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The Island

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It was just supposed to be a family vacation. A terrible accident changed everything. You don't know what you're capable of until they come for your family. After moving from a small country town to Seattle, Heather Baxter marries Tom, a widowed doctor with a young son and teenage daughter. A working vacation overseas seems like the perfect way to bring the new family togethe It was just supposed to be a family vacation. A terrible accident changed everything. You don't know what you're capable of until they come for your family. After moving from a small country town to Seattle, Heather Baxter marries Tom, a widowed doctor with a young son and teenage daughter. A working vacation overseas seems like the perfect way to bring the new family together, but once they’re deep in the Australian outback, the jet-lagged and exhausted kids are so over their new mom. When they discover remote Dutch Island, off-limits to outside visitors, the family talks their way onto the ferry, taking a chance on an adventure far from the reach of iPhones and Instagram. But as soon as they set foot on the island, which is run by a tightly knit clan of locals, everything feels wrong. Then a shocking accident propels the Baxters from an unsettling situation into an absolute nightmare. When Heather and the kids are separated from Tom, they are forced to escape alone, seconds ahead of their pursuers. Now it’s up to Heather to save herself and the kids, even though they don’t trust her, the harsh bushland is filled with danger, and the locals want her dead. Heather has been underestimated her entire life, but she knows that only she can bring her family home again and become the mother the children desperately need, even if it means doing the unthinkable to keep them all alive.


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It was just supposed to be a family vacation. A terrible accident changed everything. You don't know what you're capable of until they come for your family. After moving from a small country town to Seattle, Heather Baxter marries Tom, a widowed doctor with a young son and teenage daughter. A working vacation overseas seems like the perfect way to bring the new family togethe It was just supposed to be a family vacation. A terrible accident changed everything. You don't know what you're capable of until they come for your family. After moving from a small country town to Seattle, Heather Baxter marries Tom, a widowed doctor with a young son and teenage daughter. A working vacation overseas seems like the perfect way to bring the new family together, but once they’re deep in the Australian outback, the jet-lagged and exhausted kids are so over their new mom. When they discover remote Dutch Island, off-limits to outside visitors, the family talks their way onto the ferry, taking a chance on an adventure far from the reach of iPhones and Instagram. But as soon as they set foot on the island, which is run by a tightly knit clan of locals, everything feels wrong. Then a shocking accident propels the Baxters from an unsettling situation into an absolute nightmare. When Heather and the kids are separated from Tom, they are forced to escape alone, seconds ahead of their pursuers. Now it’s up to Heather to save herself and the kids, even though they don’t trust her, the harsh bushland is filled with danger, and the locals want her dead. Heather has been underestimated her entire life, but she knows that only she can bring her family home again and become the mother the children desperately need, even if it means doing the unthinkable to keep them all alive.

30 review for The Island

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    This heart throbbing thriller is finally out! Here’s my digital art I’ve created for the book: https://www.instagram.com/tv/Cd1L4VAD... What the heck I just read! So many times I just wanted to drop my e-reader and run away while I was screaming! This is so freaking tense! This is mind blowing! I couldn’t put it down but I was extremely jumpy during my read. I screamed a lot as I mentioned before. I hid under blanket as if the disturbing family members of the island were chasing after me! This b This heart throbbing thriller is finally out! Here’s my digital art I’ve created for the book: https://www.instagram.com/tv/Cd1L4VAD... What the heck I just read! So many times I just wanted to drop my e-reader and run away while I was screaming! This is so freaking tense! This is mind blowing! I couldn’t put it down but I was extremely jumpy during my read. I screamed a lot as I mentioned before. I hid under blanket as if the disturbing family members of the island were chasing after me! This book is like Die Hard takes place in island and instead of John McClane , the hero is a woman, a young massage therapist who knows how to survive in the wild! Yippie ki-yay freaking islanders! This is like watching jaw dropping, action packed, ultra exciting, heart throbbing thriller. The book would be perfect movie but I am not sure its adaptation would be as perfect as the original manuscript. The book opens up introducing the family of four who fly to Australian outback. Tom Baxter who recently lost his wife and replaced her with young massage therapist Heather is planning to attend the work related conferences. His kids Olivia ( 14), Owen(15) join the trip, sulking,giving death stares to their stepmom! Both of them are jet lagged, exhausted, sweating. Heather tries to entertain kids who keep complaining about everything. Who can guess two teenagers’ insistence to see koalas will change the entire family’s life! They meet two strangers mention a special and reserved island that they can see koalas and other wildlife creatures to have real Australian Outback experience! Kids insist to go there. Strangers charge them too much many and let them visit the place alongside Dutch couple: Hans and Petra. The place is normally off-limits for outsiders but they pay to have 45 minutes to take photos, having a short tour around the place and return back to the ferry quickly as if they’ve never bern there. But as soon as Baxter family arrives to the island, they lose their way and suddenly a woman in blue dress riding a bike comes out from the side road, Tom honks the horn and hits the breaks but BAM! Something terrible happens that will change the family’s life forever! I’m stopping right here! Because after this impactful incident, things get escalated and Baxter find themselves into a nightmare! The islanders are so adamant to punish the outsiders who ruin their peaceful living! Well: without giving much away I can tell two things: Heather was amazing badass heroine! She’s raised in island crowded by people who are veterans who are suffering from PTSD and using art therapy to heal themselves. Her secluded, hipster, wildlife experiences help them to find a way to fight against the islanders. And “Ma” scared the living daylights of me as a vicious character, reminded me of Ozark’s Darlene Snell a lot! ( she also gives me creeps) Overall: this is twisty, extra exciting, fueled with adrenaline, wildest and darkest ride! You never get bored! Highly recommended! Special thanks to NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company for sharing this amazing digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest thoughts.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Melissa (Extremely Behind)

    Finally a gripping thriller! After quite a few mediocre thrillers in a row, I really enjoyed my trip to The Island. I liked, but didn't love The Chain, I thought that book was intriguing, but got bogged down and tedious midway through. This one for me avoided that pitfall by propelling the storyline forward. I generally dislike books with long periods of chasing and hiding and more chasing (I mean, the original title for this one was The Chase), but this novel had enough action and intensity to Finally a gripping thriller! After quite a few mediocre thrillers in a row, I really enjoyed my trip to The Island. I liked, but didn't love The Chain, I thought that book was intriguing, but got bogged down and tedious midway through. This one for me avoided that pitfall by propelling the storyline forward. I generally dislike books with long periods of chasing and hiding and more chasing (I mean, the original title for this one was The Chase), but this novel had enough action and intensity to keep me involved rather than bored. I didn't read the back cover blurb or any reviews too closely before reading this novel, and I do think it's best to go in somewhat blind. I liked the characters for the most part and I felt like the author did a great job of giving them interesting backstories and characteristics that weren't what I was expecting. The action makes this story an intense page turner as I was anxious to know which characters (if any) would come out alive in the end. I stayed up very late into the night in order to finish this, and that's the sign of a captivating book. Fair warning, some dogs do come to an ugly end, but for whatever reason it didn't really bug me too much. However, sensitive readers may want to skip a couple of pages when you read that it's coming. Is this a perfect book? No. There are some things that require some suspension of disbelief, but if you just go with it you will definitely be entertained with something a bit out of the ordinary, and that's exactly what I have been looking for lately. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Meredith

