I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
I would like to give a warning to all, be sure to have read The Island trilogy before you start this one. This one takes place 5 years after the events in The Island trilogy, and while there is quite a bit of story what happened, you will still be utterly confused if you haven’t read the trilogy.
I, on the other hand, was delighted with the fact that even if Leia and Walter aren’t in the book, they still get talked about, there are references to their journey, about their island, about their visit. The Star Wars part also gets mentioned a few times, and I was just squealing in delight. And not only do they get referenced, oh no, we also have an Islander in this story.
The book is told from the POV of two characters. The amazing and sweet Sarah, who I really liked. And Kian, a pretentious little dick who gets pissy if he doesn’t get what he want.
Each x number of chapters the POV switches, and so you get a fresh look on things from every x number of chapters. Though in all honesty, I wasn’t looking forward to Kian’s POV. I will put in a spoiler tag the reasons why I didn’t like him.
1.) The way he acted, like he was so much better than everyone. I did like his mission to find his uncle, but I didn’t like how he treated people he came across (like Ferris, like Sarah, like Jinn).
2.) He keeps dismissing Sarah, keeps calling her Redstamped girl, ALL THE TIME. Oh wait, no, because all of the sudden, somewhere near the end, he is suddenly having a soft spot for her. So um, dude, calling the girl you like Redstamped, and talking about how she isn’t trusted, how she is just doing this for Jinn, I call bull on your soft spot comment. Really, if this is the way you talk about the woman you love/like? I feel sorry for you. You don’t deserve that girl. She is strong, determined, has a mission, unlike you.
3.) How he acted around Jinn. Jealousy and distrust aren’t characteristics I want in my characters, especially not in my main characters. He should be happy to have saved someone, to be able to find out more about his uncle, he should be happy he found someone who might help him find more about his uncle, instead he treats Jinn as a criminal. While Jinn isn’t a criminal. 😐
4.) How brainwashed he was in everything. Sure, he had times that he was breaking out of it, but at times I felt like he was just too brainwashed and that he should open his eyes for once. It was just too frustrating how he kept going back to the rules that were set by the founders. As if they were so good.
There are a few other reasons, but I think I have posted the biggest frustrations I had with Kian. Sadly, he is the main character, so I am guessing we will see more of him. Too bad.
Sarah, Sarah, was just amazing. I loved her determination, her strength, the way she never gives up. How she just fights, not only for herself, but for everyone around her. Anyone else in her situation might have just given up, given up on fighting, given up on getting somewhere. But not Sarah, Sarah just fights. She hides what she is feeling, but on the inside there is a girl who is willing to do anything to get out, and get the life she deserves. Because she does deserve some happiness and love. Not only did she lose her father, no she lost her life in return. She was Redstamped, treating as a danger, treated as a criminal, while she hasn’t done anything. It reminds me a bit on how people treated children of NSB-ers after WWII (just without the drugs).
I loved her relationship with Jin, I knew from the start they would hit off, they have an amazing connection and they are just perfect for each other. The romance between them is lovely and I was just swooning.
I am glad that Jen Minkman didn’t go for the standard route of immediately linking the main characters together (as happens often in books). Though I have to shake my fist at that revelation near the end. I guess Sarah will end up with Kian. *sighs* Though of course I keep hoping that won’t happen. *crosses fingers*
Yes, more spoiler tags, really this book is awesome, but I just need to hide all my feelings, because I don’t want people to be spoiled.
Them finding the island near the end? I found it a bit too easy, a bit too convenient. Jinn is dying, and they just find it like that? How come no one else (with maps, or better stuff) has found it, I know what happened in The Island series was that the island was discovered by the bad people, but the man who found it couldn’t return. But seriously? 3 people without experience find it quite fast, while others do not? I mean, if 3 people with barely any knowledge can find it, can’t anyone just find it then? I am so utterly confused by this. Maybe I missed something, but this just stood out. And of course thanks to them the island was found by the bad guys. Meh. 😐
Reading more about Blackmoor was just really creeping me out. Reading about how President Jacob does his thing, man, that is one creepy guy. Which we knew from The Island series, but reading about it so close, from the POV of someone who is Redstamped, whose life is destroyed by the rules of that place. It gave me goosebumps, and I just wanted to throw something against that President. Treating your people like that, indoctrinating them like that. Using religion in that way. Bah, horrible. I feel sad for all those people there. Having to keep calm, never even being able to defend those you love, never able to be angry for a bit, never able to show many emotions, for the fear of being purged. Because purging? It just happens without trial. You flip your switch? You die. No trial, no words to help you, no nothing. It is a terrible thing, and I do hope that something will happen so that people in that country can live free. No violence is a good thing, but to hide every emotion because you might just get purged? That is also bad.
Rewriting a book and make people believe that what is in there is truth: No. No, and just no. 😐
The worldbuilding in this book is amazing, though I would still like a book about the period when the world ended. About how everything went from good to bad. How wars and bombs destroyed country and people. Or maybe a story about the people from the mainland living in bunkers/shelters. Quite a bit is explained in this and The Island series, but I am still curious about that period.
But all in all, this is a fantastic book, and I was just stuck in it from the start. I was actually quite sad that I couldn’t read much yesterday due to not feeling all too well, I just wanted to read the book, finish it, and then weep because I have to wait for several months for book 2 to come out!
I also have to give bonus points to the amazing cover! I just can’t stop looking at it. It just gorgeous.
I absolutely can’t wait for the next book to come out. And I would highly recommend this book to everyone. Be prepared to cheer, cry, get angry (especially at Kian), be amazed, and much more!