Perfect Series Starter. This is one of those short novellas that is specifically designed to introduce a new series and its backstory so that these setup details all reside in a common point and the author can simply continue each individual story without having to rehash every word here within them – and as such, works absolutely perfectly. Quite a bit happens in these 72 pages, but every bit of it serves to show the world in which this new series will be set and set the basics of what to expect in each of the remaining books – specifically, it is rather obvious that each future book will be about one of the children and the match they are given, likely while continuing other elements found here (specifically involving the murder mystery and other secrets the children may or may not be aware of) as a form of connective tissue throughout.
Ultimately the entire point of an entry novella such as this is to whet the reader’s appetite for the series and induce them to auto-buy the entire damn thing, and the only true weakness to Thompson’s strategy there is that only the next book in the series is currently available for pre-order. 😉 Otherwise, this novella does its job spectacularly. Very much recommended.