    WTF is this book? "You are living on borrowed time. They’ll find you. This is their backyard." The Island is a psychological thriller about consequences, revenge, and the fight for survival. I don't want to give anything away, so I am keeping this review vague. It's best to jump into this book blind. This book is just plain weird. It starts off weird, gets weirder, and then even weirder. The characters were strange (and I am not referring to the O'Neils). Scenes with dialogue read bizarrely. At t WTF is this book? "You are living on borrowed time. They’ll find you. This is their backyard." The Island is a psychological thriller about consequences, revenge, and the fight for survival. I don't want to give anything away, so I am keeping this review vague. It's best to jump into this book blind. This book is just plain weird. It starts off weird, gets weirder, and then even weirder. The characters were strange (and I am not referring to the O'Neils). Scenes with dialogue read bizarrely. At times, I wondered if what I was reading was really happening or if I was inside a character's dream. As weird as I felt this book was, it was a page-turner filled with action, tension, and suspense. The tone is dark and disturbing, and there is a lot of violence. I loved the premise, but the way things played out was just a little too crazy for me. On the plus side, I was never bored. I would advise one not to think while reading this, as I noticed some inaccuracies, and I had to suspend my disbelief. Overall, this was a gripping read, but I have no desire to experience this island again! Trigger warning: some animals don't make it out alive. I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest revew.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Maureen ( NOT RECEIVING NOTIFICATIONS)

    A visit to a small private island off the coast of Australia - sounds idyllic right? But as scenarios go, this one’s an absolute nightmare! 24 year old Heather Baxter has recently moved from Seattle and met and married Tom, a widowed doctor. He’s older than her and has two kids, teenager Olivia, and 12 year old son Owen. They live in a beautiful house, are financially sound, but although Heather tries her hardest, the kids won’t accept her after losing their mom in the last year. Tom has to attend A visit to a small private island off the coast of Australia - sounds idyllic right? But as scenarios go, this one’s an absolute nightmare! 24 year old Heather Baxter has recently moved from Seattle and met and married Tom, a widowed doctor. He’s older than her and has two kids, teenager Olivia, and 12 year old son Owen. They live in a beautiful house, are financially sound, but although Heather tries her hardest, the kids won’t accept her after losing their mom in the last year. Tom has to attend a conference in Australia, and it’s decided that the whole family will go. Heather hopes it will give her the chance to bond with the kids. However, during their trip they visit Dutch Island, owned by the O’Neil family. The island is normally off limits to outsiders, but after much pleading by Olivia and Owen, a couple of members of the O’Neal family take them across on their private ferry with the warning not to travel too far inland, and be back for the return ferry by a certain time. Whilst driving round the island, a tragic car accident occurs that turns this dream vacation into the worst nightmare that you could ever imagine! This is, without question, a heart pounding, edge of the seat, thrill a minute, intense battle for survival! A kill or be killed situation. A slightly slow start, but once it gets going, you’d better hold on to your hats! Highly recommended. *Thank you to Netgalley and Orion Publishing Group, for an ARC in exchange for an honest unbiased review *

  5. 5 out of 5

    Holly B

    I survived! I'm safely off the island, now I need a vacation and NOT on an isolated island! WHAT A TRIP! They just wanted to see the koalas, wallabies, and wombats. They didn't realize they were entering a sort of Jurrasic Park. Tom wanted to give his family some kodak moments. Jacko invited them to the private island. They made "a deal". All the while Jacko had a wolfish grin. They set out to explore the island. An unfortunate accident. What to do, what to do....... They meet the shotgun wielding fa I survived! I'm safely off the island, now I need a vacation and NOT on an isolated island! WHAT A TRIP! They just wanted to see the koalas, wallabies, and wombats. They didn't realize they were entering a sort of Jurrasic Park. Tom wanted to give his family some kodak moments. Jacko invited them to the private island. They made "a deal". All the while Jacko had a wolfish grin. They set out to explore the island. An unfortunate accident. What to do, what to do....... They meet the shotgun wielding family- Ma is the head and she scared the senses out of me. A creepy, savage of a character, a total nightmare. Thats all you get! Read at your own risk! (JK) Once the chase begins, it is non-stop in your face action. I could feel the tension, danger, and shock. Yes, I wanted to pull the covers over my eyes! These island hicks were barbarians, but I was glued to every page. If you're looking for a fast paced page turner with some shock and awe, this will deliver. It was a bit out of my comfort zone, but still I was entertained and had to see it to the end! Thanks to NG and the publisher for my arc. OUT May 17, 2022

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Ooooooh boy, do I have things to say about this one. I think at this point that most people know what the premise to this story is but here's the gist: An American family of four: widowed father Tom, his new young wife Heather, and his two kids Olivia (14) and Owen (12) go to Australia where Tom is supposed to attend a conference for orthopedic surgeons. While touring around Australia they stop at a roadside food stand and the kids complain that they haven't seen any koala bears or kangaroos sinc Ooooooh boy, do I have things to say about this one. I think at this point that most people know what the premise to this story is but here's the gist: An American family of four: widowed father Tom, his new young wife Heather, and his two kids Olivia (14) and Owen (12) go to Australia where Tom is supposed to attend a conference for orthopedic surgeons. While touring around Australia they stop at a roadside food stand and the kids complain that they haven't seen any koala bears or kangaroos since they arrived. A couple of scary looking locals tell them about the island they live on with their backwoods family and how there are koalas everywhere. The kids are so excited so Tom agrees to take them all. They are warned to be quick as the matriarch of this lovely family abhors company. Of course, once they arrive an accident happens that traps them there and the family that lives there will do everything in their powers to stop them from leaving. They are going to pay with their lives one way or another. Sounds super exciting, right? (Except for the part of them going to an abandoned island with two strangers with wolfish grins - NO ON WOULD DO THIS!!! Of course we wouldn't have this book if common sense was at play.) WRONG!!! This book is not scary or terrifying or any of those other descriptors I've heard tossed around. If I had to choose a word to describe this it would be: RIDICULOUS! This book is so cheesy it gives Velveeta a run for its money. (pg 18) "Anyone need the toilet? Fab toilets in here. Heather? Looks like you gambled a little on a fart and lost, no?" Whaaat? That's incredibly rude to say to someone especially since she's the organizer of the conference that the husband is attending. But beyond being rude it's also terrible writing. (pg 28) "I wanted the new Porsche Cayenne. I called about it last night," he said, trying to control his temper. "I'm sorry, sir, we don't have any in the lot. The customer before you got the last one. We have the Turbo or the E-Hybrid. The hybrid is our top Porsche rental, it's - " "No, thank you. It's a long drive. There is no way I would ever trust a hybrid!" That sounds like some rich white dude first world problems if ever there was one. (pg 77) "Why had he listened to Heather? She was a Millennial. She didn't know anything." Ahhh, got to love that newlywed phase. What a dick! Not to mention HE'S the one that got them into this mess to begin with. (pg 81) "This is utterly disgraceful. You should be ashamed of yourselves. You can't keep us like this." Utterly disgraceful? How polite. I on the other hand would have said "What are you fucking psycho's or something?" but that's just me. (pg 83) "And look before Danny gets here, maybe we could come to an arrangement and present it to him as fait accompli," Tom suggested. Yes, let's condescend to Ma of this backwoods group of hillbillies. Smart man be very smart. (pg 96) "Killer and victim united. I wonder what their ghosts are talking about?" It's good to ruminate when you're being held hostage with a noose around your neck. (pg 128-129) "What if someone sees us?" Owen asked. "In that case, don't wait for us, just run and keep running," Heather said. "Try to hide somewhere until you see a police car." Someone needs to remined Heather that they are on an island with no police force. Good luck, kid! (pg 164) "It's good to have the ocean at ones back." "Why is it good Daddy?" "It gives you heft, sweetie. It gives balance to the mind adrift on change and harassed by the irrepressible new." Did I mention she's 14? (pg 350) "If he so much as farts in my direction, shoot him the way I showed you." Two fart references in one book are two fart references too many. There are so many one-liners sprinkled throughout that I could never, ever take this book seriously. And what's up with Heather talking about how much she loves that her husband knows his way around knees and ankles. Um, okay. He is an orthopedic surgeon but I never knew knee knowledge was so enticing. I have many more notes I made but I don't want to waste any more of my time or your time on a book that was downright terrible. 1 star! Many thanks to Hatchette Book Group for my arc copy.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Regina

