An Overall Good Time

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toxickitticorn Avatar


This book was fast-paced and fun. It did what it set out to do--it was a romance with a dangerous setting that drew me in and made me keep reading. However, it fell short in a variety of ways.

The worldbuilding was incredibly lacking for me. We see these neat gadgets alongside this huge, hidden base, but we are provided next to no explanation on how this operation works, how these gadgets are unique to Panacea and why their enemies do not have similar items, and most importantly, how this massive base has managed to remain secret for so long. In fact, we see that a room assumedly created by Eli Morrison accounts for electronic devices by disabling them entirely. Naturally, this begs the question: why is the Morrison crew so under-equipped when compared to the Panacea base?

Unfortunately, the building of emotional ties was also underdeveloped. Huge pieces of the main characters' lives are glossed over. Artie's death, while discussed, never holds any true weight for the reader, as we are told and reminded of Winter's grief, but are never truly shown it. In addition, the negligence of Winter's mother is never truly dived into. The reader is told these issues shaped Winter and the way he perceives the world, but we are never shown the effects it has on him. It feels as though the book would be unchanged if these pieces of his character were removed entirely. The same can be said for Sydney. Her chronic condition is never even named. She has a faceless family and a dead mom, neither of which ever seem to affect her outside of when the plot necessitates it.

Despite all my criticisms, I gave this book four stars. I was truly engrossed, and I finished this book in two sittings only because I had responsibilities to attend to. The book did what it set out to do. I do hope, however, that future books set out to do more.