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Island Fire by Toby Neal
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Island Fire

by Toby Neal

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Read all my reviews on http://urlphantomhive.booklikes.com

Those of you who've been following me for some time might just know that I'm always looking for nice YA Dystopian stories, preferably in some original setting. The island of Lanai (in Hawaii) definitely makes for one.

I find this book a hard one to judge. I really wanted to like it, not just because of the setting but also because it has dragons. Spirit dragons, but dragons nevertheless. The premise is very good as well. As technology is destroyed, can a community survive? Especially one that is already isolated and dependent on the other Hawaiian island and the American mainland to provide for most of it's necessities. Though this of course isn't a problem that would only affect islands like Lanai, I think many places, including where I live, are heavily dependent on import of food, even though that we would have more means to find out what happened (at least to Europe).

But that's about it. It's never explained what this disaster is that's causing all these problems. And although it helps to connect to the characters (which was difficult by the way) as they don't know either, I like it when there's at least some kind of explanation given. The rest is less original. Main character with a dead mother and alcoholic/abusive father, a quest, and did I mention the plain crash?

All in all, it was quite enjoyable to read but it fell a bit short for me eventually. I'd expected more of it. Especially after reading a lot of very enthusiastic reviews. Very interesting premise, but the execution could have been better.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! ( )
  Floratina | May 26, 2016 |
Island Fire was an exceedingly well paced adventure with a light supernatural element and fully fleshed out main and supporting characters. The main points of view switch between Bea and her brother Sam, the teenage children of an alcoholic father on the island of Lanai, and Nick, a teenage pickpocket headed to Maui to live with his grandparents. Their worlds collide in a very LOST-y kind of way, with all the technology has been fried and they must rely on natural instincts and survival skills in order to set their lives right again. Toby Neal captures the essence of being a teenager in both Bea and Sam very well, as well as sibling relationships and the complicated and warring feelings toward an abusive father. This story seems more like their story, though, with Nick more so as a supporting character who gets some time to shine occasionally. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, since Bea is the obvious protagonist in the novel.

My only real complaint would be not finding out why and how the technology ended up dying out on Lanai, as well as on surrounding islands. I would have liked to have had a series of these books, maybe, with Bea and Sam being apart of some kind of huge cover-up or being "chosen ones" that must save the world from a supernatural element bent on destroying it. That would have upped the adventure and supernatural/thriller/suspense element for me, but it's also okay without it. It's all in all a nice coming of age story in a survival setting. ( )
  SiempreBailando | Jan 9, 2016 |
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