    It’s a good thing U.S. streaming service Hulu is already adapting Adrian McKinty’s latest adrenaline thriller, The Island, because this bananas book just bursts off the page. If it’s a faithful adaptation, here’s what viewers have in store: - Super sweaty people running amok, chasing and being chased, across a private Australian island. - Deliverance-in-the-outback meets (female) Rambo vibes. - A 24yo woman, married to a 44yo widow, parenting his sassy tween kids. - Perils such as red ants, snakes It’s a good thing U.S. streaming service Hulu is already adapting Adrian McKinty’s latest adrenaline thriller, The Island, because this bananas book just bursts off the page. If it’s a faithful adaptation, here’s what viewers have in store: - Super sweaty people running amok, chasing and being chased, across a private Australian island. - Deliverance-in-the-outback meets (female) Rambo vibes. - A 24yo woman, married to a 44yo widow, parenting his sassy tween kids. - Perils such as red ants, snakes, machetes, and nooses. - Dogs getting shot. (Boooo!!!) This is a real nail biter that’ll have you sailing through its pages. It’s the yin to any “slow burn” thriller’s yang. I don’t need to read a ton of books like this, but once in awhile it’s refreshing to just go along for the crazy ride. My thanks to the author and Little, Brown & Company for the gifted advance copy to review via NetGalley. The expected US publication date is May 17, 2022. Blog: https://www.confettibookshelf.com

  8. 4 out of 5

    Margaret M (Semi hiatus until October)

    You may not be in a rush for vitamin ‘sea’ after being on this island!!! Pulsating, compulsive, and intense for a deadly game of cat and mouse when a small island becomes an evil theatre as the island’s inhabitants lay siege in a hunt for a group of six visitors. A book that will keep you on the edge of your seat with its fast pace, gripping storyline, and sometimes brutal events, as the tourists are pursued, trapped, and murdered. The Plot Tom Baxter, his new wife and two children are on an island You may not be in a rush for vitamin ‘sea’ after being on this island!!! Pulsating, compulsive, and intense for a deadly game of cat and mouse when a small island becomes an evil theatre as the island’s inhabitants lay siege in a hunt for a group of six visitors. A book that will keep you on the edge of your seat with its fast pace, gripping storyline, and sometimes brutal events, as the tourists are pursued, trapped, and murdered. The Plot Tom Baxter, his new wife and two children are on an island hoping to enjoy Australia’s wildlife. However, this island, an approximate rectangle three miles by two with a farm in the middle is only 10 miles away from the outer suburbs of Melbourne but feels a million miles away from civilisation when the unthinkable happens. Tom accidentally knocks a woman off her bike and then tries to flee the island in a hit and run. The living nightmare begins and who better to write the story than this master storyteller where fear and tension is at the heart of his story yet again. Review and Comments A real winner with a few standouts for me such as the authors extraordinary use of time to heighten the tension in the storytelling. From the moment the family of four arrive on the island for a relaxing time, as described in the opening paragraphs to the feeling that time was always running out. You could feel yourself totally absorbed and thinking about TIME constantly. I found myself willing Heather, the children and the Dutch tourists to move quicker, think faster and at times I even found myself saying ‘don’t do that you will not have the time’, leave now or you will be trapped, move quicker - run!!! The atmosphere was perfectly captured with very cleverly written paragraphs, sometimes short and sharp, sometimes more vivid in the descriptions but all the time sinister, menacing and spine tingling. I started off disliking Heather but quickly grew to admire her tenacity, drive, and sense of survival. Tom went in the opposite direction, for me and I found him weak and disconnected from what was really happening around him. I particularly liked the step-relationship between stepmother and stepchildren which started tense and sometimes confrontational to something real, strong, and touching. It’s true no-one knows how they will cope when faced with death or extreme danger. In this case, I loved that the author created a female character that showed incredible resourcefulness, ingenuity and determination that felt real and plausible, when being pursued by the killing squad. However, there was a bit of an anti-climax to the ending that didn’t fit quite with the adrenaline pumping storytelling and fast pace in the rest of the book. The ‘why’ was a weakness to the story, plus the unlikely set of circumstances woven into the plot which is what brought it down to a 4 stars. Nevertheless, a fabulous fast paced novel that was captivating, thrilling and relentless.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Oh,Man,Oh,Man,Oh,Man,Oh,Man,Oh,Man....... Now that I've adequately hyperventilated for the moment. Don't even approach this book of The Island if you are not open to the prospect of the bizarre, the outlandish, the off-the-wall-and-into Wonky World, and all things that shift your eyeballs from side to side. Seriously speaking..... The Island peels away at all the good intentions of a family trip. Destination: Australia. Dr. Tom Baxter is scheduled to speak at an Orthopedics conference there. He's Oh,Man,Oh,Man,Oh,Man,Oh,Man,Oh,Man....... Now that I've adequately hyperventilated for the moment. Don't even approach this book of The Island if you are not open to the prospect of the bizarre, the outlandish, the off-the-wall-and-into Wonky World, and all things that shift your eyeballs from side to side. Seriously speaking..... The Island peels away at all the good intentions of a family trip. Destination: Australia. Dr. Tom Baxter is scheduled to speak at an Orthopedics conference there. He's newly married to his second wife, Heather, a twenty-four year old massage therapist. Tom was a widower when she met him. Owen, twelve, and Olivia, fourteen, had been through so much after the death of their mother a year ago. They beg Tom to take them along. Heather is not so sure. Being a stepmother can paint you into a corner. So the Baxter family leave the cool weather of Seattle bound for the Outback of Australia and all it has to offer. It's key here that this will be the family trip from Hell. As a side excursion, the Baxters find themselves on an island that can only be accessed on a ferry. The plan (What could possibly go wrong, boys and girls?) is a quick photo op of koalas and native plants and then back in time for Tom's speech at the conference. Whiney kids have the loudest voices. But a tragic accident occurs while the family is driving the dusty roads of this island. We'll meet the O'Neill family who have squattered there for eons. Ma is the head of this clan and a lovely piece of work. Extricating themselves from the hospitality of this group of wackos will be easier said than done. And the wheels will now turn at a furious pace. The Island is strange. Strange to the point of doubting what you are reading. The Rationale Road has been left far behind in the rear view mirror. You are entering into an unsettling storyline which won't be for everyone. The Island is raw in its telling. And the action takes place in a rapid rollout. Be prepared for that. But if you enjoy high octane adventure and a rough and ragged intensity of a relentless head-for-the-hills bolt to the finish, then say no more. You've found it within these pages. Hats off to Adrian McKinty for this breathless abandonment of the normal world into all things WooWoo. WoW! Just WoW! I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to Little, Brown and Company and to Adrian McKinty for the opportunity.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn Walsh

