A devourer from beyond threatens all teens hold dear.
Cal, Daisy and Brick have just been attacked, spit upon and bitten by both people who care about them and complete strangers—and it’s not stopping. As the violence escalates, they learn that teens around the world are being inexplicably targeted by their friends, families and strangers. Taking refuge at an abandoned amusement park, the teens try to provide a safe haven for other victims of this strange fury. However, when a dark void begins destroying parts of London and one of the teens changes into a supernatural being, the refugees realize that the source of their problems may not be an earthly one. Smith crafted a sinister world with a diabolical villain, emotional tension and a touch of the supernatural in the prison-break series Escape from Furnace. He’s attempted to do the same thing with a heftier dose of the supernatural in this doorstopper but with much less success. The narrative is fractured, shared among a host of storytellers, none of whom is particularly engaging. Daisy and Cal share the reversed-fortunes-of-popularity trope, while Brick’s unloved-ginger story is a peculiarly British idiom. Ultimately, the supernatural elements feel like MacGuffins, there to propel meandering action toward meaningless resolution.
Better consigned to the void than the shelf. (Thriller. 12 & up)