Thursday, 13 June 2013


ISBN: 9781483959818
Publisher: Self/Indie
Pages: 105 pages
Formats Available: Paperback, E-Book
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?

(Since first reading this book some character names have been changed so my review has been adjusted/updates with the new character names)
I received a copy of this book directly from the Author as I had read another book by her and loved it, so she asked if I would be interested in reading her first attempt at a new genre.  As dystopian is my favourite genre I of course agreed immediately. In fact I was so looking forward to it, that I put my current read on hold to read the novella. I was given this book in exchange for my honest review. I also requested the book on Netgalley as I knew it was one I really wanted to read. 
This book has been a really difficult one to review for me, as I loved Jen's other book Shadow's Of Time so had high expectations of this book The Island.
I like the cover, it is in fact a scene described in the book. I like the font of the title and the little scrolly underneath it as well as the "a dystopian novella" which is also really good as it informs the reader that this is in fact a novella. The authors name is at the top of the book and is well placed and does not interfere with the flow of the cover.
So would I pick this book up from a store shelf? Yes definitely! I find the cover attractive, and the fact it plainly tells us what genre it is in too,
The blurb gives a great description of the book, and would further entice me into wanting to read the book. This is the Author's first attempt at the dystopian genre and I have to say on the whole I did enjoy it. I loved the setting and basis of the story. The only thing I didn't like was the Star Wars references . .. I don't think they were really needed. To me they took the genre in a more quirky direction. I love the characters of Leia and Colin and the basic plot. the pace and writing style is great. The book really didn't need the quirkiness of the star wars references in any way. It was a much better book without those. The book in the story which connected the Star Wars references could have just been an ancient book with its own rules. The whole parents and virus theme was strong enough to stand alone without any of the Star Wars references. Had I known about the Star Wars references, I admit, I would have been put off reading it.
So did I enjoy the novella? On the whole yes, I just think it could have been even better without certain references. Would I recommend the novella? Yes but more in a quirky dystopian genre than a recommendation to a straight dystopian fan. Would I read more dystopian by Jen Minkman? Definitely the roots of a fantastic story are there and I did enjoy the book. I do enjoy Jen's writing a lot. Would I read other work by Jen Minkman? Definitely, I would give anything Jen has written a go! I hope I have not offended her in my honest appraisal of her book,. I do not mean to be negative, I just felt the book could have been even better.

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