    4.5 gladly raised to 5 stars. Wowie! What an exhilarating, entertaining, high-voltage thrill ride! I can't disagree with readers who found the action implausible and some of the dialogue shoddy. I felt the author accomplished what he set out to do in this hair-raising, electrifying novel. This was a visual read, and I was seeing it in my mind as a sensational action movie if done right. It is going to be presented by Hulu streaming service, not yet available where I live The setting encourages 4.5 gladly raised to 5 stars. Wowie! What an exhilarating, entertaining, high-voltage thrill ride! I can't disagree with readers who found the action implausible and some of the dialogue shoddy. I felt the author accomplished what he set out to do in this hair-raising, electrifying novel. This was a visual read, and I was seeing it in my mind as a sensational action movie if done right. It is going to be presented by Hulu streaming service, not yet available where I live The setting encourages a big-screen adaptation as well. Heather is introduced as a naive young woman from a sheltered background. She never finished high school and moved to Seattle where was struggling while working as a massage therapist. She married a client, a prosperous, recent widower, almost twice her age. His two children, a girl age 14, and a boy of 12 were still mourning the loss of their mother and resented Heather. When their father was to be the keynote speaker at a medical conference in Melbourne, Heather and his two children went along for the trip. After a trip to Sydney and to Uluru, they returned to Melbourne while the father prepared for his speech. As his new wife, Heather hoped to build a positive relationship with his children and gain their acceptance. She failed in her efforts. Her husband complained constantly about not being to rent his first choice of a vehicle. He was used to only the best of everything. The children were bored in Melbourne and wanted to see Australian animals. While having luncheon in an outdoor cafe, they meet an older, friendly Dutch couple, and were soon approached by two men. They said they were from a private island situated near Melbourne, and visitors were strictly forbidden. They were bribed with a large amount of money to allow them to secretly visit after hearing that it abounded with koalas, kangaroo, wallabies, wombats, echidnas, and birdlife including penguins. They were warned that they were to stay near the dock, take photos for about twenty minutes, and not to be seen by the large family that owned the island. The children could barely contain their excitement. The four of them set out for the island, accompanied by the older Dutch couple they had just met. Once arriving at the island they found that they had been deceived. Things go from disappointment, to downright deadly. There is increasing danger and worse. We learn that Heather has been underestimated by everyone all along, but they are up against an angry, ruthless, deranged extended family and are not wanted there. Will anyone survive? A riveting, propulsive action thriller.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kay

    4.5⭐ A twisted summer read!🏖️🩴 This is a wild and bonkers survival thriller. I stopped reading two other books I started before The Island so that I won't miss a beat! Widowed Tom Baxter has a medical conference in Melbourne and takes his new 24-year-old wife Heather, and his two kids with him, a mini family vacation. Once in Australia the kids, aged 14 and 12 are disappointed to not see koalas and kangaroos. The family meets two locals who said their quiet island has plenty of wildlife. The kids 4.5⭐ A twisted summer read!🏖️🩴 This is a wild and bonkers survival thriller. I stopped reading two other books I started before The Island so that I won't miss a beat! Widowed Tom Baxter has a medical conference in Melbourne and takes his new 24-year-old wife Heather, and his two kids with him, a mini family vacation. Once in Australia the kids, aged 14 and 12 are disappointed to not see koalas and kangaroos. The family meets two locals who said their quiet island has plenty of wildlife. The kids are ecstatic to see koalas so they were taken on a private ferry to this remote Dutch Island. After an ill-fated car accident, the Baxters were brought to meet Ma, the matriarch of the O'Neil family clan. This book is such a page-turner, intense, violent, and flippin' craZy! I don't want to spoil it, the less you know, the better. 🤭Suspend disbelief, get some popcorn, and enjoy! PS. I borrowed an audiobook and a hard copy from the library. A Danish character "Petra" in the book is "Liesl" on the audio.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ceecee

    I’ve been a big fan of the author since his brilliant Sean Duffy series, this latest is a winner too. The start is a tension filled cracker which then backtracks and we understand why newly weds Heather and Tom and his children Owen and Olivia are in Australia from the USA so Tom can attend a medical conference. The children are desperate to see wildlife and so far it's been a no show on a family day out. On a lunch break they meet Matt and Jacko who live on private Dutch Island which has abundan I’ve been a big fan of the author since his brilliant Sean Duffy series, this latest is a winner too. The start is a tension filled cracker which then backtracks and we understand why newly weds Heather and Tom and his children Owen and Olivia are in Australia from the USA so Tom can attend a medical conference. The children are desperate to see wildlife and so far it's been a no show on a family day out. On a lunch break they meet Matt and Jacko who live on private Dutch Island which has abundant wildlife. They persuade them to allow a few hours visit where they definitely get more than they bargain for. Wow. Now that’s what I call a brilliant thriller, at times you scarcely dare breathe you feel every ounce of the fear. The author uses a number of tactics to ramp up the nerves (not that it needs it!) silence, isolation, the heat, the island terrain, single or few word staccato sentences, the wildlife to say nothing of the terrifying characters on Dutch Island. The dynamics are done brilliantly, who to trust, who to believe? It becomes the most terrifying, savage, shambolic mayhem you can imagine with moods changing in an instant. Several chapters have absolutely cracking and chilling cliffhangers and you’re in a state of stasis and suspense. Thankfully, Adrian McKinty does my poor heart a favour and takes his foot off the 100 mile an hour pedal and gives me a breather from the tension plus plus. Each chapter has some periods of reflection which are very really revealing in the number of ways and it adds cleverly to the build up and to your understanding. The characterisation is excellent, they all spring to life before you with Heather and the children being very smart and we get revealing glimpses of the real Tom. One character acts incredibly bravely and nobly which really makes you feel something. Some of the recurring imagery is incredibly powerful and is used so effectively. The ending is great and is a real sense of symmetry. Overall, this is the very definition of a thriller with a fast-paced plot, it’s well written, it’s visual and very exciting with all the essentials to make it a compelling and dynamic read. I can totally get the inspiration the author mentions in the notes. I’m just off to recover now… With thanks to NetGalley and especially to Orion Publishing for the much appreciated arc in return for an honest review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    Omg what a thrill ride! My heart was pounding the whole time and I was on the edge of my seat as I turned page after page! This was an adrenaline packed, heart racing book that I could not get enough of. I didn’t know who to trust and I loved every minute of it! Trigger warning there are animal deaths as well as some descriptive deaths. A dream trip gone wrong, Heather, Tom, and their two kids Olivia and Owen tag along on Heather’s work trip to Australia. While they have some downtime they do a b Omg what a thrill ride! My heart was pounding the whole time and I was on the edge of my seat as I turned page after page! This was an adrenaline packed, heart racing book that I could not get enough of. I didn’t know who to trust and I loved every minute of it! Trigger warning there are animal deaths as well as some descriptive deaths. A dream trip gone wrong, Heather, Tom, and their two kids Olivia and Owen tag along on Heather’s work trip to Australia. While they have some downtime they do a bit of exploring. This kids were desperate to see koalas. They end up at a tourist spot called Dutch Island. Dutch Island is owned” by the O’Neil family. After an unfortunate accident, the O’Neils take possession of Heather and her family. It’s a fight for their lives as Heather takes charge to save her family. Will they make it off the island? Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this arc in exchange for my honest review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kaceey

