Saturday, November 19, 2011
X Isle by Steve Augarde
Imagine waking up one morning and watching the water coming up, covering streets and cities and people...
Random House for Teens sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you). You can find a copy at your local bookstore now.
This is a horror story. If a great disaster hits the world, trying to survive afterwards is a horror. And this story shows one way it might turn out...
Baz and his father are all that is left of his family. His mom and sister went off to visit relatives and were not able to return. His father can gamble and get them some food and goods, but life is hard scrabble and thieves will take anything they can find.
Their one hope for a better life for Baz is to be chosen to go to X Isle. There was rumor of a factory there where they could work and receive some schooling and earn their meals. However, all those rumors were only rumors.
The island is like a prison with madman running the business. Preacher John believes sacrifices will make the waters recede and clean up. All those around him fear him, including his sons.
When you are on the island, you have to do what you are told. The guards are sadistic, food is scarce and work is hard. And if you don't work, you die.
This story was a little too realistic for me. It gave me chills. When things get bad, evil rises in men. Mr. Augarde did a very job of showing how hopeless life is for the boys and how badly they are abused. He also sticks to a realistic ending. No heroes riding in to the rescue. The boys must make their own destiny.
This was a very good read. Any young one with an interest in survival stories or a dystopian fantasy will enjoy this story. Get a copy and see for yourself!