Tuesday 16 February 2016

Review: The Island by Jen Minkman

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?

Shona's review 4 of 5 stars

I've often wondered what the world would look like, how we would be, if we believed a story was a religion, a way of life. And this is what Minkman has done here.

We have an Island of people, split into two 'tribes' separated by a wall, one called Fools, the other called Unbelievers. Though its worth noting that these names are what each tribe calls the other and is not the name they take for themselves.

The Fools believe their salvation is across the waters, whilst the Unbelievers believe in the Force within. (This isn't a spoiler, it is made very clear, very early on that the Unbelievers believe their Ancestor was Luke Skywalker of Star Wars fame).

This story involves Leia, the main female character, coming to terms with her life, her neighbours across the wall and the truths about her way of life. She steps forward to lead her people, not because she is power hungry, but because she just cant sit back and watch other people abuse the power they have taken. Her world is literally rocked to the core and she takes it in her stride, with open eyes and an open mind.

I cant wait to read the next instalment in this trilogy.

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