Reading Level: Middle Grade/YA
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Size: 72 pages
Publisher: Stoke Books
Release Date: September 1st 2012
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: eGalley from NetGalley.com
Rating: 3/5 stars
I got an eGalley of this book to review through NetGalley.com. It was a super quick read that addressed an interesting concept in a simple way. This definitely wasn’t my favorite read by Chris Wooding; I much preferred his Malice series or some of his stand alone books like Poison and Storm Thief.
Jed is friends with a bunch of boys who hate and bully Pales. Pales are people who are given a serum after dying that brings them back to life, after being brought to life they are very Pale in color. When Jed is part of a horrible accident he ends becoming exactly what he hates.
I didn’t realize that this book is kind of a specialty book; it’s supposed to be a high interest book for older readers who have trouble reading. As such some of the things in the book are intended for a YA and older crowd; but the plot, characters, and writing are very simple.
The idea of Pales is a neat one. Basically some people have DNA that allows them to take a serum after dying, this serum brings them back to life mostly unchanged.
The main character is fairly simple; he’s your typical popular bully. His friends are very typical of the type of people who hang around bullies. You don’t really see a lot more depth in Jed’s character until he is turned into a Pale.
The plot is also very simple; basically a bully becomes one of the people he used to bully and is forced to reevaluate his actions.
Despite the very simple story, characters, and writing style there is a good lesson here. Jed ends up reevaluating his actions and learning what true friendship means. I should mention that there are some graphic scenes where kids are beaten (by their peers) and this is probably only a book for YA and up.
Overall an okay book. Definitely not my favorite Chris Wooding book, but it is an interesting concept explored in a very simple way. The writing, characters, and plot are all very simple but the content of the book is at an older kid level (there’s beatings and a lot about making out/girlfriends, etc). This is a good book to interest older kids who read at a lower age level. I’d recommend this to a YA boy who reads at a middle grade or lower level.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– 150+ Books Reading Challenge