Wednesday, May 18, 2022

The Island - Adrian McKinty

I really enjoyed The Chain - Adrian McKinty's previous book and New York Times bestseller. I eagerly picked up his latest, The Island, anticipating another suspense filled read.

The premise was good and took inspiration from an event in McKinty's own life. 
"While I was driving in rural Australia on a very isolated island inhabited by one large extended family, a woman wearing a hearing aid pulled out of a blind road on her bicycle and I swerved to miss her. I half jokingly told my wife, Leah, that if - God forbid - we had hit her we wouldn't have got off that island alive."

McKinty's characters - Tom, his teen children Owen and Olivia and his second wife Heather do hit the bicyclist. They make some bad decisions and suddenly they're fighting for their lives. Cue the Deliverance movie sound track. 

McKinty has created some godawful, depraved characters in the island folks. They are a law unto their selves and they want retribution from Tom and his family for the death of the cyclist. The narrative is experienced from Heather's viewpoint. Heather is a good lead and given some background. But there's not a lot of depth. It's all about the action. 

Initially I was caught up in the tension, the danger, the next twist of trouble in the family's attempts to escape the islanders. But about midway, it became more than a little unbelievable. Now, I'm all for suspending belief in a suspense novel. But it all became too much. Heather is now a kick butt warrior, the snotty stepkids are as well. Cue Bruce Willis. There's more 'grain of salt' plot lines, skill sets and more, but I don't want to provide spoilers. The plot is busy and by the end felt almost repetitive as the close calls and near misses just keep on coming. McKinty has also included First Nations folklore, customs and history. The relationship between Heather and the kids is often explored, but didn't really work either for me. It felt like an inserted element ticked off on a check list. 

The prose are short and staccato. I became annoyed with one word pronouncements. Water. Sky. Sun. etc. 

The Island felt and read like a movie script. Which is kinda true, as Hulu has picked this up as a series. 

So, bottom line - implausible, but somehow gripping. I had to see what happened in the end. I'm in the minority on my three star rating - check out the other reviews on Goodreads. Or read an excerpt of The Island. That being said, I will pick McKinty's next book. 


Tee said...

I received this a few weeks ago but have not picked it up, I have heard a lot of mix reviews, but the premises sound good

Mystica said...

Those one word pronouncements would irritate me too.

Luanne said...

Tee, I thought I was the only one who liked it but didn't love until I posted it to Goodreads. The premise is good, but the delivery failed in a few places for me. I look forward to your thoughts.

Mystica - once or twice for showcasing a point, but it got repetative.