WARNING: IT WILL BE LONG
Firstly, this book is more of a 3.5 for me for various reasons. Mostly because this book leaves me rather mixed: half good, half bad. Particularly on the subject that most will either get what's going on or be lost forever in the details and dialogue. I however hung in there and had the patience to keep going -- my efforts were rewarded, at least in my own opinion. I've seen the other reactions: both good and bad.
And while reading it I could see why.
The writing boardlines between whimsical and vagueness. There were lots of parts I loved or just stared at the page in confusion. Words as names such as Whisper and Pass and whole bunch of others just made me go 'why' for most part. Probably because there wasn't enough detail going into the attached word. It was more like 'Whisper crept' ... wait, who's this Whisper person? I didn't get my answers until I read more about the parts she was involved in as well as other characters. Yet I was left with trying to figure out who was who and why they were there with such name attached to them -- yes, I am aware it was mostly associated with their powers, but still ... give the reader a wee bit more detail-help here. :c
Besides that the main character: Matthew, oh Matthew, Matthew, how I had to read to the end to finally understand certain details of his character. I loved how he was called the 'Teller' of Tales in a sense. But there were certainly many things that the author could have fleshed out or detailed better in my opinion. Mostly vague and leaving up to the reader to decide who, what, where, who, how, huh? I was okay with it since I'm rather familiar in trying to explain the most obscure storylines and plot devices to others, but to those that favour the straight forward approach, you'll be sorely disappointed I'm afraid.
However the highlights of this book are to be admired and credited to Bobet's writing style. I simply adored how she formatted the story. My only complaint is the chapters are fairly long-ish, but that's just personal taste. Yet what she added with each characters' 'Tale' just made me go giddy with glee. It was such an interesting outlook to the world of 'Above' and its characters. It was there that I got the details (or most of it) that I had been looking for at the beginning.
Monsters and Whitecoats.
This story really truly explores who is the true monster and who is merely human, who is the Killer and who is Safe, and most importantly it tells the story that Matthew needs to tell to the reader. In his own way and form. And its that what drove me about 2/3 into the story to keep reading. The climax, in its own way, was chillingly beautiful. It also consulted an issue not normally discussed which just interested me more. And oh the Tale of that person was truly memorable, I almost felt shameful of my original thinking.
But above all, it really made me think in the end, and I think that's what is the most vital moral of what this story tells us -- the readers -- about.
Again, I had doubts at the beginning because of the vagueness and getting lost in the words and things jumping and whatever it was, but it truly proved me wrong by the last page thankfully.
So, to be honest here, don't take for granted what others deem a book or a story bad or good, because in the end you might be surprised. Sometimes its how it was told, or merely how it was written, or it could have been expanded further. Details may seem a bit blah at times but they really help flesh the idea and the message as a whole.
Just wish Bobet spent some more time fleshing things out and whatnot.
Anyway, I believe I've rambled anyone's ears off with this, so I shall stop here.
Hopefully this helped, if not then I'm terribly sorry. :c
I tried. :/