June 27, 2013

Blog Tour: SYLO (SYLO #1) by D.J. MacHale – Review

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SYLO (SYLO #1) by D.J. MacHale

presented by Penguin Canada!


Does Tucker Pierce have what it takes to be a hero when the U.S. military quarantines his island?

Fourteen-year-old Tucker Pierce prefers to fly under the radar. He’s used to navigating around summer tourists in his hometown on idyllic Pemberwick Island, Maine. He’s content to sit on the sidelines as a backup player on the high school football team. And though his best friend Quinn tells him to “go for it,” he’s too chicken to ask Tori Sleeper on a date. There’s always tomorrow, he figures. Then Pemberwick Island is invaded by a mysterious branch of the U.S. military called SYLO. And sitting on the sidelines is no longer an option for Tucker, because tomorrow may never come. 

It’s up to Tucker, Quinn, and Tori to uncover the truth about the singing aircraft that appears only at night—and the stranger named Feit who’s pushing a red crystal he calls the Ruby that brings unique powers to all who take it. Tucker and his friends must rescue not just Pemberwick Island, but the fate of the world—and all before tomorrow is too late.  

#1 New York Times bestselling author D.J. MacHale brings his brilliant plotting and breathless pacing to SYLO, the first in this ultimate end-of-the-world adventure trilogy.

add to goodreadsSYLO (SYLO #1) by D.J. MacHale
Publication Date:  July 2, 2013
Publisher:  Razorbill

Available for Purchase:

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** This title was provided to us by the Publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinions **

MaryAnn NewSYLO by D.J. MacHale was one of those books that I was totally pumped to read!  Can you imagine being stranded on an island, segregated from the rest of civilization?  No communication with the outside world, and basically being quarantined on an island with no possible exit.  And being told that it’s because people are dropping dead, and they don’t want the cause of these deaths to spread?

That’s basically what happens to Tucker, the other residents of Pemberwick Island, and vacationers.  One day, all is well and everyone is enjoying a great game of football, or a day on vacation, and the next minute, a whole feel of US military, who go by the name SYLO, invades the quiet island leaving this island not so peaceful and quiet.

But after Tucker and his friends witness a singing, shadowy type aircraft fly overhead, not only do they fear for their own safety, but the safety of their friends and family as well.  It appears that SYLO knows just what it is they are dealing with, but they are not too keen on sharing the information they have.  So Tucker and his gang take it upon themselves to solve the mystery of the singing aircraft, the reason for the appearance of SYLO, and what exactly the mysterious red crystals are that have washed up on their shores.

Like I said earlier, SYLO was a read that I was totally looking forward to.  I was ready for sci-fi goodness.  But what I was hoping for didn’t exactly meet my expectations.  Don’t get me wrong!  There were many parts in the book where I was completely engrossed and couldn’t tear my eyes away.  But then there were points where the story dragged for me, and I was having a difficult time in continuing with the book.

I will admit, there is quite a bit of action found within the pages.  Author, D.J. MacHale, does a great job in catching the reader’s attention.  Dangling just enough bait to suck you in, and don’t even get me started on the cliff hanger of an ending.

Even though this book had me tempted to put it down and not finish, the ending basically sealed the deal for me in wanting to find out what will happen next.  And even though there was no definite confirmation that there is anything to do with aliens (more like guesses and what if’s), there was enough left to keep the reader wondering if there was, in fact, some sci-fi action happening.

The characters found in SYLO were wonderfully written and all had their own individual personality.  Readers will have one they, I’m sure, will find a connection to.  There was a lot of humour found as well!  Whether it be conversations between the characters, or even the inner monologues, I did find myself chuckling quite a bit.

And yes, there were some emotional parts in SYLO for me to.  Okay yes, I’ll admit it!  I did tear up.  How could I not!  I can’t tell you what happened, nor disclose who it involved!  It would give away some of the build-up in the beginning to midway of the story.  But you’ll know what I mean when you get to it!

All in all, SYLO by D.J. MacHale was a decent read.  Although my main argument would have to be the pacing in some parts of the story, I for one am looking forward to the second installment in this book.  I need to know what exactly is going on!



D.J. MacHale is a writer, director, executive producer and creator of several popular television series and movies.

He was raised in Greenwich, CT and graduated from Greenwich High School. While in school, he had several jobs including collecting eggs at a poultry farm, engraving sports trophies and washing dishes in a steakhouse…in between playing football and running track. D.J. then attended New York University where he received a BFA in film production.

His filmmaking career began in New York where he worked as a freelance writer/director, making corporate videos and television commercials. He also taught photography and film production.

D.J. broke into the entertainment business by writing several ABC Afterschool Specials. After moving to Los Angeles, he made the fulltime switch from informational films, to entertainment. As co-creator of the popular Nickelodeon series: Are You Afraid of the Dark?, he produced all 91 episodes over 8 years. He wrote and directed many of the episodes including the CableAce nominated The Tale of Cutter’s Treasure starring Charles S. Dutton. He was nominated for a Gemini award for directing The Tale of the Dangerous Soup starring Neve Campbell.

D.J. also wrote and directed the movie Tower of Terror for ABC’s Wonderful World of Disney which starred Kirsten Dunst and Steve Guttenberg. The Showtime series Chris Cross was co-created, written and produced by D.J. It received the CableAce award for Best Youth Series.

D.J. co-created and produced the Discovery Kids series Flight 29 Down for which he writes all the episodes and directs several. His work on Flight 29 Down has earned him both Writers Guild of America and Directors Guild of America award nominations.

Other notable writing credits include the classic ABC Afterschool Special titled Seasonal Differences; the pilot for the long-running PBS/CBS series Ghostwriter; and the HBO series Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective for which he received a CableAce nomination for writing.

In print, D.J. has co-written the book The Tale of the Nightly Neighbors, based on his own teleplay and penned the poetic adaptation of the classic Norwegian folk tale East of the Sun and West of the Moon.

The book series: Pendragon – Journal of an Adventure through Time and Space marks D.J.’s first turn as a novelist. He plans for this series of Young Adult adventures to span a total of 10 books.

D.J. lives in Southern California with his wife Evangeline and daughter Keaton. They are avid backpackers, scuba divers and skiers. Rounding out the household are a Golden Retriever, Maggie; and a Kitten, Kaboodle.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

1 Comment

  1. Nicole Hewitt

    Sorry to hear that the pacing was slow. Sometimes that can ruin an otherwise great book!

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