Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “SYLO (The SYLO Chronicles, #1)” as Want to Read:
SYLO (The SYLO Chronicles, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


(The SYLO Chronicles #1)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  5,079 ratings  ·  723 reviews
Does Tucker Pierce have what it takes to be a hero when the U.S. military quarantines his island?

Fourteen-year-old Tucker Pierce prefers to fly under the radar. He’s used to navigating around summer tourists in his hometown on idyllic Pemberwick Island, Maine. He’s content to sit on the sidelines as a backup player on the high school football team. And though his best frie
Hardcover, 407 pages
Published July 2nd 2013 by Razorbill
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about SYLO, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Charlie W.
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Corey You get to read this book for school? Awesome! But do your own homework.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,079 ratings  ·  723 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of SYLO (The SYLO Chronicles, #1)
Jan 20, 2015 rated it really liked it


SYLO by D.J. MacHale
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: July 2nd 2013
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the author

As I always I get to judge the cover...but this time complimenting it.I really like the cover,especially the missiles at the top,so awesome:)


SYLO/ is the first book in The SYLO Chronicles.It is a full action-pack adventure dystopian somehow novel with some pretty kick-ass characters and suspense moments.From what I could get,this is a middle grade action book,

Wendy Darling
DNF around 50 pages. There might've been an entertaining story in here, but the writing style is too much like an adult/parent relaying to another adult how a teenager might behave, rather than feeling like a 14-year-old's natural language, observations, and actions. This doesn't mean the main character is more witty or intelligent than average, btw, we are actually told this on page 10:

I, on the other hand, was more of the "blending in" type. I stood a good head shorter than Quinn and kept my
Jun 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, own
Almost a 4 star, SYLO starts off as your run of the mill YA sci-fi mystery but it ends up being much more complex than expected. I did really enjoy it, but I found that 1) we didn't get enough answers even for a first book in a series and 2) it could have done with 50 or so less pages - which is likely linked to 1).

A strong aspect of this novel is how the beginning chapters really pull you into the story. Being engaged from the start is a wanted feat that is not often achieved. MacHale does this
Dec 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
I...can't. I felt like I was reading a bad middle-grade novel. ...more
Lexie Robinson Austin
Jun 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
This review is of the Advanced Readers Copy of SYLO by D.J. MacHale, due in stores on July 2, 2013.

Bad news D.J. MacHale fans. SYLO is a stinker. BIG TIME.
Let me preface this that I’ve read a few of his Pendragon books, and while they weren’t exactly my cup of tea, I could still enjoy them and recommend them to my young library patrons. I will not be recommending SYLO to anyone. In my opinion, MacHale has never been a strong writer, but his action packed plot lines and likeable characters made
First Look:  I wanted to read this because D.J. MacHale wrote it.  He wrote the Pendragon series, which is one of my all-time favorites, and Morpheus Road, which I really enjoyed, so I'll read whatever he puts out, at this point.  Because of that, I had high expectations--probably unreasonably high.  If D.J. MacHale wasn't the author, I would have bypassed this one.  The premise is all too familiar, and a dystopian/sci-fi novel like this has to have a very unique premise before I'll pick it up. ...more
Kathy Martin
Jul 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
D. J. MacHale is EVIL! He has written a page-turning thriller narrated by a sympathetic main character and raised more questions than he has answered.

Tucker Pierce is a high school freshman on the island of Pemberwick, Maine. He and his family moved there after his father lost his job as a civil engineer in Greenwich, Connecticut. His dad has a gardening business and his mom is a free-lance accountant. Tucker loves the island with its tourists and beaches. His best friend Quinn can hardly wait
Tamora Pierce
Aug 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Suppose you'd spent most of your teenaged life on a small island off the shore of Maine, where the winters are bitterly cold and windy, and the summers are loaded with tourists and jobs spent waiting on them. You'd give anything to get off the island, wouldn't you?

The truth is, the only time under-achiever Tucker really wants to leave is when he has to stand in for the senior who's the football team's top pick. Unlike his best friend, he likes the island. He's only lived there five years, but he
Karen’s Library
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystopian, thriller
Once this book took off and you got to the action, it was really intriguing and definitely kept me engaged. The very last portion of the book had me biting my nails and was very action packed! This does end on a cliffhanger with still no idea what's happening. I gave up trying to guess because all my theories pretty much went up in flames.

Thank goodness I have the entire series so I can keep right on reading and find out what the heck is going on!
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was pleasantly surprised to find this didn't suffer from the YA book club syndrome of kids that were smarter than all the adults. It was a little repetitive & angsty, but that's typical of teenagers. An important character even dies (Maybe. I hope so. Cheap trick if not.)

