I think I would have liked this as a kid. It reminds me of what I read then (RL Stine, Christopher Pike), and though I haven't reread any of those recently, I feel like Smith's writing is not quite at the level as the other two (not that Stine is necessarily great, though I remember continuing to be impressed with Pike). It was light and fun and utterly predictable, which may be fine when you're twelve, but for not much longer after that. It was often overly simple, in structure and substance. But as it's the first in the series (and as I have an omnibus edition with the first three volumes in it) I will give the others a try and see if they improve. Either way, they are a super quick, couple hour read.