An unruly thought elbowed its way into his mind: This storm brought more than snow. (1.10)
When you're thinking in italics, you know something weird is going on. Right at the very beginning of the novel, we're slapped with some foreshadowing: could it be that Will has hidden powers and abilities that even he isn't aware of?
"Is he Awake?" (4.50)
We have no idea how people actually say this word, that makes Will hear it with a capital A. "AY-wake" instead of "uh-WAKE"? Okay, we're joking. The point is that "awake" here means something specific. It's not just about somebody not sleeping; it's about somebody waking up to reality—and discovering secret powers.
As he watched, impression appeared in the mud. They were blank and round, like bony knobs. […] Like a tripod working its way toward him up the slope. An invisible tripod. (5.13)
The monsters in this book exist in our world but are not visible to average people. That's a huge advantage that the bad guys don't seem to make full use of. An army of invisible monsters sounds unstoppable. Invisibility cloaks, anyone?
Her hair parted for a moment, and Will caught a glimpse of a gnarled knob of flesh on the side of her neck, just behind her left ear. A more vivid pink than her skin tone, it looked like recent scar tissue, or an inflamed insect bite. And it was twitching. (6.37)
Aside from putting the word twitching in italics, Will never seems fazed by the fact that his mother is possessed by a festering insect. We'd be a little freaked out, but hey, kudos if you're not.
"I heard this voice in my head. Like I went into some kind of trance." (7.200)
Maybe hearing voices is common for Nando. Just as Will takes the possession of his mother in stride, Nando isn't alarmed by the fact that he hears voices. For him, this is just another Monday.
When Will was little, younger than five, his parents discovered that he had an unusual and startling ability—he could "push pictures" at people from his mind straight into theirs. (8.11)
Will's psychic abilities seem to be a reverse of the mysterious voice he heard in Chapter One. Now he is acting as a mysterious voice, of sorts, in the heads of others. His vaguely defined psychic powers must be a two-way street.
"A species of three-legged lasher. I'd say either gulvorgs or burbelangs." (8.70)
We're unsure if these are official names or just what Dave calls them as a joke, because these terms for monsters are never used in the book ever again.
The outline of her body wiggled and squirmed like a bagful of angry cats, bulging out at nauseating angles. (9.5)
The monsters in this book disguise themselves as a woman in a too-small sweat suit, giving us an unpalatable mess of gross-out descriptions mixed with fat shaming. Actually, it's Will who does the fat shaming, which makes him a difficult protagonist to relate to at times.
The truth was a lot more awkward: He couldn't remember ever visiting a doctor. […] Will had never needed a doctor. Because as far back as he could remember—his entire life—he'd never been sick. Not once. (19.48)
We're not sure what's more impressive here, the fact that Will has never been sick or that he can remember his entire life. Looks like our hero is unbreakable, right?
When Nando turned, they saw a stampede, hundreds of the monsters pouring upstairs, scrambling over each other. (33.130)
Why doesn't this faze Nando? His calm, cool reaction suggests that there's more to him than he lets on. What do you think is going on beneath the surface?