    This book should win an award for the most bizarre read of the year! The Baxter's have traversed the world from the US to Australia. While Tom attends a slew of medical conferences, his new young wife Heather will entertain his kids to the best of her abilities. A task made even more difficult given the children are reeling from the death of their mother. Understandably, they’re not nearly ready to accept Heather into their already made family. As the kids are begging to see any of the in the vast This book should win an award for the most bizarre read of the year! The Baxter's have traversed the world from the US to Australia. While Tom attends a slew of medical conferences, his new young wife Heather will entertain his kids to the best of her abilities. A task made even more difficult given the children are reeling from the death of their mother. Understandably, they’re not nearly ready to accept Heather into their already made family. As the kids are begging to see any of the in the vast wildlife of Australia, Tom and Heather Finally relent .They’ll travel to a small private island despite the warnings from those who will ferry them across the waters. But one unfortunate mistake on this isolated island now has the family running for their lives! I’m actually stumped on what to say about this book. So absolutely different. So totally original. I was magnetically drawn to it despite the fact it was so very disturbing. Much like a train wreck people slow down to gawk at.💁🏻‍♀️. A guilty pleasure, if you will. That was me…reading this book. I won’t risk revealing more than that. For full shock value go in as blind as possible. Just be prepared for something so vastly different than your average, everyday thriller. A buddy read with Susanne that we both laughed at the craziness of it! Thank you to NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sujoya

    3.5+⭐️ 24-year-old Heather Baxter marries widower Dr. Tom Baxter who is in his 40s and is the father of two children, 14-year-old Olivia and 12-year-old Owen, by his first wife. When Tom is invited to be a keynote speaker at an Orthopedics conference in Melbourne, Australia they make a family vacation out of it. Owen and Olivia are not too fond of Heather and often openly hostile in the face of her efforts to befriend them. On a day out, at the kids’ insistence on checking out the wildlife in the 3.5+⭐️ 24-year-old Heather Baxter marries widower Dr. Tom Baxter who is in his 40s and is the father of two children, 14-year-old Olivia and 12-year-old Owen, by his first wife. When Tom is invited to be a keynote speaker at an Orthopedics conference in Melbourne, Australia they make a family vacation out of it. Owen and Olivia are not too fond of Heather and often openly hostile in the face of her efforts to befriend them. On a day out, at the kids’ insistence on checking out the wildlife in the vicinity, the family finds themselves touring Dutch Island, which is a private island normally closed off for visitors. They are ferried across by members of the O’Neill family who ”own” and reside on the island. A car accident on the island triggers a series of events that has the family fighting for their own lives and desperately looking for a way off the island as their day trip turns into a survivalist’s nightmare. The Island by Adrian McKinty is a fast-paced, edge of your seat thriller that is hard to put down. I enjoyed the atmospheric setting and the intense and vivid imagery of Dutch Island. Needless to say, I finished it in less than a day. Some scenes are violent and disturbing and animals are harmed, so you might need to pace yourself before attempting to read this. The main characters aren’t particularly likable, which was a bit of a problem for me and the writing was choppy in some of the scenes. However, despite a few OTT moments (which are not uncommon in most thrillers), this is a gripping read that does not disappoint as far as thrills go! Suspend your disbelief, don’t overthink it and enjoy the ride! Many thanks to NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company for the digital review copy of this novel. All opinions expressed in this review are my own. This book is due for release on May 17, 2022.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Luvtoread

    Crazy, Horrifyingly Good Thrill Ride! Tom, his new wife, Heather and Tom's two children have traveled to Australia for Tom's medical conference and hope to see much of the exotic wildlife that only Australia has. The family has the the opportunity (for a price) to see the koalas, kangaroos, exotic birds and other animals on a private secluded island so they say "Why Not?" The kids are ecstatic although Heather has her reservations but they take the old ferry over anyway. This will now become the Crazy, Horrifyingly Good Thrill Ride! Tom, his new wife, Heather and Tom's two children have traveled to Australia for Tom's medical conference and hope to see much of the exotic wildlife that only Australia has. The family has the the opportunity (for a price) to see the koalas, kangaroos, exotic birds and other animals on a private secluded island so they say "Why Not?" The kids are ecstatic although Heather has her reservations but they take the old ferry over anyway. This will now become the biggest mistake of their lives because unknown to the family once they step foot on that island there will be No Going Back! This book was crazy good! A reminder combination of the movies " Wolf Creek", "Deliverance" and some other raw and unforgiving films where the horror of certain types of humans was just relentless. The pacing of the story was excellent as it starts out calmly and cutesy but it just builds and builds and never stops. The characters were all well-developed especially Heather who had an unusual background growing up so she was naive in many ways of the world yet she had unseen talents she never knew that they would make her a force to be reckoned with. The island itself was unimaginable with the type of people who lived there. Just for the record they were not inbred cannibals! This story was a " One Way Ticket To Hell." I thought the tension, danger, the adrenalin rush from the thrill ride was unbelievably terrifying and Fun! Were there some cheesy moments at times? Yes! So what! Doesn't every horror movie have cheesy lines? Yes,Always! The excitement and originality of the story was fantastic. Every time there was a breather then there would be another twist and more danger over and over. There were many mixed reviews for this book and I just. think certain readers didn't understand or appreciate the psychology behind this story and that's okay since everyone is entitled to their own opinions but I thought this book was a great combination of a horror and an adventure thrill ride rolled into one. Be prepared for extreme violence bloody gore, animal harm, profanity etc. This book is not for kids! This was my first book by "Adrian McKinty" but I can't wait to read more of his books. I want to thank the publisher "Little Brown and Company" and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this terrifying book and any thoughts or opinions expressed are unbiased and mine alone! I highly recommend this book to any reader who enjoys a captivating thriller and given a rating of 4 1/2 HORRIFYING AND SATISFYING 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌠 STARS

