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Publisher's Summary

2020 Quarter Finalist for Young Adult Fiction - The BookLife Prize 

The summer of 1986. Central Texas. William and his friends should be having a blast. Instead, they are hounded by the Thousand Oaks Gang and their merciless leader, Bloody Billy. William found Billy's backpack. And because of what it contains, Billy desperately wants it back, and he'll do anything to get it. William hatches a plan for his friends to sneak away and hide in an abandoned lake house, except they become stranded on the lake's desolate island without food or water. Will their time on the island devolve into chaos? Will the friends survive and be rescued? 

The Benevolent Lords of Sometimes Island is Lord of the Flies meets The Body by Stephen King, the inspiration for the classic movie Stand By Me

A gripping suspense story with adventure and danger, tinged with humorous banter between the four friends, the middle schoolers face certain death without adults to protect them from the unrelenting natural elements, as well as the wild creatures that lurk in the wilderness around the lake. With a backpack filled with money and marijuana they stole from the merciless gang leader, it's only a matter of time before the high schoolers come looking for them, too. 

From award-winning writer Scott Semegran, The Benevolent Lords of Sometimes Island is his eighth book. This novel is Semegran's response to William Golding's 1954 novel Lord of the Flies, which was Golding's response to The Coral Island by R. M. Ballantyne, an adventure novel from 1858. All three novels tackle the premise of boys stranded on an island, with Semegran's novel taking a decidedly modern view of a group of friends in Central Texas during the summer of 1986 working to survive in a situation filled with danger and desperation with only each other to rely on.

©2020 Scott Semegran (P)2020 Scott Semegran

What listeners say about The Benevolent Lords of Sometimes Island

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Adventure Time

Talented actor and narrator Tim Sailer expertly performs award-winning author's Scott Semegran latest novel, The Benevolent Lords of Sometimes Island. This is a beautifully written coming-of-age story, filled with adventure, colorful characters and vivid descriptions, set in the Summer of 1986 in Texas.

Fans of Stephen King's Stand by Me and William Golding’s Lord of the Flies must give a chance to The Benevolent Lords of Sometimes Island!

If you liked this review, please vote Helpful below and find more of them here and on theAudiobookBlog. I also post honest reviews at the author, narrator, or publisher's request, you can get in touch with me for more details.

4 people found this helpful

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Get ready to be emotionally invested

The four boys in "Sometimes Island" will definitely steal your heart. The diversity of the cast is a breath of fresh air, a realistic glimpse into Central Texas as well as the life of a kid in the military. "The Benevolent Lords of Sometimes Island" gives you hope that violence and bigotry isn't something that you are born with, but something that is taught, and that being around the right group of people can be a pivotal part of your upbringing. Even in the most dire situations, your first instinct is to help one another. A great read and an entertaining listen.

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Great Book

I thought this book was very entertaining. Having raised 2 boys, I could identify with the 4 friends in the story. I think a pre-teen/teenager would very much enjoy this book and be able to identify with the experiences of the characters. There were some good life lessons in this book with some laughter and definitely some sad emotions as well. As a parent and looking back at my own childhood, it is amazing that we actually grow up with all the choices and chances we took as children. Definitely recommend this book. Easy Read!!

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Great story!

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

This is a beautifully written coming-of-age story. This is a story filled with adventure, fun characters and vivid descriptions, set in the Summer of 1986 in Texas. The narrator did a great job and I never became distracted from the story. I love the 80’s references that were thrown in. Great book and a definite must-read

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Great Story and Easy Listen. Definitely Recommend.

I devoured this book in one sitting so when I was offered a chance to listen to it I jumped! I usually have a hard time with audiobooks but this one was an easy and excellent listen. The narrator did a great job and I never strayed or became distracted (which happens a lot for me with audiobooks). This is one I would wholly recommend whether reading or listening.

I appreciate the publisher gifting me a copy of this audible in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed herein are mine and mine alone.

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Children of the 80s, this is for you!

