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Isle of Man by Ryan Winfield
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Continuing the intriguing and ingenious plot begun in “The Park Service,” the second part of the trilogy finds our reluctant hero, Aubrey, setting out on a quest to save his people still down in Holocene II and unaware of the whole world that exists above them. Aubrey is determined to end the Park Service, but to do so he and Jimmy must embark on a quest with the newly discovered professor whose loyalties are questionable. There is betrayal and death and nothing is as it seems. While Winfield weaves an interesting plot, it is really his characterization of Aubrey that draws my interest. Aubrey is every bit a sixteen year old: conflicted and self-centered, wanting to do the right thing, but reluctant in many ways to take responsibility. His loyalty to his friend is challenged by his love for his girlfriend, and his desire to help his people is at war with his desire to simply live a peaceful, worry and conflict free life. It is his multifaceted persona that really drives the story and it is Winfield’s complex characterizations and interpersonal relationships that make his writing compelling and engaging. ( )
  Al-G | Dec 9, 2015 |
ABR's original Isle of Man audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

In book one “The Park Service” the reader followed 15 year old Aubrey Van Houten as he discovered the truth about his underground society. Each 15 year old child had to take a very long and complicated test. The score decided were you would work and live for the next 20 years. There were 6 levels to the underground city. The worst was level 6 and the best to try for was level 2. When the age of 35 was reached that person “retired” and was transported to “Eden”.

Aubrey aced the test and was sent to Level 1. During the train ride, there was an accident and he managed to escape. This is when he realized that everything he had been taught was a lie.

“Isle of Man” takes place after the flood and death of Hanna’s parents. (Who is Hanna? Read book 1) Aubrey, Jimmy, Junior, and Hanna have managed to salvage a sleek speed boat and descend down to the Park Service labs, via the locks. Everything is still flooded but the water is slowly draining away.

They discover a sub still tied to the dock, but it is underwater and can’t rise. Jimmy dives down and cuts the rope.
The now floating sub is manned by a The Professor. He is the only person left alive and the only one who can navigate the sub.

Leaving Hanna, with Red to help her, they start a journey to the Isle of Man. It is there that the code to reboot the systems is hidden. They see huge pods of dolphins and whales. They also see monster sharks. No more ocean swimming for them. Not going to spoil the rest of the story for you. But it gets better and better.

I an not a fan of first person stories. I like to know what is going on in the other characters minds. This novel was all Aubrey’s telling. The descriptions of his surroundings were very well done. Although it does tend to slow down at times it is compelling enough that you want to find out what happened next.

All the characters were well developed and interesting, even Junior, their pet fox. I liked the way the story unfolded. Just as you thought you knew were it was going it took a turn or a twist and unfolded a different scenario. Nothing was as it seemed. The truth was hidden and the lies were plenty. The only consistent theme was the friendship between Aubrey and Jimmy. They had their bad spots but trust and loyalty won out.

Michael Braun is the reader for the series. He does a very good job of staying consistent with his different voices. I really like the way he gave Jimmy a slightly Irish brogue. Very well done.

Production was without fault. Every word was clear and understandable.

Audiobook provided for for review by the author. ( )
  audiobibliophile | Jun 11, 2015 |
This second book in the Park Service Trilogy picks up where the first book left off. The main character, Aubrey, is pursuing the obvious course of action that one would have expected at the end of the first book. However, that objective proves not to be nearly as straight-forward as it initially seemed.

I enjoyed this book’s plot more than the first one, mainly because it seemed less derivative. I wasn’t constantly drawing parallels between the story I was reading and other stories I was familiar with. Another thing I enjoyed about it was that there were several twists in the story. I guessed some of them from the beginning, but there were others that caught me completely by surprise. I’m still feeling somewhat traumatized by one of the twists near the end! In retrospect, I probably should have seen it coming because there were definitely clues.

As before, the story is told from the first-person perspective of Aubrey. His best friend Jimmy is still with him as well, and their friendship is one of the other things that makes this series so enjoyable. It’s hard to say much about the other characters that show up in the book without spoiling anything.

This second book didn’t exactly end on a cliff hanger, but the main objective of the book is not resolved by the end and there’s great uncertainty about what will happen next. I’m looking forward to finishing up the trilogy. ( )
  YouKneeK | Apr 30, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0988348233, Paperback)

The journey continues...

After discovering the horrific truth behind the Park Service, fifteen-year old Aubrey Van Houten has overthrown its leader with the help of his best friend Jimmy and his girlfriend Hannah. But their victory has left all three parentless and alone in a world where drones still hunt humans. And while the Park Service founder might be dead, he's far from gone. Now, Aubrey's quest to free his people will lead him even farther into a world where nothing is what it seems.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:57 -0400)

"After discovering the horrific truth behind the Park Service, fifteen-year old Aubrey Van Houten has overthrown its leader with the help of his best friend Jimmy and his girlfriend Hannah. But their victory has left all three parentless and alone in a world where drones still hunt humans. And while the Park Service founder might be dead, he's far from gone. Now, Aubrey's quest to free his people will lead him even farther into a world where nothing is what it seems."--back cover.… (more)

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