It's not too hard to see the appeal of this book. And it's refreshing to see a male protagonist in a young adult book, especially one with such a great action premise that's sure to appeal to fans of The Hunger Games. The authors find a nice balance between the action and the quieter character moments, as John surrounds himself with some pretty amazing friends who go to great lengths to keep him safe. The biggest thrill of the book is that constant danger of discovery. He must hide who he is from the press, in case the Mogadorians should get wind of it, but also from his new friends. He must lie about his past and hide his powers as they grow more noticeable. Of course, every teenager feels like they don't fit in, and Lore taps into that pretty effortlessly. The best relationship, however, is between John and Henri. It's protective and frustrating and satisfying - in other words, very real. Perhaps the most organic of friendships of any other in this book.
I find that the prose of this book is pretty straight-forward, and is easily accessible to a pre-teen audience. The only thing that seems to push this into the teen category at all is the age of the characters. One thing that really bugged me throughout the book was one of the big "reveals" at the end of the book. The authors beat the audience over the head with something all the way throughout the book, hardly bothering to hide what it was at all. I found it kind of insulting. For those who've read this book, I think you know exactly what that secret is. Despite its flaws, this is a great, fast-paced read. I can hardly complain much about a book that I read in a few days because it was hard to set aside.