Friday, 27 June 2014

SERIES PROMOTION & REVIEW - THE ISLAND SERIES BY JEN MINKMAN

Title: The Deep
Series: The Island
Author: Jen Minkman
Release Date: 3rd June 2014

BLURB from Goodreads
‘The world is never-ending.
I never realized just how much space there is – how far and wide the water around our island stretches out. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I may have believed that a second Wall ran around Tresco, containing the infinite waters so we wouldn’t all wash over the edge and plummet down into the depths.’

Leia and Walt are on their way to the Other Side, where the legendary land of Cornwall awaits them. Tony, their new friend, has told them that all wars of the past have been forgotten and the citizens of Bodmin and Dartmoor live in peace. People adhere to the tenets of an old religion that preaches forgiveness and non-violence.
However, Walt and Leia soon discover that even a peace-loving, ideal society like this one may have its flaws. While on a forbidden trip to Exeter, the old city of their ancestors, the two Islanders discover more about the new world than they ever bargained for.

Secrets run dark and passions run deep in this thrilling conclusion to the Island novella series.


REST OF THE SERIES

Title: The Island
Series: The Island
Author: Jen Minkman
Release Date: 1st June 2013

BLURB from Goodreads
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?


Goodreads Link
Link to my review



Title: The Waves
Series: The Island
Author: Jen Minkman
Release Date: 4th October 2013

BLURB from Goodreads
The first memory I have of my grandfather is of a moment that we share together.
I’m sitting on his knee looking out over the harbor. Grandpa is smoking a pipe. He points at the horizon. “Look, Walt. Our ships are out there. And one day, another even more beautiful ship will appear at the horizon. A mighty ship to take us all away. And Annabelle will be at the front deck with open arms, inviting us all to join her on board.”
“Why don’t we sail to her ourselves?” I want to know.
“Because she promised she would come,” granddad replies. “And in that promise we trust. It’s only the Unbelievers who think they can do everything themselves. They have no faith in the Goddess.”


Walt lives in Hope Harbor, an island community that has put its trust in salvation from across the sea. The townspeople wait patiently, build their ships to sail out and welcome the Goddess, and piously visit the temple every week. Horror stories to scare their children are told about the Unbelievers on the other side of Tresco. 
But not all is what it seems. Walt has questions that no one can answer, and when his best friend and cousin Yorrick is killed in an accident, he digs deeper to find out the truth about the origins of Hope Harbor’s society… and the secrets of the temple.


Goodreads Link
Link to my review


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jen Minkman (1978) 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 and Dutch at a secondary school in The Hague, Holland. She tries to read at least 100 books a year (and write a few, too!). She is a published author in her own country, and translates her own books from Dutch into English for self-publication.
In her spare time, she plays the piano, the guitar and the violin. For every novel she writes, she creates a soundtrack. 

'I have always been drawn to writing. My first book was a sci-fi novel at the age of eight, which I painstakingly typed out on my dad's typewriter and illustrated myself. Nowadays, I stick to poetry, paranormal romance, chicklit and/or fantasy. In my home country, I am the first-ever published writer of paranormal romance, and I will gradually make my books also available in English (seeing I have to re-write and translate the books myself, this will take some time!).



MY REVIEW

Title: The Deep
Series: The Island
Author: Jen Minkman
Release Date: 3rd June 2014

BLURB from Goodreads
‘The world is never-ending.
I never realized just how much space there is – how far and wide the water around our island stretches out. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I may have believed that a second Wall ran around Tresco, containing the infinite waters so we wouldn’t all wash over the edge and plummet down into the depths.’

Leia and Walt are on their way to the Other Side, where the legendary land of Cornwall awaits them. Tony, their new friend, has told them that all wars of the past have been forgotten and the citizens of Bodmin and Dartmoor live in peace. People adhere to the tenets of an old religion that preaches forgiveness and non-violence.
However, Walt and Leia soon discover that even a peace-loving, ideal society like this one may have its flaws. While on a forbidden trip to Exeter, the old city of their ancestors, the two Islanders discover more about the new world than they ever bargained for.

Secrets run dark and passions run deep in this thrilling conclusion to the Island novella series.


INITIAL THOUGHTS
I was looking forward to this book after reading book two. The only hesitation I had was would it have lots of references to the "Star Wars-ish" theme that was featured a lot in book one The Island.

MY REVIEW
I received an e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I really like the cover of this book, it depicts a scene featured in the book. It's Alisa holding the treasured shawl that her now dead fiancé, Yorrick gave her. I like the whole set of covers of this series. I love how the sea is a common theme throughout the covers. I imagine that paperbacks of this series would look really great on a shelf together!
This book quite literally picks up as book two, The Waves left off. There are still two groups in the book, two stories running together. There's those with the pioneer attitude on board the ship travelling the waves. Then there are those who have stayed behind on the Island.
So on board the ship, we have Walt and Leia. there relationship growing ever more close and intense. At the Island, we have Ben trying to settle with the Hope Harbour people. Saul is still on the other side of the Island, living apart from everyone but the exiled priests from Hope Harbour. Alisa is making herself useful and ends up assisting the Hope Harbour Bookkeeper. In fact Alisa adopts the special job of delivering letters back and forth between the two communities, and The Bookkeeper and The Eldest. She also keeps the line of communication open between Ben and Saul. In fact there's kind of a budding relationship going on there, but which brother will Alisa ultimately choose? 
Those on board the ship eventually reach land and meet people from "the otherside of the water".
There are "Star War-ish" references but they are kept to a minimum and are certainly relevant when used. 
The ship finally reaches land and they meet "people from the other-side of the water". The first community they go into does initially seem really friendly and peaceful until they witness an injection being given to a "trouble causer". So what at first seems friendly and really welcoming, rapidly becomes sinister and highly dangerous. The lands around the small communities are blackened, dead and apparently poisonous to the settlers. Even a beautiful cathedral is off limits, and just the place that Walt and Leia want to go. they make a decision to sneak out, and take the risk of becoming sick. They think they have survived the trip unscathed until they are taken prisoner to be experimented on to find a cure for the radiation sickness.
I can't say anymore as I feel I have given away more than enough to whet your appetites, and I have to leave somethings for you to discover yourselves. 
There's an amazing twist at the end that points to lots more to come and I do really hope that Jen continues to write about these characters, their relationships and their trials and tribulations.
So did I enjoy the book? I really did yes.The ending leaving things open to a spin off, it's really good and I felt myself wanting more at the end of this book. Did I enjoy the whole series? I admit I wasn't as keen on book one in this series, but the books have been even better as the series progressed. Would I recommend the book? Yes, if you have read book one and two, then you must read this one! Would I recommend the series? I really would recommend this series. I also like the style of Jen's writing and it's easy reading, the plot flows well and is interesting. There is plenty going on throughout the whole series.
If there was a spin off series would I read it? I'd love to do so Jen, if you are reading this put me on the list to read it as soon as it's ready please? I'd volunteer to beta read if you needed me to as well!  Would I read more books by Jen  Minkman? I have already read another two books by Jen that aren't part of this series, or of the same genre called Shadows Of Time, and The Boy From The Woods. I totally loved Shadows Of Time and I also enjoyed The Boy From The Woods.

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