I thought that maybe sleeping on this one would change my opinion of it, but not really.There's a lot going for this book. The premise is intriguing. The writing itself is very vivid and full of great images, once you adjust to the dialect and occasional phonetic spelling. There's at least one lovable character. Just the one for me, but maybe you'll like some of the others more.But. The plotting is thin to the point of non-existence. The kids run to a set piece, have a brief, unsatisfying action beat, and then run off to the next set piece. Why? Who knows? Certainly not us, or them! We get something like an answer in the last chapters of the book, but not really. Now, I hung with LOST for its entire run. I know that it's not always about answers. But if you're going to subject your reader to the kind of senseless, unrelenting misery that this book provides, you have to give them some kind of payoff. Throw us a freaking bone, Ness. And really, after the third or fourth person says "I'll tell you later" for no discernable reason besides maintaining the suspense (I'm looking at you, Hildy!), we're gonna start to notice.The reason that LOST got away with not answering questions is that the characters were fully realized and interesting in their own right. The characters here are mostly one-dimensional, and the kids themselves are pretty effing boring. Most of the big emotional moments feel unearned, including the Big Deaths.I intend to keep going with the series to see if things get a little better now that the kids aren't just running running running, because I've heard such good things and the premise really is very interesting, but so far I'm pretty disappointed.