This book is very different from what I usually read and there's kind of a backstory to why I ended up reading it. I was at the library with my boyfriend and I really wanted him to read The Raven Boys because it's my fave, so I agreed to read a book that he picked out for me. Yeah, our reading tastes are not the same. It's not that I didn't want to like this book, it just isn't for me. Even when I was younger, I probably wouldn't have picked up the book because I was even more of a cover snob and the main character was a boy (ew boys - middle school me probably).
Anyway, onto my actual review. This book wasn't necessarily bad, it just isn't something that I usually enjoy. While I have read some really good middle grade books, the majority of them don't appeal to me because I find it more difficult to connect to the characters. Arthur isn't an unlikable character, but I couldn't really connect to him. His sole motivation seemed to be curing people of this virus and while that's not a bad motivation there wasn't really any insight into who he was as a person, other than he's a decent human being that doesn't want people to die.
The plot of this book was kind of confusing. I'm not really sure why the Will needed to do what it does because the real world seemed fine. The weird world that Arthur goes to doesn't seem to be in the greatest of shape, but there wasn't really anything outright wrong with it, I think. The book also kind of just throws you into the world without much help, except for the info dumping that occurs sporadically, but always during or right before it's most convenient. The rules of the world don't seem to be clear and seem to allow for pretty much anything to happen, especially if it'll move the plot along.
The side characters all seemed to have ridiculous names that I found distracting. At one point, Arthur says that one of his siblings was named Eminor and is a musician, but he changed his name and I just found that so ridiculous. What kind of a name is that, at least go with Melody if you're trying to go with a music name. The side characters were all just kind of weird and honestly not really important for the most part, except for maybe Suzy. Suzy gets a lot more page time than most of the other characters, aside from Arthur, and she would have been a great character if her dialogue wasn't so bad. She's supposed to be from the time of the bubonic plague, but sometimes she talks like she's from the 1900s or like she's from the south. It didn't really make much sense.
The story was definitely creative and I could see many middle grade readers really enjoying this book, but it wasn't my cup of tea. I don't really plan on continuing this series, mainly because there's seven books, unless they get a lot better.