written by Scott Westerfeld
(also a re-read)
This book had a crazily imaginative plot--possibly the most original since reading HP and Twilight. I had low expectations for the book, but found the characters to be extremely interesting and well-developed, as opposed to the teen soap opera I had envisioned. I immediately rushed to get the sequels (probably my one biggest issue with this book is that it really can't be read as a stand-alone. You have to read the other books, which is problematic with me just because if you disliked it, you're left with an incomplete book, basically). On the other hand, hands-down, the best ending line ever found in a book. Another thing, and this comes straight from Deathly Hallows as well, there were too many camping scenes. I would rather have seen character interaction than lengthy descriptions on the journeys to and from and back and forth. There are times when the book lacks momentum, and times when the momentum is just overwhelming.
Re-reading this now, after the sequels, it's different. The book could have been handled a lot differently. Not enough information is revealed, in my opinion, and later on, with Zane and all, it seems like the core characters are kind of abandoned, which is a real shame.
Still. Highly recommend you read the series, the first time through is a wonderful adventure you are very unlikely to forget.
Rating: 5/5 for first read
4/5 for second.
(yeah, that really makes very little sense)