**spoiler alert** Four stars for the way that the story was reworked into a pretty comprehensive, brisk plot; four for the art; and . . . three-point-...more**spoiler alert** Four stars for the way that the story was reworked into a pretty comprehensive, brisk plot; four for the art; and . . . three-point-five for the writing, which was nice and solid, but suffered from inconsistencies. The writing didn't glue me to the book or astound me. The way that some of these characters spoke could also be off-putting because of random inconsistencies, like Nick slipping randomly into an elevated, even royal-esque, speech pattern and then back to the cussing kid in a blink. Or there'd be an odd bit, like the amusing point that Nick had seen enough horror films to know to double-tap the bad guy, but apparently had not seen enough to know the kid who would erupt with random psychotically violent outbursts might mean trouble in the near future. Ignoring the obvious threat for far too long is just as much a classic horror film mistake as not double-tapping, and it was just as painful to watch that unfold as it is to watch a blundering character in a horror film :-\ Yes, extenuating circumstances and all that, but if we're expected to believe that the character, as written, is clever and world-wise, then there needed to be some sort of better explanation for the inconsistencies that took place than what was provided.
But overall, the book was interesting and well-paced; not grand or amazing, but maybe almost. (less)