Scott Semegran does a great job in this story of teen angst and comradery, laying out the danger and excitement and "bigness" of life at the all-important and and memorable ages of 13, 14, 15. This book is wonderful and relatable to us '70s and '80s children. It stands on its own. I won't compare it with anything else, even though the author admits he drew inspiration from a few places (which I'll let him reveal to you in his own way). For me, it was a touch reminiscent of Sandlot, just for that bond of boyhood friendship.
Tim Saller is a really strong narrator. He did a nice job bringing Scott's story to life, and I would seek out his narrations again.
I was provided this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Fun listen about friendship and survival

The narrator was a good storyteller. I love the 80’s references and the detail background of the San Antonio area in Texas. I grew up near that area and I felt like I was there, and it brought back great memories of a simpler time. Perfect listen during a pandemic! Now I am interested in reading Lord of the Flies!

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A really cute book!

When 4 Friends are running from high school bullies one of them takes the backpack of the leader. Wanting it back they will stop at nothing to get it, including trying to intimidate them in front of parents. It’s too bad this isn’t going to be their biggest problem before it’s all said and done.

Although I gave a vague summary of the story and trust me when I say vera so much more to the story. I just wanted to hurry up and get to the part where I tell you this is an awesome story they get Abandon all this island while on a camping trip. They will find out much more about each other some good and some bad, but all great to listen to. The narrator did a great job although I think middle school age boys would love this book more than I did, I still did love it and it held my interest I thought it was cute and original plot and a great narrator. What more can you ask for in a book I don’t think this review does the book justice. Trust me when I say if you like books about survival situations, stretching yourself beyond your means and finding you have reliable friendship in the toughest of times you will love this book. And when it’s all said and done they still have the backpack LOL!

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A story about friendship, legacy, hope, redemption

Scott Semegran’s writing evokes a blend of Tobias Wolff meets E.B. White meets Stephen King.
His newest novel, The Benevolent Lords of Sometimes Island, is an adeptly written tale of grit, adventure, suspense, and survival with a humorous yet morbidly tender undertow. A fully realized coming-of-age tale that captures manhood’s understanding of the socio-psychological complexities of boyhood angst and self actualization.

First person adult narrator, William, reflects upon his experiences from the summer of 1986, as a middle grader stranded with his ethnically diverse set of best friends, who find themselves stranded for several days on an island in Central Texas, including their unfortunate dealings with school bullies.

Ultimately, a story about friendship, legacy, hope, and redemption with strong crossover appeal for YA readers.

A treat, too, is the audio version with narration by Tim Sailer; pitch perfect tone and dramatic delivery of Semegran’s vast array of diverse characters. Bravo!

**P.S. If you have a hard time getting boys and/or men to read fiction, this just might be one for them.

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Disappointed a bit

I'll start this off by saying this is definitely for teens as it was written in that point of view. Overall, I found the story itself disappointing mainly because I got frustrated with the boys who were so intrigued by the island not actually exploring it. I think I expected more "Lord of the Flies" and it was only a hint of that premise. The prose was also a bit weird, as in kids don't always speak in unison and the way some characters spoke was awkward. Narration was okay despite the multiple mispronunciations of common words like fragrant. I found myself underwhelmed with the slower portions of the story, but the pace was always sure to pick up again. The afterword of the writer where they explained their reasoning for writing this book was pretty cool!
I received this free audiobook copy in exchange for my honest review.

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  • Suz
  • 06-26-21

Absolutely loved it!

I just finished the audio version of Scott Semegran’s novel, The Benevolent Lords of Sometimes Island and absolutely loved it. We want books to take us somewhere and this book took me nostalgically and fondly back to my childhood.

Scott’s writing convincingly captures the essence of being a teenager, with an endearingly positive take on childhood friendships. I found myself quickly invested in the characters and wanting their friendship to thrive. This is down to Scott’s ability to build genuinely likeable characters with relatable emotions and vulnerabilities. I enjoyed the pacey and humour-filled dialogue and Scott’s talent for describing scenes made me feel I was there…almost like I was one of the gang!

I particularly enjoyed the narration by Tim Sailer. He portrayed the characters realistically and true to Scott’s description, moving between multi-character dialogue exchanges with ease. His tone of voice and pace was perfect for the story and certainly did it justice. I would recommend getting the audiobook version for sure.

I hope that Scott gets the recognition he deserves for this work, as it is a book that leaves a heart-warming mark.