Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Don't Trust Sylo!

We all assume our government is there to protect us, but when the protection appears to be fishy, we can't help but wonder how far their arms truly reach. In D.J. MacHale's Sylo, Pemberwick island is cut off from the world to protect themselves and the rest of the world from a dangerous virus outbreak. But what if there was no virus?

Pemberwick Island is the land of the tourists during the season, but now that tourist season is winding down, it is returning to its idyllic, lazy self. Tucker's family moved to the island to be "safe," but they didn't expect the government to swoop in and quarantine the entire place. On a late night ride, he sees something very strange, but when they call the police, there are no answers to the strange flying contraption he saw blown out of the air. When he finds out the strange guy trying to peddle a new "sports enhancer" to the high school football team is there, Tucker finds it hard to believe his presence is a coincidence. Especially after he was present for the sudden death of a football player on the field who just played the best game of his life. 

SYLO, the government agency that has control of the island, encourages people to go about their business on the island despite the quarantine. While some finally leave their houses and hotel rooms, others question the need for the quarantine. SYLO is unpredictable, except when it comes to cracking down on people trying to escape the island. After watching a protest end badly and a few boats try to make it out of the harbor, it becomes clear SYLO isn't the caring government entity they pretended to be. There is something far darker at work on Pemberwick Island, and Tucker and his friends and family are right in the middle of it. 

This is one of those books that you are going to read and have absolutely NO idea what is happening! It isn't a confusing story, but the true nature of the quarantine, the mysterious guy with the sports supplement, SYLO themselves, an advanced government branch that no one seems to know about, are all mysterious even by the end of the book. And you know what? Even though I had no idea what was really happening, the story was so exciting, I didn't even care! Instead, I barreled through it trying to piece all the many elements together. While usually a book with no real answers makes me nuts, this one didn't bother me. Instead, I am dying to read the next book to see if there are more answers in the next part of the story!

I liked the way this sleepy island community reacted to the invasion of SYLO. At first they were confused, then scared and complacent, and finally, they were going to fight back regardless of the cost. I think it was a great depiction of how a community would deal with such a situation, and Tucker was the perfect (because he was so imperfect) character to follow through the story. He, Quinn, Tori, and the others made for a band of defiant citizens who weren't going to be told to cower and follow orders. They were determined to get to the bottom of everything, and I loved their defiance. There is nothing wrong with a bunch of teens who stand up for themselves! 

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