When twins Luc and Leia turn ten years old, they leave their parents for the manor house, all children on the island do when they become adults. There they will learn to survive on their own, depending on no one, until they marry and move back to the village to have children of their own. They will never have more than a nodding acquaintance with their parents again. Everyone knows the parents can’t be depended on- it’s in the Book; the same Book that teaches them that self-reliance is the only way to access the Force within them.
But when Leia steals the Book and meets a boy from the heretical village of Fools on the other side of the island, she’ll learn some uncomfortable truths that may change her people’s way of life forever- or destroy it.
The fact that the main characters are named “Luc” and “Leia” initially gave me pause, but the Star Wars references really do have a role in the story, and eventually make sense in context. After the first few they really made me curious about the mysteries behind the island’s civilization.
I was also curious about the basis of the other society on the island, the so-called “Fools” beyond the Wall that divides the island. Unfortunately, this curiousity was never satisfied, and we see little more than a glimpse of their village. I would also have liked a little more development at the beginning of the story to get a better sense of all the characters, but after I got caught up in the plot this mattered less.
I found The Island to be a quick, interesting read. The ending left me both satisfied and interested in knowing more- I think there is the potential for a longer story here, even novel-length, but it also works as a novella. This is an engaging and original dystopian offering, and I encourage fans of the genre to pick it up!
Title: The Island
Author: Jen Minkman
Genre: Science Fiction (Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopian)
Publication: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 30, 2013)
Price: $0.99 (Kindle), $6.18 (paperback)
Author’s Website: http://jenminkman.blogspot.com/