Once I sat down and finally got into the story, it drew me in. The transitions between the present and the distant past seemed to be distracting at first, but then I finally realized they were necessary for the story.
I liked how the author kept it clean, and Deacon was a likeable character. He felt true emotions for what he was going through. This showed his human side. I also liked how this was not another retread copy of another story that was been hashed over and over. It was refreshing to find a rather new storyline.
There were a few typos in the book (missing periods, etc.), which surprised me, because it seemed to be well-edited otherwise. I also felt the author could have slowed down certain parts and developed them more. Certain areas seemed rushed, or did not help develop the story at all. Those parts could have been deleted without missing a story beat. Also at times, there seemed to be more "telling" of the story than "showing".
But in the big picture, these are minor things. This is a clean story that you can feel safe to have your kids read, the adventures are ripe with humor and suspense, and the door is left wide open for future adventures.
I feel that it is a job well done.