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?
Not too long ago, I was lucky enough to read and review Shadow of Time by Jen Minkman (read my review here). I truly enjoyed that story, so when Jen contacted me about reviewing her new novella, The Island, I jumped at the chance. Not only do I love short stories, but this one fell under the dystopian genre, which also happens to be my favorite.
The Island starts with twins Luc and Leia reaching their tenth birthday, also the age where they leave home and move away to become dependent on themselves. They move to the manor, where all children live together until they come of age and get married. I immediately felt a pang of sadness for the twins, I couldn't imagine having to leave home so young and to navigate the world without help from adults.
Now if you are like me, you might notice the familiar names of the twins. When I read a book, I tend to stay away from reviews. I like to just read the synopsis and dive into it with as little information as possible. This helps keep things spoiler free and keeps my anticipation at a high level. So since I hadn't read any reviews, I had absolutely no idea about the Star Wars angle of this book. I was a little confused at first with the twins, but once other people started coming along with more character names, I started to worry.
You see, I live in a house full of Star Wars obsessed people. I never saw it growing up and only watched them eventually because my husband was always referencing them and I had no idea what he was talking about. Since meeting him fourteen years ago, I think I've seen each movie at least ten times. My daughter was a Star Wars expert before she was four and my son is just as bad. It isn't that they aren't good movies, I get it, but I'm basically just all Star War-ed out.
So naturally, I began to panic. I wasn't sure where this was going and I didn't think I had it in me to keep going. But I did, and I will never regret that decision. The story went far beyond what I had imagined and it all came to make perfect sense. In fact, I wanted more. I wanted to know everything I could about their past and their future. I would not be against this becoming a full length novel or even a series.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed The Island. It has everything I look for in a good story: sympathetic characters, a solid plot, mystery and even a little bit of a romance. And just look at that gorgeous cover! If you're like me and not much of a Star Wars fan, please don't let that deter you. I promise that everything will come together perfectly and you too will be wanting more.
I highly recommend The Island to everyone, especially if you love YA, dystopians and short stories.
For more about Jen Minkman and The Island, visit her website here.
*Right now you can get The Island for only 99¢ on Kindle, don't miss it!!!*
*I received this book for free in exchange of my honest review. This did not influence my opinion in any way and all views and opinions expressed are 100% my own.