2.5 stars. The plot picked up after about 60%, but honestly, I was forcing myself to read this one only because I paid for it. (WHY? I wasn't that impressed with the sample...what was I thinking?)I have to say, the dialogue was pretty unbelievable. It was overdone, over-explanatory, and overly melodramatic. Honestly, Westerfeld must believe teenagers are idiots--both his characters and his audience. In addition to the moronic dialogue, the characters took far too long to comprehend the circumstances around them. They simply weren't believable as humans. Worse, they kept repeating things over and over, as if we simply weren't going to understand without beating the horse to death. Give your readers a little credit, friend.