Overall? I enjoyed it. To be honest, I didn't fall as deeply in love with it as I thought I might, but I really think that that may have a lot to do with the fact that I waited till I was 25 to read them. And also a lot to do with how I spend most of my workday, which is reading and picking apart fantasy novels. (Best job ever. Seriously.)
Anyway... I loved the characters. I loved all the EVENTS! that happened. I loved Cooper's prose. But there was something that seemed... off. And I think I know what it was -- in fact, I don't think I was the only one who mentioned it in the last discussion post.
So I'm starting a brand-spankin'-NEW discussion post, because I want to know what you guys think....
I thought, when I first started, that the thing annoying me was that the Dark had no personification -- you know, no Sauron, no Voldemort, no White Witch, etc. It was just... The Dark. But in theory, that works fine, because the person usually just stands in to represent something greater anyway -- and here, you have the something greater. It's fairly well characterized as an entity that preys on malicious intent (i.e. Maggie swooping in to convert Hawkin as soon as he had any doubt about the intent of the Light)... but the problem is... what does it WANT?
I find it hard to wrap my mind around the idea that, well, it's the ages-old epic battle between Good and Evil. That's fine, but in order for the story to work, I need something concrete to latch onto. Even something as simple as "I want to take over the world!" will do just fine. Tell us that. Show us the consequences of the Dark winning. Give Will a REASON to join the side of the Light -- otherwise, he's just a confused kid being told he has a destiny, and going along for the ride because it means he can suddenly do really cool shit.
Maybe I'm coming across a bit harsh since, remember, I really did enjoy the book -- but for most of the read, I felt like there wasn't any real ultimate goal, other than gathering the Signs for no discernible purpose. But maybe the other books will fix that.