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*

    EXCERPT: A crow with a sceptical yellow eye was watching her from the lightning struck eucalyptus tree. The crow was death. If it called out, she was dead. If it flew toward Jacko and he turned to look, she was dead. The crow observed her with a half-turned head. She crawled through the brittle grass, reached the tree trunk, stopped, and caught her breath. She wiped the sweat from her forehead with the bottom of her t-shirt. She sucked the moisture from the shirt as best she could. She composed EXCERPT: A crow with a sceptical yellow eye was watching her from the lightning struck eucalyptus tree. The crow was death. If it called out, she was dead. If it flew toward Jacko and he turned to look, she was dead. The crow observed her with a half-turned head. She crawled through the brittle grass, reached the tree trunk, stopped, and caught her breath. She wiped the sweat from her forehead with the bottom of her t-shirt. She sucked the moisture from the shirt as best she could. She composed herself for a minute then crept past the tree until she reached the edge of the heath. There was nothing now but beach between her and Jacko. No vegetation. No cover. There wasn't much point in crawling any more. Slowly, ever so slowly, she got to her feet. Carefully, she moved the machete from her left to her right hand. It was a heavy old thing, caked with rust. She gripped the split wooden handle and hoped it wouldn't fall to pieces when she swung it. Steadying herself, she cautiously advanced. She had killed before - salmon, trout, duck. This was different, though, wasn't it? Very different. This was a human being. ABOUT 'THE ISLAND': After moving from a small country town to Seattle, Heather Baxter marries Tom, a widowed doctor with a young son and teenage daughter. A working vacation overseas seems like the perfect way to bring the new family together, but once they're deep in the Australian outback, the jet-lagged and exhausted kids are so over their new mom. When they discover a remote Dutch Island, off-limits to outside visitors, the family talks their way onto the ferry, taking a chance on an adventure far from the reach of iPhones and Instagram. But as soon as they set foot on the island, which is run by a tightly knit clan of locals, everything feels wrong. Then a shocking accident propels the Baxters from an unsettling situation into an absolute nightmare. When Heather and the kids are separated from Tom, they are forced to escape alone, seconds ahead of their pursuers. Now it's up to Heather to save herself and the kids, even though they don't trust her, the harsh bushland is filled with danger, and the locals want her dead. Heather has been underestimated her entire life, but she knows that only she can bring her family home again and become the mother the children desperately need, even if it means doing the unthinkable to keep them alive. MY THOUGHTS: Believe all the hype! This is better than good. It's brilliant. It's not often an author has me physically jumping out of my skin, but Adrian McKinty did it with The Island. He kept me breathless and on the edge of my seat, eager to know what was going to happen next. Even as I write this, my heart is still pounding, my mind still buzzing. I didn't like Heather's character much in the beginning, but she really comes into her own as the book progresses, as do her two spoiled stepchildren, Olivia and Owen. The least said about Tom, their father, the better. I was quickly fully immersed in the storyline, and became very vocal about the choices the family made. 'What are you thinking?', 'Don't do that!', and 'Noooooo!' issued from my lips at full volume as I paced and raged. The pacing is fast, the writing both tense and intense. McKinty has a knack for putting the reader inside his characters heads, and believe me, with these characters that's a scary place to be. Especially Ma. She scared the living daylights out of me and I would trust a venomous King Brown snake more than her. McKinty has created a very strong sense of place, interesting characters and a riveting plot. Mela Lee narrated superbly. The Island earns the full galaxy of stars from me. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #TheIsland #NetGalley I: #adrianmckinty @hachetteaudio @littlebrown T: @adrianmckinty @HachetteAudio @littlebrown #audiobook #contemporaryfiction #familydrama #fivestarread #suspense #thriller THE AUTHOR: Adrian McKinty is an Irish novelist. He was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and grew up in Victoria Council Estate, Carrickfergus, County Antrim. He read law at the University of Warwick and politics and philosophy at the University of Oxford. He moved to the United States in the early 1990s, living first in Harlem, New York and from 2001 on, in Denver, Colorado, where he taught high school English and began writing fiction. He lives in Melbourne, Australia with his wife and two children. DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Hachette, Little Brown and Company via Netgalley for providing an audio ARC of The Island by Adrian McKinty, narrated by Mela Lee. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com This review and others are also published on Twitter, Instagram, Amazon and my webpage https://sandysbookaday.wordpress.com/...

  18. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    What was supposed to be a fun filled Australian family holiday rapidly becomes a horror filled nightmare and a fight for survival. Seattle orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Tom Baxter thought it would be fun to take his new wife, 24 year old Heather and his two children along with him on a work trip to Australia. The children, 14 year old Olivia and 12 year old Owen are still missing their mother who had only died a year ago and have yet to bond with their new step mother. A holiday would also help Heathe What was supposed to be a fun filled Australian family holiday rapidly becomes a horror filled nightmare and a fight for survival. Seattle orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Tom Baxter thought it would be fun to take his new wife, 24 year old Heather and his two children along with him on a work trip to Australia. The children, 14 year old Olivia and 12 year old Owen are still missing their mother who had only died a year ago and have yet to bond with their new step mother. A holiday would also help Heather get used to suddenly becoming the stepmother of two adolescents. After a few days in Sydney and then Uluru, the family arrive in Melbourne where Heather and the kids are staying in a house at the beach while Tom is at a medical conference where he is a keynote speaker. On his day off they decide to drive down the Mornington Peninsula hoping to see some Australian animals in the wild. However, they arrive at the coast without seeing a single kangaroo or koala. When a couple of men, clearly brothers, tell them that Dutch Island, just across the bay, where their family the O’Neills live, has plenty of wild kangaroos and penguins, Tom offers them a large sum to take them across there. The men agree to ferry them over, along with a Dutch couple, Hans and Petra, who ask to come along, but only if they agree not go anywhere near the farmhouse in the middle of the island where their family lives and to be back in 45 minutes to be ferried back to the mainland. Once on the island, the Baxters have a terrible accident and with no mobile phone reception decide to leave the island and report it to police on the mainland, but before they can leave the O'Neill brothers find out and decide to hold them hostage along with Hans and Petra until Ma, the head of the O’Neill family, decides what to do about the accident. The tourists feel safe going with the brothers – this is Australia after all, what could possibly happen to them? What happens next is a thrilling, heart pounding fight for survival. With the women and children separated from the men it’s up to Heather to step up and use all her resources and life skills to keep the kids safe and for them put their trust in her. The tension is palpable with each twist and cliffhanger pushing it higher until you need to stop to take a breath. Well written with great characters, vividly drawn Australian landscapes and a chilling, intense dynamo of a plot. Hold on to the edge of your seats – this is Australian noir at its best! With thanks to Little, Brown and Company via Netgalley for a copy to read. Original review first published in Mystery & Suspense Magazine https://www.mysteryandsuspense.com/th...

  19. 4 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    3.5 Survivor meets Deliverance on a Australian island. So much can change in a year.For Heather it is a big change as she is now married to a man 20 years her senior, has two sullen stepchildren, which is why she is hoping this trip to Australia might bring the family together. They are all little prepared for the terror that follows. Word to the wise. Might not be a good idea not to give in to children when they demand a side trip to an island that visitors are warned to avoid. Also, one never k 3.5 Survivor meets Deliverance on a Australian island. So much can change in a year.For Heather it is a big change as she is now married to a man 20 years her senior, has two sullen stepchildren, which is why she is hoping this trip to Australia might bring the family together. They are all little prepared for the terror that follows. Word to the wise. Might not be a good idea not to give in to children when they demand a side trip to an island that visitors are warned to avoid. Also, one never knows when skills from the past will prove integral in times of danger. Fast paced and chilling. ARC from Netgalley.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tracy

