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SYLO (The SYLO Chronicles) Hardcover – July 2, 2013

74 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the SYLO Chronicles Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up–MacHale's current-day dystopic series opener begins with a mysterious death and gets stranger from there. On Pemberwick Island off the coast of Maine, Tucker Pierce, 14,  is vaulted onto his high school football team's starting lineup after a star player falls dead at the end of a game. To clear their heads, Tucker and his friend Quinn Carr take a late-night bike ride on the road that runs around the island's perimeter only to encounter a shadowy flying object that emits strange music that then explodes over the water. Within a few days, a stranger to the island offers Tucker a “supplement” called “the Ruby” that makes him feel superhuman. Then a military force wearing red camo uniforms with a patch bearing the word “SYLO” takes control of the island, and the president announces a quarantine until the CDC can identify and neutralize the “Pemberwick virus.” Tucker and Quinn don't know what to make of events or who to trust as martial law takes over. In desperation, the teens make plans with Tori Sleeper, a lobsterman's daughter, to use her dad's two boats to escape the island. MacHale pens some terrific and unique action scenes, but they never overwhelm the story as the characters face one quandary, riddle, or dilemma after another in unraveling the mystery of what is happening. The shocking ending will leave readers hungry for the next installment.–Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, WIα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

High-school freshman Tucker Pierce lives on isolated Pemberwick Island, just off the coast of Maine. He has the requisite wiseacre best friend, Quinn, and is crushing on two unobtainable girls, Tori and Olivia. But when a series of sudden and mysterious deaths, including one of Tucker’s classmates, throws everything he knows into turmoil, it leaves him with no idea where to turn or who to trust. Tucker’s conversational, first-person point-of-view draws the reader in as SYLO, a military operation endorsed by the president, takes over the island. It quickly becomes apparent that SYLO forces will stop at nothing to see that everyone stays put. But then Tucker witnesses several cold-blooded killings, and he and his friends are determined to escape to the mainland. Once there, they find more questions than answers, and the story ends with a wide-open cliff-hanger and no resolution whatsoever. With this extremely high-octane story that’s the equivalent to a summer movie blockbuster (enough explosions and firepower to put Michael Bay to shame), MacHale kicks off an apocalyptic trilogy sure to leave readers demanding the next installment. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: MacHale is the author of the bestsetting Pendragon series so, clearly, there are more than a few middle-grade kiddos who’ll be snapping up this one. Grades 5-8. --Charli Osborne

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: The SYLO Chronicles (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Razorbill (July 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595146652
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595146656
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.3 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #427,102 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

D.J. MacHale is the author of the bestselling book series Pendragon - Journal of an Adventure Through Time and Space; the spooky Morpheus Road trilogy and the whimsical picture book The Monster Princess. The first book of his new adventure trilogy, SYLO, was published in July of 2013. In addition to his published works, he has written, directed and produced numerous award-winning television series and movies for young people including Are You Afraid of the Dark?; Flight 29 Down and Tower of Terror. D.J. lives with his family in Southern California.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jon (Scott Reads It!) on July 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I have never read the Pendragon series, despite the fact, that it's been on my radar for so long. That being said, this is the first book I've read by D.J. MacHale and it certainly won't be the last. MacHale crafts an interesting story in Sylo from start to finish and I definitely have a feeling that readers will quickly become hooked right from the start. Even though Sylo is an entertaining book, I still have a few issues with it.

I was hooked straight from the start with Sylo due to the ominous, strange events that occur in the first couple of chapters. The reader gets a good sense that something is off on Pemberwick Island and that it's all about to hit the fan. While reading this book, I really felt this "Under The Dome" vibe, though I'm not sure if that's what MacHale was looking to do.

Considering how much I enjoyed the beginning of Sylo, I was a bit disappointed by the middle of the novel. Sylo is a bit too slow-paced for my tastes and it takes way too long for the reader to get a sense of what is going on. A lot of my questions were answered way too late in the novel, and others were never answered at all. I would have rather slowly, progressively been given a clue as to what was going on Pemberwick.

I wasn't a huge fan of the characters in Sylo, but I didn't particularly dislike them either. Tucker, Quinn, and Tori were realistic, but for some reason I never really felt a connection to either of them. I would like for MacHale to include some humor in the dialogue in this book to make the novel a bit less grim and serious.

MacHale's writing style was nothing special and felt a bit unpolished at times. In the beginning, the writing was a bit choppy and there were too many run-on sentences.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Enora on October 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Sylo was not the type of book I usually read and, I was excited about that. I was written in a boy's POV, featured the military, and wasn't dystopian or post-apocalyptic. In other words, I'd never really read a book like this before.

Our story begins with a football game and an ordinary boy who wanted to be anything but extraordinary. Tucker Pierce is the worst player on the team and doesn't mind sitting on the bench for most of every game. Tucker has no problem staying on Pemberwick Island for the rest of his life. And that was the plan, before the U.S. Navy invaded. But something isn't quite right, even if they were quarantined, they should still have communication with the main land....

I liked Tucker well enough. He's just your average fourteen year old boy, so the fact that he wanted nothing more than to never leave Pemberwick didn't bother me. However, to be honest, Tori got on my nerves a little bit. Why she wouldn't talk for half the book is beyond me. I felt like there was actually a reason behind her reluctance but, apparently, there isn't. Kent was a jerk. When push came to shove, and he was required to do something life-threatening, he turned out to be nothing more than a wimp. Tucker, who had never wanted to something big in his life, bucked up and was brave. Kent turned into a wimp who only kept helping because of a girl. Pathetic. I was actually hoping Kent would become a good friend of Tucker's but he remained the same scumbag presented to us in the first chapter. I have no respect for him whatsoever.

Sylo was well-written and the story kept moving at a consistent pace - not slow but not fast. This book did make me angry though.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By K. M. Martin VINE VOICE on July 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
D. J. MacHale is EVIL! He has written a page-turning thriller narrated by a sympathetic main character and raised more questions than he has answered.

Tucker Pierce is a high school freshman on the island of Pemberwick, Maine. He and his family moved there after his father lost his job as a civil engineer in Greenwich, Connecticut. His dad has a gardening business and his mom is a free-lance accountant. Tucker loves the island with its tourists and beaches. His best friend Quinn can hardly wait to leave and do big things. But Tucker is content and happy to let things be just the way they are. He isn't an ambitious boy. He prefers to stay under the radar. He has a fear of failing at anything that keeps him from stretching himself.

Tucker's idyllic life is about to come crashing down on him. A death at a football game, a strange new performance enhancing drug called Ruby, and an invasion by a US Navy division called SYLO change Tucker's, Quinn's and his new crush-turned-friend Tori's lives forever. The people are told that SYLO has come to the island because of a new disease on the island. The island has been cut off from the rest of the country.

Lots of things don't add up for the kids. Why have they never heard of SYLO? How did SYLO manage to get so organized that they could bring in troops, weapons, equipment at such short notice? What are those mysterious black ships that make musical sounds when they travel? What does Mr. Feit, who is pushing Ruby, really want? Why is he running from SYLO? The kids decide that they have to escape from Pemberwick and let the rest of the country know what is happening there? However, the sea is being patrolled by Navy ships and helicopters and that won't be easy.
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