So, I listen to several short story podcasts--one of which is PodCastle. They feature Tim Pratt quite frequently, and I've always been ambivalent about the stories of his that they feature. He's not terrible, but they seem to go on about him a bit too much in my opinion. I feel the same way about Cory Doctorow, actually--not a bad writer, and he comes up with some really great ideas... but I don't think they're developed thoroughly enough. Their stories always seem shallow to me.
Anyway, I picked up Pratt's "The Nex" for free on my Kindle. I'm about 70% done with it, and I'm feeling fairly 'meh' about it. Again, the general idea of the story is great--and many of the sci-fi elements are really interesting. But the execution just doesn't do it for me. I think part of the problem is that the main protagonist is supposed to be a teenaged girl... but I can't really buy it. I don't know why, exactly. And I don't get the motivations behind what the other two main protagonists are doing. *spoiler* They're kind of fighting against this maybe bad guy, but it's not very clear why he's bad, and they don't really give any compelling reason why they're revolting; it is revealed later that the bad guy did do some bad guy stuff--but again, I don't really have any reason to care.
I think this book was written for a pre-teen/teen audience, but that's no excuse. Harry Potter is a kids' book and I find it more believable than "The Nex." I think it's a difference in style.