    I was mesmerized by McKinty's 'The Chain' and have to say the 'The Island' was just as mesmerizing. When Heather Baxter marries Tom - a much older widower father with a teen daughter and young son - she is thrilled. Tom has a very successful practice as a busy Orthopedic surgeon and she thinks she has hit the jackpot. First meeting him when he came to her as a client while working in her capacity as a Massage Therapist, then dating, and ultimately marrying him. She now thought she would finally h I was mesmerized by McKinty's 'The Chain' and have to say the 'The Island' was just as mesmerizing. When Heather Baxter marries Tom - a much older widower father with a teen daughter and young son - she is thrilled. Tom has a very successful practice as a busy Orthopedic surgeon and she thinks she has hit the jackpot. First meeting him when he came to her as a client while working in her capacity as a Massage Therapist, then dating, and ultimately marrying him. She now thought she would finally have the life she had never dreamed was in her realm of possibilities. She has the beautiful house and all the luxuries she could ever want. There is only one problem....his children view her as trying to replace their mother and are unrelenting in their disrespect and glaring resentment at every opportunity. Embarking on a working vacation in Australia with her new family, she is hopeful this might be the answer to bringing them all closer together as they share this new adventure. After they make the mistake of bribing their way onto a privately owned island to see sought after animal life - and run by a close-knit, secretive family that does not take kindly to strangers snooping around - they never could have imagined that life as they knew it would change in ways not even nightmares are made of. When Heather finds herself as the sole person fighting to not only get the children - who mistrust and dislike her - off the island, but keep them alive long enough to do so, no one is more amazed than herself at just what she is capable of accomplishing. She pushes herself beyond any limits she would have previously thought possible - both mentally and physically - in her pursuit to outsmart and outrace a family with numerous members who are hunting them down in a passionate quest at preventing their departure (alive) from the island. The excitement and thrills are some of the most pulse-pounding and jaw-dropping I have encountered. This kept me on-edge from start to finish and I could not get enough of the this unputdownable suspense and action-packed story. * End note: I was enthralled when I read in McKinty's acknowledgements that his publisher told him he had his next novel. This, after Adrian told him about a close call he and his wife had while on vacation exploring an island - which was also off the beaten path. They actually almost hit (I believe) a blind person - and McKinty half jokingly told his wife that if they had hit the person they would never be leaving the island. More proof that authors do (much of) their best and most accomplished work when they write about personal experience(s) and/or knowledge.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Virginie

    After having a terrible accident on a private island in Australia, four members of a family have to unite their forces to save their lives. If you enjoy fast-paced novels and plots centered on survival in the nature, you will love this one! Personally, it wasn't my cup of tea. I love suspenseful stories, but I needed something more. I got tired of the chase in the bushland and I would have liked to have more details on the family living on the island and on Heather's past. The Island is going to After having a terrible accident on a private island in Australia, four members of a family have to unite their forces to save their lives. If you enjoy fast-paced novels and plots centered on survival in the nature, you will love this one! Personally, it wasn't my cup of tea. I love suspenseful stories, but I needed something more. I got tired of the chase in the bushland and I would have liked to have more details on the family living on the island and on Heather's past. The Island is going to entertain a lot of readers, but I still preferred Mckinty's last book, The Chain. Many thanks to Netgalley and Little, Brown and Company for the ARC. Pub Date 17 May 2022

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sheri

    An action-filled page-turner!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    A very good, heart-pounding, scary, twisty tale of suspense and survival from the author of The Chain. Though The Chain was much hyped, I liked this book way more! I think it is an even better showcase for author Adrien McKinty’s unique talents of description, characterization, and completely bananas high-stakes twisty plotting. This book is Lord of the Flies meets Taken with some Lost and Yellowjackets in the mix. And at the same time as all that, it’s completely its own unique story and one th A very good, heart-pounding, scary, twisty tale of suspense and survival from the author of The Chain. Though The Chain was much hyped, I liked this book way more! I think it is an even better showcase for author Adrien McKinty’s unique talents of description, characterization, and completely bananas high-stakes twisty plotting. This book is Lord of the Flies meets Taken with some Lost and Yellowjackets in the mix. And at the same time as all that, it’s completely its own unique story and one that, even though the starting plot is familiar, quickly becomes an experience unlike anything I’ve read before. If I’ve learned one thing from reading thriller books this past year, it’s this: if you’re on vacation in an exotic land, and a person you’ve just met offers you a private ferry ride to a beautiful secluded island? DO NOT GO WITH THEM! Alas, 24-year-old new bride Heather, her much older husband Tom, and her two teenage stepchildren Owen and Olivia have not read enough thrillers, because they never learned this lesson. So, when the family accompanies Tom to Australia for a conference and a friendly stranger offers them a quick ferry to a beautiful island with koalas, naturally they go with him even though there is apparently no public access to the island and no way off the island other than with this sketchy stranger. Needless to say, big mistake. HUGE. It’s hard to write a review for this because I don’t want to give too much away, but immediately upon their arrival to the island something pretty shocking happens. To describe this book I’d say it’s part thriller, part survival story, and part twisty domestic thriller, but that really doesn’t give you the full flavor of what makes this book great. The bulk of the what makes this book so exceptional in this crowded genre comes with the character development. Heather is at first blush a very flawed character who you may not like much, who is ambivalent about her new family and step kids, and who appears to make some questionable decisions. But as the book progresses and as you learn more and more about Heather and her unusual family, you realize that our heroine is uniquely equipped for this particular terrifying moment and the chase that follows. She has, as Liam Neeson would say, a very particular set of skills, and they will shock, delight and surprise you. Now, I am not usually one for island survivalist stories. But island survival while being chased by an entire island of eccentric psychopaths? With a heroic crew including one brilliant autistic kid, one brilliant depressed kid, and one brilliant bad-ass reluctant 24-year old stepmother? YES YES, sign me up. The characters are unique, wonderful and realistic. And my goodness the villains (and there are many) in this book are so fun and oddball. I would love to describe them for you one but one but the way they reveal themselves is too good to spoil. There’s also an element of domestic thriller in this book, and the way the twist within the twist is revealed is so surprising and spectacular. In a sea of mediocre thrillers this year, The Island stands head and shoulders above the rest with so many satisfying twists, thrills and characters that you just know someone is going to make it into a movie. But I think the movie would have a tough time living up to prose as good as this. My highest recommendation — even if you, like me, don’t tend to love survivalist stories I highly recommend you give these wonderful characters a try. I had more fun reading this than any book I’ve read in quite awhile. Big thanks to Little, Brown, NetGalley and the author for creating such a tightly plotted, thrilling and downright cinematic experience in my brain!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Blaine

    Update 5/17/22: Reposting my review to celebrate that today is publication day!What a difference a year made. She’d been childless then, on the verge of unemployment, living in that damp apartment near Alki Beach. Now she was married and responsible for two children and about to kill a man she barely knew on a different beach on the far side of the world. She took three more careful steps and raised the machete.Thanks to NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company for sending me an ARC of The Island i Update 5/17/22: Reposting my review to celebrate that today is publication day!What a difference a year made. She’d been childless then, on the verge of unemployment, living in that damp apartment near Alki Beach. Now she was married and responsible for two children and about to kill a man she barely knew on a different beach on the far side of the world. She took three more careful steps and raised the machete.Thanks to NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company for sending me an ARC of The Island in exchange for an honest review. A year ago, Heather married a surgeon named Tom. He was recently widowed, and his two tween kids—Olivia and Owen—are not happy about their new stepmother. Attempting to try to bond with them, Heather suggests they accompany Tom on a business trip to Australia. One thing leads to another and soon the four of them and a Dutch couple are trapped on a small, deserted island with a murderous family determined to kill them. Suffice to say that The Island is kinda absurd. The characters are all fairly simple. Heather has a unique backstory that gives her the uncommon survivalist skills to perhaps survive. The evolution of the relationship between Heather and the kids was predictable. Tom’s backstory was mildly surprising but only just. And every time the story dropped a clue about how the book would end it landed like a neon anvil screaming “this is a clue that will be very important for the ending!” But lots of absurd things are fun, and The Island is certainly fun. The plot kicks off with a dramatic flash forward and rarely takes its foot off the gas. The Dutch couple added an interesting dynamic, and what happens to Hans was creepy cool. There’s death and mayhem, who’s the cat and who’s the mouse flips more than once, and loads of adrenaline. The Island is in development to be a series on Hulu and I would totally watch it. Recommended. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ceecee

