This time I was particularly struck by the moral ambiguity of Forest's universe. The 'villain' is kind and charming, but also brutal, cold and self-serving. His counterpart, the adult helper/'hero,' is definitely on the side of good, but nonetheless steals a boat, threatens a minor with a knife, is prepared to risk the death of a colleague from appendicitis, and tells numerous lies. No wonder the children at the heart of the story struggle with their own choices as well as battling their personal fears.
Anyway, I won't bang on about this book again. Gee, it is a terrific read though!