*I received a free ecopy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
This book was pretty different from my normal preference, which is making it difficult for me to rate, but I was in the mood for something with a kind of twisty, adventure-ish, interesting plot, and this one satisfied my craving nicely.
This was a premise and plot-driven book; the focus on the labyrinth and all its crazy rooms and deadly puzzles. And though I normally prefer character-driven novels, the suspense, the mystery, and creepiness of the maze and the things the characters had to do to survive each difficult and sometimes horrifying (well, relatively horrifying, since it was YA) obstacle kept me turning pages until I was done.
But oddly enough, even though the characters weren’t super developed, I feel like they’re the main reason I want to continue the series. They were likeable, especially Kim with her loyalty and sarcasm and the way she had her priorities straight. (For example, when she embarrassed herself in one scene, she just told herself that it she could survive nearly dying in the maze, she could survive some embarrassment, and then she moved on and went back to focusing on finding her brother). Plus, both main characters had a good level of maturity, so I never got annoyed with them as I often do with YA characters. Also, there was at least some development, even if it wasn’t the focus, so I feel like there’s potential there for more in the next books.
Surprisingly, since it wasn’t in the blurb, there was also even a tiny smidge of romance. Not only that, this one didn’t have a love interest who was Mr. Perfect Hottie-Pants McPerfect—he was somewhat attractive but by no means the hottest, most ripped guy in school and was even described as having a little extra weight on him. And the way they looked out for each other, even in a non-romantic way, was sweet.
The only way the book didn’t live up to my expectation was in the genre. I was expecting paranormal/magical type obstacles, but everything was plausible. I mean, it was out-there and not entirely realistic, but it was all things like moving platforms, snow machines, trapdoors—things based on mechanics and technology. But I actually didn’t realize that until after, so it wasn’t a problem.
So this may not have been my usual type of read, but it was an interesting, gripping premise and plot with likeable characters that carried the story well. I enjoyed reading this book and look forward to the next one!
Anyone looking for a quick, suspenseful, plot-driven read with an interesting premise and just a hint of romance.