I've seen reviews on this series out there for awhile but for some reason never bothered to pick up this book and give it a try. Finally I did and now I can't believe I waited so long to start it! While this book is well over 500 pages, for the most part it didn't really feel like that at all--the story is totally engaging and generally moves at a great pace.What I think I liked the best about this book is the realistic way that Grant portrays the events that occur among the children after everyone over 15 disappears. The extremity of the situation is brought home when you read about the power struggles, inevitable death, and fear of everyone left behind. This isn't a story where a hero steps up and everything goes smoothly after the catastrophe, and that makes it all a little more believable (obviously not with respect to a few of the paranormal happenings, of course). Grant has provided us with a fantastic range of characters who are left behind--we have it all: quiet heros, sidekicks, bullies, power-hungry kids... Overall, as I mentioned, the story is paced pretty well though it did start off a little slow for me and it took me a bit to truly get into the book. But once I did I was hooked and dying to know how the book would end. Naturally I wish I had the second book, Hunger, close at hand, but will be ordering it soon so that I can continue to read about Sam, Astrid, and everyone left behind at Perdido Beach. If you are looking for something a bit apocalyptic, sci-fi, and exciting, you should give this book a try--I don't think you'll be disappointed.