Yawn. I never really got into this book. I borrowed it from the library (requested it online) and didn't realize it was a book for "young adults" until I checked it out. I figured a light read would be nice in between all the long, heavy narratives I've been reading lately.
As other reviewers have pointed out, this is really for middle schoolers, maybe even late elementary school readers who are a bit advanced.
I just didn't feel that captivating magic that I waited to happen. The book was extremely sterotypical. I kept waiting for Alek to throw a big temper tantrum. Deryn was more interesting, I preferred her sections. However, no one knew she was a boy? She's 15 right? What about the one glaring thing that happens to almost all girls at that age? How do you cover that up? Hmmm. Okay, maybe she is a late bloomer. But I find it hard to believe that no one has any inkling that she is a female. Sure, plenty of females are tomboys and are into more masculine-dominated areas. Maybe I'm being too hard on this book as it is for children and these types of books are about suspending your belief and enjoying the world.
I think it would do well as a movie, the book is rather visual in its descriptions. I thought not that much happened in the book - they were stuck in the same spot in the Alps for what seemed like 3/4 of the book.
Eh, I don't usually read literature out of my recommended age range. It just wasn't for me! I did appreciate the illustrations, they were wonderful. Also, Dr. Barlow was awesome. I appreciate female role models as super smart scientists.