There's a great build up of clues as to what is going on & we find out most at the end. It's kind of a cliff-hanger, which I detest, but it's also pretty obvious this is a trilogy going in. The first major hurdle is achieved.
Allen Alvarado
Jun 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing

I’ve read many of DJ’s books, especially since ten of them are Pendragon novels, and I happen to be a long time Traveler. That journey was a rollercoaster ride, the best one any book series has ever taken me on.

I read the first installment of the Morpheus Road trilogy, and I was impressed. I hardly get scared by anything, and that book kept me up at night long after I had finished it. Unfortunately, I missed the release of the last two, and I don’t frequent book stores as often as I’d like to,
Jun 24, 2013 rated it liked it
While Sylo intrigued me with an interesting premise and an exciting ending, I did have some problems with it.

Tucker lives on Pemberwick Island off the coast of Maine. It's a vacation spot, but Tucker is a full-timer. Tucker is a freshman football player who sits the bench until the star player drops dead at the end of a football game. The autopsy gives no indication of why he died.

Now Tucker is thrust into a starting situation, and there's no way he can compete. A strange man offers Tucker a sup
Jun 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
You live on an vacation island off the coast of Maine, where some residents are all year residents and most are there for the summer. Nothing really happens.

Then, a star high school athlete who seems to be a man playing against school children dies during the best game of his career. Commandos wearing a SYLO patch on their shoulders parachute out of helicopters and land on your island and declare martial law. The President of the United States comes on television and says your island, your litt
Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Lets start with the basics. SYLO is fantastic and you should read it.

Now that that's out of the way, if you're wondering why SYLO is so great then I'd recommend you keep reading.

SYLO is a fantastic book filled with tons of action, mysteries, and shocking events. It's a great book to get reluctant readers hooked into, like Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series, this book never slows down. So if you're looking for something that will absolutely captivate you until the last page, then this is the bo
Mar 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
3.5, rounded up because it got better as it went.

As has happened with DJ MacHale in the past, I was totally surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Which is not to say I LOVED it, and is definitely not to say it changed my life, but it was entertaining and, once I got into it, pretty tough to put down. (Mind you, it took until at least halfway through to be that engaging, but even before it was interesting.)

(view spoiler)
Jennifer Gassett
Feb 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
I love MacHale's books! I was really sad when the Pendragon series was over. He's definitely brought another great series to the table with Sylo.
I had suspicions on what would happen at the end and couldn't wait to find out if I was right or not! The cliffhanger made me look forward to the next book in the series.
Nov 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
There are many words I could use to describe SYLO. I could say it was thrilling, tense, and explosive, but those would merely be good words. The best words I thought SYLO demonstrated were: "as refreshing as an ocean breeze." I am not joking. Those words were taken right out of the notes I took while I was reading the book. It is a bit of an odd description, if you were to compare it to the previous three words. Sure, the book had me holding my breaths and clenching my fist, but I'm going to tel ...more
Amanda Vieira
May 24, 2013 rated it did not like it
I did not like this book. I read the advanced readers copy and I absolutely hated it. It was just horrible.

Let me explain a little, there was no set pace for this story. One minute absolutely nothing was happening then the next everything was happening. The characters would make huge discoveries right after they asked the question. Then something else would happen and the it would be back to turtle pace again. It was so annoying and confusing. Because of this horrible pace I could not keep track
Kayla Karangi
This book was pretty good. It kept me hooked all through, a mix of mystery, thriller, and a bit of horror in a way. The characters seem kind of dry though.
Logan Mendivil
Nov 28, 2022 rated it really liked it
The book was a good read. Sylo has an interesting plot that involves the protagonist's island being locked down by an unheard of branch of the United States military due to a mysterious virus that gets the "infected" become inhumanly fast and strong that most times leads into them dead. 🪦

Why the strong military presence to lock down the island? Why are all communications cut off if it was just an illness? Does the so called "virus" have something to do with the mysterious drug being passed aroun
Jenni Arndt
Jul 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
It seems like I am having much more luck with some of the books I am reading lately than a lot of my fellow bloggy friends. Just like Undercurrent, I went into SYLO very wary because I had seen very middling and even some negative reviews for it. Maybe the trepidation this situation makes me go into books with is what is paying off because I had so much fun with SYLO from the very beginning.

Right off the bat we know that there is some freaky stuff going on on Pemberwick Island. This quaint littl
Jun 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Enter to win a copy of Sylo over at Scott Reads It!
I have never read the Pendragon series, despite the fact, that it's been on my radar for so long. That being said, this is the first book I've read by D.J. MacHale and it certainly won't be the last. MacHale crafts an interesting story in Sylo from start to finish and I definitely have a feeling that readers will quickly become hooked right from the start. Even though Sylo is an entertaining book, I still have a few issues with it.

I was hook
Jul 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
It was before I started blogging, so no one here knows that I was a fan of the Pendragon series. (Albeit one who was perpetually disappointed it wasn't more Arthurian. Oh, those initial expectations!) Thus D.J. MacHale's name was enough to make me pick up a dystopian novel.

