‘I walk toward the sea. The endless surface of the water extends to the horizon, whichever way I look.
Our world is small. We are on our own, and we only have ourselves to depend on. We rely on the Force deep within us, as taught to us by our forefathers.
If I were to walk westward from here, I would come across a barrier - the Wall. Behind it, there are Fools. At least, that’s what everyone says.
I have never seen one.’
Leia lives on the Island, a world in which children leave their parents to take care of themselves when they are ten years old. Across this Island runs a wall that no one has ever crossed. The Fools living behind it are not amenable to reason - they believe in illusions. That’s what The Book says, the only thing left to the Eastern Islanders by their ancestors. But when a strange man washes ashore and Leia meets a Fool face to face, her life will never be the same. Is what she and her friends believe about the Island really true?
Or is everyone in their world, in fact, a Fool?
©2014 Jen Minkman (P)2014 Jen Minkman
Luc and Leia are twins, who at ten are expected to leave home and live on the island together with all the other kids. I wasn't sure what to expect, I'm not usually a fan of Dystopian, and the character names threw me for a loop at first. I'm glad I hung in there though. On to book 2!
I definitely loved the main character, Leia. She's interesting and the author wasn't afraid of letting her make mistakes and feel uncomfortable things. She is a clear thinker and a strong person and I had fun listening to her tell her own story. The "faith crisis" element to the story is something I wasn't expecting from the book, and enjoyed. I'm excited for that to continue through the series!
Coco Bell had a calming, inviting storytelling voice that threaded emotion in at just the right places. I felt she understood Leia, and got in touch with the other characters too. She doesn't change voices completely for different characters, but she made it clear when others are talking through slight tone and rhythm alterations. Sometimes with dystopian YA series the narrators go a bit dark with the narration, but Bell kept Leia's tone positive and even while maintaining the seriousness of events taking place.
I found the world building in this book to be super tantalizing. The slow release of information about the island and the religion and the past forces you to keep reading so you can find out more, like a good mystery novel would. I kept guessing at what the end would reveal, but when I finished the book it was still a huge surprise. I would also say, don't be turned off or weirded out when you find out what "the book" really is - by the end is makes SO MUCH SENSE and is just another brilliant part of the world building. If you love dystopian but don't want something that's a ripoff of Divergent or Hunger Games, READ THIS BOOK. It's so unique and the main character is clever. So... yeah I'm off to get Book 2 now!
I really enjoyed this story. I was surprised by what THE BOOK was
She did an ok job but needs a little work on making her voice my alive
When Coilin told his sister to run
This is a really quick read. I was intrigued from the start, Leia is the lead character and lends her POV to the narration. She is like many leads in YA books, an ordinary girl just trying to make her way in the world. She is faces with injustice and takes up the reigns to invoke change. I like the type of stories where characters do not seek to be leaders but find that they are because of circumstances.
It is a really interesting and solid read. I wish there were more, this book had some intriguing elements that could have been expanded. This is a bit of a different take on the Dystopian theme. A world based on the conclusions drawn by children, with only the memory of adult supervision, is not what I expected. The Star Wars turn is unique, there could have been much more of that coloring the society and how it developed.
I am not sure I agree with the lack of punishment for characters who were dictators and murderers. I understand they had a tough upbringing, but that is no excuse for a lack of response from the adults.
There are a couple romantic elements but they are not the driving force of the story. I expect they will be more important in the next book. This is YA, no naughty parts! It is more sweet first blush of romance.
I listened to the audiobook narrated by Coco Bell, who does a nice job. She kept the voices unique and consistent. She has a very steady pace for the read, I tend to like quicker readers, even at triple speed it sounded slow. But, that is a positive for listeners who enjoy a smooth read.
The book starts with the twins at ten, then it jumps ahead until they are sixteen. It took a little bit to figure out where we were in the timeline. It might have been nice to know for sure, I spent much of the beginning trying to figure out the age frame of the lead character.
I liked this book and am interested in where it is heading. The book ends at a place where the characters are about to embark into the unknown. I am definitely interested in see where they go and what the world looks like. Here's hoping it is longer and a bit more detailed!
Disclosure - I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts, opinions and ratings are my own.
I have not read the print version
Leia, very strong character
No extreme reaction, except that I enjoyed it very much
Great story, and the Narration fit the story and characters very well
***SPOILER ALERT *** DO NOT READ IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO KNOW THE MAJOR PLOT POINT ***
What if you were stranded on a relatively secluded island after the Apocalypse with nothing but a Star Wars comic book? Oh, and your little band of survivors consists entirely of children – tweeners at best (all the adults died off due to a plague and the only way to save the children was to ship them off to The Island)? Flash forward 150 years later, and this is where Jen Minkman’s The Island begins.
The story centers on two 10 year old twins who live on the Island who are forced out of the parents’ home to live on their own (like their ancestors did). They move to The Manor, where all children live together until they grow up and get married. The twins regret moving away from their parents and start to question the “wisdom” in the book of prophecy (i.e., the Star Wars book), as does several other teenaged children.
I realize the major plot point seems a bit far-fetched, but since this story was only a 2-½ hour investment via Audible (and because my husband and teen daughter are Star Wars fanatics), I thought I’d give it a try. I’m glad I did. The Island is a well-written story – the main characters are well developed and sympathetic; and like most YA stories, there is just a touch of romance.
Coco Bell did an excellent job narrating. She provided different voices for the various characters, and the boys and adults are denoted by deeper tones. Although I don’t know her age, Coco Bell was totally believable portraying primarily teenagers.
I’d listen to another audio book written by Jen Minkman, as well as one narrated by Coco Bell any time. Well done!
Willow Star Serenity
It was okay. It's really nothing to rave over. It's kind of a sappy sweet story with a bittersweet ending. I'm not sure if it's the book that I didn't care for, or the narrator's portrayal of the book. I may go back and read this again later down the road to find out. I'm also not sure if it's a fan fiction or an actual book. I recommend giving it a try and going by your own judgment.
This audiobook had my complete attention from start to finish as I was driving from Chicago to Iowa City. Although it is a short story, it really was incredibly riveting. You feel like you are right there with the characters and can picture their environment as the author describes it in lucid details.
You must listen or read this story. It will be well worth your time. Promise.
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