I had hopes for this one, since I loved In The Absence of Light, but this just did not deliver.
This was way too insta, and even included the dreaded "sex right after serious injury" trope that I hate so much. Which is a shame, because this had some promise at the beginning with Jon's depression and suicidal ideation, and with Ellis's struggles taking care of his older brother who has severe mental disability. But then it went downhill fast. Jon meets Rudy and Ellis, and as long as he's with them, his anxiety and PTSD don't bother him at all. Uh-huh. Sure. Then due to a series of unfortunate events, he all but moves in with Ellis and Rudy after knowing Ellis for all of two seconds. There was a lot of promise in the first few chapters, so it was a pity that it wasn’t lived up to. I kept reading hoping it would climb its way back up but it didn't.
And as for the paranormal aspects, I just didn't feel they were needed and that they actually cheapened the story. For instance,(show spoiler)
Granted, that could be because this is just starting to build up those elements and their functions will be more integral in the next two books. From the reviews I skimmed for the remainder of the series, that does indeed seem to be the case.
As for the editing, it's non-existent unfortunately. Compound words are often separated into two words. There are missing words and missing or incorrect punctuation use throughout, and words that should have been hyphenated often weren't, making some sentences hard to read. Plus, the timeline seemed to be inconsistent. For instance, some visitors come to Ellis's house, and the next day it's said that they came "the other day" indicating it was more than one day ago. It was hard to keep track of the passage of time, sometimes even within the same scene. And then halfway through the book, we're told it's 1991! Here I was thinking it's a contemporary.
I also had trouble buying how(show spoiler)
About the only bright spot in this was Rudy; he was a delightful character, though he would no doubt aggravate some readers. While I did like Jon and Ellis, I didn't feel the chemistry between them.