However, SYLO isn't much of a dystopian. There's certainly creepy government control, but it happens here and now. Jimmy Kimmel is still a thing. It's more of a thriller with possible aliens. (No one in the book mentions that
Sep 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
I have a very very amazing history with DJ MacHale that he isn't aware of. When I was younger and everyone was getting Harry Potter for Christmas, I got a boxed set of his Pendragon series, books 1 2 3. I instantly started book 1 and fell in love with them. By then 4 books were released so I read the first 4, and every year after that I got the newest Pendragon book for Valentine's Day from my mom. That was my childhood and as far as I'm concerned, I grew up with Bobby Pendragon instead of Harry ...more
Strange things are happening on Pemberwick Island. First, the star quarterback suddenly dies during a game. Several more unexplained deaths occur shortly after. An unknown man turns up offering a red crystal called "Ruby" that supposedly gives the individual ingesting it immediate superhuman strength. Then, local kid Tucker and his friend Quinn witness an extraordinary spectacle: a mysterious black ship flying towards the island over the ocean, emitting a strange musical tone. Finally, the milit ...more
Tucker Pierce is your average teenager. Living on picture perfect Pemberwick Island, his greatest problem is to get Tori Sleeper to notice him. While out bike riding at night with his best friend, they encounter a light show and an explosion that seemed to be out of this world. Next thing he knows, the government has seized his tiny little town and has held them under supervision. The more he uncovers, the more questions he needs answers to.

This is not a book for patient people, because question
Dec 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Okay, I'm a bit iffy on this one. I picked it up from the library earlier this one, because I had some down time coming up. I even started another book and put it down because this one just kept calling to me. Unfortunately, even though parts grabbed me, there was a whole lot of the book that just didn't.

The book starts off just fine. You are introduced to your characters, you get a feel for them. There is mystery, than BAM, quarantine. From there it feels like the author was just kind of tossin
Apr 19, 2014 rated it liked it
So I liked this book, I will definitely be moving on to the next book at some point. However I do agree with some people when they said that not enough was revealed in this 1st book. I would have like a bit more explanation as to what the whole situation was. On another note, I don't agree with most others when they say that his teenage characters are dumbed down. I actually think it is the opposite, he does what a lot of YA authors do and what I like to call, 20 for 17. Lot's of YA authors tend ...more
May 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook-reads
This was okay, but I'm pretty picky when it comes to sci-fi...mostly because it's one of my favorite genres. SYLO has too many pages, too many characters, and too many unnecessary scenes. The description also tends to be more "tell" instead of "show", which makes things seem tedious at times. There are quite a few heart-pounding action moments, but everything seems kind of convoluted and messy--there were much cleaner ways to tie up some of the loose ends in this one, and not enough answers were ...more
Anya potgieter
Oct 11, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I am obsessed with DJ machale and his writing, so I made sure to check out the SYLO trilogy as soon as possible.

Every since the first chapter when Marty died on the football team, it left me wanting to flip the page to figure out what’s going to happen next!

If your a fan of Machale’s other books (like Pendragon, Morpheus Road & The Library) check out SYLO!

DJ Machale is such a genius!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Insignia (Insignia, #1)
  • The Rule of Three (The Rule of Three, #1)
  • Department Nineteen (Department 19, #1)
  • Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings (Real Mermaids, #1)
  • Seeds of Rebellion (Beyonders, #2)
  • The Rains (Rains, #1)
  • Divided We Fall (Divided We Fall, #1)
  • The Walled City
  • Chasing the Prophecy (Beyonders, #3)
  • Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad, #1)
  • The Eye of Minds (The Mortality Doctrine, #1)
  • Catalyst (Insignia, #3)
  • Will to Survive (The Rule of Three, #3)
  • Fight for Power (The Rule of Three, #2)
  • Vortex (Insignia, #2)
  • Let the Sky Fall (Sky Fall, #1)
  • Sea Glass (Glass, #2)
  • The Prisoner of Cell 25 (Michael Vey, #1)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
D.J. MacHale is a writer, director, executive producer and creator of several popular television series and movies.

He was raised in Greenwich, CT and graduated from Greenwich High School. While in school, he had several jobs including collecting eggs at a poultry farm, engraving sports trophies and washing dishes in a steakhouse...in between playing football and running track. D.J. then attended N

Other books in the series

The SYLO Chronicles (3 books)
  • Storm (The SYLO Chronicles, #2)
  • Strike (The SYLO Chronicles, #3)

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
18 likes · 3 comments
“Good stuff doesn't just happen. You have to fight for it.” 3 likes
“The moment. I think back on it. A lot. It’s like revisiting a favorite place. A place you wish you could go to again. But I can’t because that place doesn’t exist anymore, except in my memory.” 1 likes
More quotes…