Agh, young adults are harder to review. Hence why they're also shorter than most of the others I whip out. Yes, yet another Pike - I'm sure some of you are wondering if half my brain is still thirteen with all of the younger books I've been pawing lately. Besides memory lane, I just feel the urge you know? I love revisiting the past, but also want this review site to eventually house a lot of reviews in a multiple of genres.
This time around the plot is seasoned with a mild twist of supernatural and a strange undercurrent of moral value. I didn't know what was up throughout most of the thing, until the end wrapped it up in a quaint little package. The package made sense but made clear this wasn't reality we were dealing with, either. A warped reality with an intriguing other-world scenario. The unique idea brings it up at least a star alone. Even if this wasn't the best book out there in his library, it still hosts an imaginative villain and rapidly climbing premise. Mystery intact? You bet. It's impossible to pinpoint the exact cause and reasoning of scenes without finishing Scavenger Hunt to the last page.
Character wise, Carl is a typical teenage boy weighed down by guilt and what ifs? The stigma surrounding him involved in his best friend's death was a nice touch. The villains were marvelously evil and without conscience, with a nice twist of that play during the climax. Of course a budding romance touched the pages, but it wasn't overly focused on. There were some mildly violent scenes that stood out, particularly at the end, and while the gore was low-key, it's also mildly present. Pacing wise it's a little slow in some areas, but the ending makes up for it with brownie points in creativity.
As always Pike writes to show he was born to be in this profession. Coupled with a bizarre story that leaves clues impossible to be deciphered but still fair game, young adults who crave suspense, mystery or horror should get a healthy kick out of this one. Adults will be held back slightly by the tone and teenage trivialities, but the story should entertain all ages and is worth a read for everyone.