On a side note: I did find it comical at the amount of unintentional nudity. The teen girl in me giggled and kicked her legs (no judging me – I already know how lame I am.) In ‘Caleo,’ we did lose a bit of that larrikin humour over the second half of the novel, but it is back and interspersed throughout the narrative in ‘Jack’ and it’s the kind of smart-assery I love to indulge in.
This time the story continues from Jack’s P.O.V. and he is more single-minded than in ‘Caleo’ – which was great in driving the plot forward, but it also erased some of his complexity. I would have liked to see much more going on with him emotionally and spiritually to turn up the level of tension.
The reading experience felt a lot tighter and more enjoyable. Though personally I’m #TeamNolan and felt like Nolan was pushed aside again for the sake of setting up a love triangle, though, with the third book in the series being from his point of view, I guess I’ll get the fix I’ve been hinkering for since starting this trilogy. *fingers crossed*
I did get more surprises than expected, but there still wasn’t a lot of resolution in the plot for me to feel entirely satisfied. Second book syndrome. Even though there is so much action going on in ‘Jack,’ I felt as though something was lacking – whether it be a few sub-plots, or moving the overarching storyline forward more, it still left me in that state of mind after finishing ‘Caleo.’ Yes, I’m dying to find out what happens next, but annoyed that I have to read yet another book to get a payoff.
I developed a lot more liking and sympathy for Jack after reading this second instalment, but there is still something about Caleo and Jack that doesn’t sit right for me. But let’s see were the journey takes us. Jumping into ‘Nolan’ right now…
Overall feeling: boys, boys, boys!
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