This is a silly book. I liked it, but it is really a lot of fluff. I thought the pictures enhanced the story enormously. The first 1/2 of the book the pictures and the vaguely mysterious story drew me in considerably. So much so in fact that when I got about 3/4 done and to the climax of the book I was sort of underwhelmed. The fantasy aspect of the story isn't very original and though it is entertaining enough to read it doesn't really live up to the expectations I had set from reading the first part of the book. The mystery around Jake's grandfather is pretty interesting right up until he and his father visit the island, Jake looking for answers. Then, I felt a bit let down. The peculiar children were peculiar but the world building that the author does at this point in the book just doesn't really do it for me. I won't tell you anymore about it so that it doesn't spoil the book, I just felt like the set up deserved a more thoughtful or exciting conclusion. The action at the end of the book sort of rushes along, kids running here and there doing lots of things that should be exciting but really just aren't. It seems set for a sequel, so perhaps the next one will take the writing to a new level?