Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Island by Jen Minkman [ARC REVIEW]

TITLE: The Island
AUTHOR: Jen Minkman
PUBLISHER: CreateSpace
PUB DATE: Jun 1 2013
Summary 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?"

(Please note: this novella contains a few references to the famous sci-fi movie Star Wars which are pivotal to the plot. None of the characters in The Island are in any way related to the characters in the movie. Leia is named after one of the ancient heroes of her culture/religion.)


“In the darkness of the night, it’s like I hear their names for the first time, as if the story sprouts wings and takes flight again. It makes our forefathers all the more courageous and strong. And it makes us privileged.”

I found The Island a very weird story when I started. The whole Star Wars ideology was kind of creepy; foolish even that I thought it was such a ridiculous notion. Who in their right mind would believe in such a thing? Then I came to realize, the Book was the only significant object they have of their ancestors? Hey, people tend to worship all sorts of things, so what the heck?

It would have been fun though if say, someone was actually able to harness the Force (or fake it, in some way). Maybe it would help give off the illusion that what they believe in was true. It would make a strong sentiment and basis, wouldn’t it? Just my idea, but I get why that’s not possible anyway.

For a short story, The Island was pretty eventful. Although, it’s just a little hard to feel the anticipation towards what’s next to come for the characters since the pacing was too fast to allow feeling like you want to squirm in your seat over anxiously waiting to find out how it would all turn out.

The Island may be brief but it weighs out one very important factor to consider when growing up. Guidance. It is one of the foundations of who a person would become in the future. One person’s actions will always reflect on their upbringing, and this is why I’ve come to appreciate this story in the end.

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