3:59 by Gretchen McNeil


3:59 by
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published September 17th 2013 by Balzer & Bray
I thought this was going to be another epic ghost story. Yes, I did not read the synopsis, and yes the cover looks creepily awesome.

Why I Didn't Like The Book:
1. No scare-factor. 
This book did not give me the creepy crawlies feeling. It was just meh. So what about the predatory Nox which enjoy killing sprees every night, you ask? I expected something of more substance - not much was said about the creatures other than they enjoyed human flesh. Well, isn't that obvious?

2. Lots of WTF moments.
  • Josie asking her fake dad to steal a government-secured machine for her, and he agreed easily. Turned out to be the biggest mistake ever! [What did momma say about not trusting anyone in this world, dear Josie?]
  • Josie making out with the other Nick shortly after a Nox attack, and she accidentally touched fake dad's severed leg. [Wouldn't the stench of blood and death hang in the air after the animals had their meal? Why would anyone make out in that situation?!! It was beyond my comprehension.]
  • Jo, Josie's doppelganger who was supposed to be a selfish girl, became good and helped Josie out on her quest the instant she asked it! [Where's the logic in this?!!]
  • Jo was happy and didn't care one bit after her dad got chewed into pieces by the Nox. [Even if she hated him, wouldn't she feel the slightest tinge of emotion on his passing?]
  • Dr. Bryne and Jo turned out to be good characters after all! [Again - logic please!]
3. It's sci-fi, but it doesn't sound like one.  

4. Flat, one-dimensional characters. 
The characters are boring if nothing else. 

Considering how I had loved McNeil's TEN, it is hard to hide my disappointment in 3:59. My advice to her? Don't venture into sci-fi if you don't know what you're writing.

Rating: 1 out of 5