4.5. This was heading for a 4, but that ending made me grin so much. This ends on a cliffhanger. This book barely skims the surface of this prison, society, and characters. This books raises more questions than answers them. For a YA novel, I consider it very dark. Children that are killers, gangs, no skin dogs that eat children, soulless silver-eyed men, child labor, etc. As dark as it got at times, the novel was sprinkled with much needed humor and hope. There was one time I swear I could hear Sean Astin in the Goonies saying to the group, "Down here, it's our time. It's our time, down here." Yes, I am a nerd. Shut your haterfaces. Can't wait to read the rest of the series.