Review: The Island

June 9, 2013 Lindsay's reviews 2

The IslandThe Island
by Jen Minkman
Published June 1st 2013 by Createspace

‘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?

(Please note: this novella contains a few references to the famous sci-fi movie Star Wars which are pivotal to the plot. None of the characters in The Island are in any way related to the characters in the movie.)

Synopsis from Goodreads


Goodreads defines two stars as, “it was okay”. So that’s what I’m going with. It didn’t knock my socks off, but it wasn’t bad either. Somewhere in the middle.

The book had a promising start, and an overall good concept. I was drawn to this story, like a cat to a fresh roll of toilet paper. Or like a kid with a fistful of jewelery to the toilet bowl. Reading this book was just something that needed to be done. Although, very much like flushing jewelery, in hindsight, it might not have been a good idea.

Dystopians are my very favorite genre, because of the creativity needed to create a whole new world. It allows my imagination to run WILD! This book, however, only showed me one shallow layer of this world. There were very few descriptions of the island, or even of the characters. It wasn’t until almost 20% through the book that I am told hair color for the MC. And 50% before I was like “Ah! There’s a mountain on the island!” Though it isn’t really integral to the plot, it IS important for my overall vision of the story. I need some basic details before I can immerse myself. If you want me to buy into your World, then you need to give me all five senses. Tell me that the manor house is OLD, (the floors crumbling beneath feet, or dust and mold in the air) so that I don’t read through 80% of the books ASSUMING it isn’t.

Do you guys remember M. Night Shyamalan’s movie The Village? I had that bad boy figured out before I even stepped into the theater. Well, this was kind of like that. There weren’t really a lot of surprises. I made my guesses before I even read the first page, and it was pretty much what I expected. I really wanted this book to surprise, startle, or shock me. I would’ve been happy with a chuckle, or a tear. Instead, I didn’t express a lot of emotion of reading this, except maybe frustration.

Despite the story’s weaknesses, the writing is solid. I was able to see through the one dimensional characters, the undeveloped plot and the total CHEEZ factor. I feel inclined to look for some of the author’s other books to see what she has to offer. On top of all that, I was very impressed to learn that it is, in fact, translated from Dutch. The translation is impeccable, and the editing is too.

A copy of this book was provided by Netgalley.

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One woman stuck in a house full of boys, I immerse myself in books and save my sanity by reading, writing and blogging. I'll read just about anything, from any genre, and LOVE supporting Indie authors. <3

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  • I have not heard of this before but the premise sounds interesting. I’m tempted to read The Island even though you described it as having many issues. I had to giggle when you mentioned figuring out the village before even entering the theater. I was the exact same way! Great review. Thanks for putting this on my radar.

    • I know I gave it two stars, but it’s still worth a read. Glad to hear you’ll give it a shot! 🙂