As with a lot of sequels I don't think this book was quite as good as the first one. There were three main plots; the lack of food problem, the tension between power kids and the non power, the darkness/malignant force trying to gain power. The book couldn't quite make up it's mind which one of these was the primary plot and which was the secondary. All three were fighting for attention with a few small sub plots thrown in. Funnily enough it was the tension/Lord of the Flies aspect of the book that I preferred and would have enjoyed the book more if it had went with that. It's surprising because I normally love the sci fi aspect.
I have a few problems with the sci fi side. First of all I knew from book 1 where the powers and the malignant force came from. It was extremely predictable and my heart sunk when that prediction turned out to be true. It's been done before. In fact the reasoning has a very similar resemblance to one Stephen King book. The second problem I had with it was that the book seemed to skirt round it. We know little Petey is behind a lot of what's going on and understands it more but is unable to articulate it. A lot of this came out in the book but when details began to emerge the book would swerve away which was a little frustrating. Clearly the author intends for big reveals to be in later books but it felt like he wanted to tell all in this one. My last problem with it has more to do with myself. Again I am still wary of it. I still think that it would be very easy for it to merge into ridiculous territory. It didn't happen with this one but I still think it could in future books.
I know it sounds like I didn't like it but I actually did. As I said I liked the Lord of the Flies aspect of the book. I thought that part was well done. I can well imagine kids starting to tear at each other out of fear and hunger. The fact that some of those kids are also different just added to it. It gave those without something to focus on. I wish there had been more of that but like I said earlier it was fighting for space with other plots. I am also intrigued by what Albert has in mind to get the kids working. I am curious to see how that works out. I quite like this character and he actually seems the only one who is not as upset by events.
I will probably read the rest of the series eventually but for the moment I am not going to go out of my way to pick up the books. To many others fighting for my attention on the shelves. I would like to see how this series ends though.