Its rare that I will review a second book by an author whose first book I reviewed so recently, but it shows how much I enjoyed Shadow of Time, Jen Minkman's first novel that I was so happy to review her second book, another YA story, this time a shorter dystopian novella, which is out on 1 June 2013.
Jen Minkman writes extremely well for her audience, and The Island is most definitely a book which will appeal to YA readers, there is the merest hint of romance, but it is just a hint and the story mainly focusses on the relationships and society of a group of divided people living on an Island.
Four stars, but I wish it had been a novel.
Leia and her brother Luc, leave their parents, like all children do, at the age of 10, when they head off to The Manor to live, and learn all the skills that are needed to survive life on the Island, only leaving when they marry and go back to the village to raise their own children until they are ten years of age, and so it continues.
The Island is divided in two, by “The Wall”, and in Leia's world, beyond The Wall live the fools, and as far as the eye can see if as far as the world goes.
The story follows Leia as she comes to terms with finding out all she has trusted and known her whole life isn’t true, as she, her brother and friends, fight for their lives and in turn fight for the village, and the whole Island, as the world beyond the horizon is revealed to them.
At first I was irritated by the Star Wars references, but as the story came to its climax, I understood them, and found there was the seed of an interesting look at human nature and religion, and how fiction could become truth in the right hands.
I wish the author had decided to make this book a novel, it would have given her the chance to develop the characters, and the storyline. As a novel, this book could have gone from a good afternoon read to a brilliant up all night novel.
About the Author…..in her own words…..
Jen was born in Holland, in the town of Alphen aan den Rijn. When she was 19, she moved between The Hague, Salzburg (Austria), Brussels (Belgium) and Cambridge (UK) to complete her studies in intercultural communication. She is currently a teacher of English, career & youth counselor at a secondary school in Voorburg, Holland. She tries to read at least 100 books a year (and write a few, too!).
In her spare time, she plays the piano, the guitar and the violin. For every novel she writes, she creates a soundtrack.
Find out more about Jen
Jen's Blog: http://jenminkman.blogspot.co.uk/