This book starts out pretty solid. The writing is pretty decent, the characters are likable enough, the story is building and the action starts right out the gate.
In the beginning, we actually have a plot or at least the beginning of one. We have an idea of the dangers of this world and of how it all works. We know what is going on and it all makes sense.
AND THEN... it all goes downhill.
I thought I knew where this story was going. I was terribly wrong. Not because I didn't it coming, in fact, I called most of the big reveals. I was wrong because as it turns out, this story didn't go anywhere at all.
This book has a series issue with pacing. The first part flows well. Then it stalls and goes nowhere. Then it's like an old car that your hoping and praying gets you to your destination as it gives random little lurches followed by stillness and then accelerating at breakneck speed before coming to a sudden halt and then sort of crawling and lurching the rest of the way.
The real climax of this novel came around page 250 of this 429-page book. Then we just sort of wander around for almost a hundred pages before the book remembers it has a plot.
Then there were the characters.
I liked them. They were fun at first. But, as the story went on I realized just how dumb Miyoung actually is. She made so many stupid/ questionable choices. She was also extremely indecisive, one day sticking to one plan before feeling some guilt and diving headfirst into some other convoluted idea.
This is all made worse by the fact that most of the problems in this book could have possibly been avoided if these characters communicated with each other. I died a little bit each time they decided to keep secrets from each other or lie or purposely hide the truth for whatever reason. If the characters had sat down and had a conversation so many issues could have been avoided and so many trees would have been spared because this book would have been so much shorter.
Then there were characters who weren't really characters at all despite their importance to the general plot (I'm looking at you, Nara).
All of that said, this book did have some good parts. I really liked Jihoon, he was pretty fun and likable. I like Miyoung's relationship with mother, Yena. It was complex and cruel and yet you could tell how they loved each other.
In the end, this book didn't completely suck, despite my review. Some people will like it. I ain't one of them. I don't think that I'll be reading the rest of this series. I just can't be bothered to care about that ending.