Wednesday, June 5, 2013

THE ISLAND a novella by Jen Minkman

The Island

‘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.)


This was such ma refreshing and quick read. It's a novella so it only took my a couple of hours to read. (It probably would have taken less but I'm married, and my husband has never gotten the hint that a book in my hands = SHUT UP AND DON'T TALK TO ME. Lol!) 

The Island is creative and well written. Sometimes I find that novellas lack in details and they lose my attention because the author ends up "telling" the reader what is happening instead of "showing" but that is not the case with The Island. The author did an amazing job making this short read feel like a full length book. It could even easily be turned into an introduction for a full length novel, but it doesn't lack closure. 

I found it quite a coincidence that this novella referred to Star Wars because as I was reading my husband was actually watching the movie on TV. (We're big fans.) At first I was wondering how the whole Star Wars link would play out, but it was brilliant!  And the great thing... questions get answered! As I said before, there is a sense of closure at the end of the novella, and that is in part because the major questions about "how" and "why" get answered which often doesn't happen in novellas.

Leia is a great character, and I'd love to see Jen expand on her one day. She's believable and strong and the reader really gets to know and understand her even though we only spend a short time with her. If you are look for a change of pace and a quick read that will capture your interest, The Island is a great choice for middle grade to adult readers.

available internationally

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