    Thank you to Orion Publishing for the chapter sample - this is not a full book review. I've been a big fan of the author since his brilliant Sean Duffy series, this latest looks like a winner too. The start is a tension filled cracker which then backtracks and we then understand why newly weds Heather and Tom and his children Owen and Olivia are in Australia from the USA so Tom can attend a medical conference. The children are desperate to see wildlife and so far it's been a no show on a family da Thank you to Orion Publishing for the chapter sample - this is not a full book review. I've been a big fan of the author since his brilliant Sean Duffy series, this latest looks like a winner too. The start is a tension filled cracker which then backtracks and we then understand why newly weds Heather and Tom and his children Owen and Olivia are in Australia from the USA so Tom can attend a medical conference. The children are desperate to see wildlife and so far it's been a no show on a family day out. On a lunch break they meet Matt and Jacko who live on private Dutch Island which has abundant wildlife. They persuade them to allow a few hours visit where they definitely get more than they bargain for. The scene setting is excellent and you get some colourful and vibrant descriptions of Australia with some powerful and foreboding imagery at the beginning. The island seems a fantastic location for the bulk of the novel. You do get a sense of the characters, Heather seems to have plenty of gumption and comes across as very likeable, admitting to not finding life with stepchildren a breeze. As for Tom, the jury is out as he seems rather entitled and a bit flakey but time will tell. It's very hard to judge and rate a book on a sample but the pace certainly picks up and it looks set to become an exciting thriller after a promising start and oh boy, does it end on a cliffhanger. Do I ever want to know what comes next!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Darla

    Can you hear those dueling banjos? While reading this tale of island survival, I thought of the movie "Deliverance." Sure enough, when I got to the author's note at the end, that very film was mentioned by name. That moment of connection put this book in 5-star territory for me. This is a messy, complicated, bloody story. It is a gritty, grim survival tale with a massage therapist doing the unthinkable and taking on a family who has been entrenched on an island off the coast of Victoria. A famil Can you hear those dueling banjos? While reading this tale of island survival, I thought of the movie "Deliverance." Sure enough, when I got to the author's note at the end, that very film was mentioned by name. That moment of connection put this book in 5-star territory for me. This is a messy, complicated, bloody story. It is a gritty, grim survival tale with a massage therapist doing the unthinkable and taking on a family who has been entrenched on an island off the coast of Victoria. A family of four--Tom, stepmother Heather, Olivia (14), and Owen (12) -- take a ferry over to Dutch Island to see Australian wildlife. How many will return to the mainland? You will have to read this book to find out. McKinty has once again given us a narrative with an unthinkable crisis to overcome. Thank you to Little, Brown Company and Edelweiss+ for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    A family vacation - what could go wrong? Heather, her husband Tom and his two children, Olivia and Owen traveled to Australia where Tom had a conference. A quest to see Koalas, takes them to Dutch Island, a private island off limits to visitors but when Tom greases some palms, the family is off in search of the marsupials. What could be a wonderful family bonding adventure turns into a nightmare. When separated from Tom, Heather, Olivia, Owen, and a Danish couple are left to fend for themselves in A family vacation - what could go wrong? Heather, her husband Tom and his two children, Olivia and Owen traveled to Australia where Tom had a conference. A quest to see Koalas, takes them to Dutch Island, a private island off limits to visitors but when Tom greases some palms, the family is off in search of the marsupials. What could be a wonderful family bonding adventure turns into a nightmare. When separated from Tom, Heather, Olivia, Owen, and a Danish couple are left to fend for themselves in an unforgiving terrain with the O'Neil family hot on their tracks! This felt like a mash up of Survivor, G.I. Jane, Rambo, and Deliverance. Heather is one tough cookie and is willing to do what it takes to survive. Heck, this book could also be a drinking game. Every time Heather is told "you are not my mom" take a drink. You will be soused by the time the book ends! This was a fast-paced gritty novel. It's odd, it's gritty, it's raw, it's tense, it's brutal, and it's oddly satisfying all at the same time. There are some rough scenes and some pulse pounding ones as well. I really enjoyed this one and the narrator. Thank you to Hachette Audio, Little, Brown & Company and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own. Read more of my reviews at www.openbookposts.com

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brandon Baker

    HOLY. SHIT. THAT WAS SO FUCKING STRESSFUL 😂😅 After an Australian island excursion goes horribly wrong, Heather must protect her 2 step children from an island filled with about 2 dozen people that want them dead. She will do ANYTHING to protect her family. Seriously guys, my main reaction is just: HOLY SHIT. After a pretty brief like 40-50ish page start, the next like 320 pages are non-stop, in your face, action packed madness. My anxiety was through the freaking roof!! 😂 It really never lets up. HOLY. SHIT. THAT WAS SO FUCKING STRESSFUL 😂😅 After an Australian island excursion goes horribly wrong, Heather must protect her 2 step children from an island filled with about 2 dozen people that want them dead. She will do ANYTHING to protect her family. Seriously guys, my main reaction is just: HOLY SHIT. After a pretty brief like 40-50ish page start, the next like 320 pages are non-stop, in your face, action packed madness. My anxiety was through the freaking roof!! 😂 It really never lets up. It was also just really refreshing to read a thriller where the main character wasn’t totally helpless or clueless. She gave as much as she got and I loved her for it 😂 My ONLY complaint, is that the ending is a little rushed. After 320+ pages of non-stop action, the story wraps up in just a few pages. I really liked The Chain by the same author, but agree with the general consensus that the second half wasn’t as good as the first, but this book did not suffer from the same problem. The book was just so intense and gripping that I can’t fault it for those last 2 pages. Seriously, it was non-freaking-stop. HIGHLY recommend if you want to read a high octane, explosive thriller! Obligatory TWs for animal death. This was also just in general a lot more bloody and gorey than The Chain was, so just a heads up

  29. 4 out of 5

    Susanne

    Sheer Insanity and Non-Stop Action. Heather, her husband Tom, and his two kids, vacation in Australia. While out on a day trip driving around, an accident occurs and Heather and Tom make a split decision that changes everything. It’s a mistake, of course, a bad one at that! From that point forward, the family is running for their lives and I mean running! A thrill ride a minute, this novel will keep you flipping pages as fast and furiously as possible. This book kind of gave me agita for the simpl Sheer Insanity and Non-Stop Action. Heather, her husband Tom, and his two kids, vacation in Australia. While out on a day trip driving around, an accident occurs and Heather and Tom make a split decision that changes everything. It’s a mistake, of course, a bad one at that! From that point forward, the family is running for their lives and I mean running! A thrill ride a minute, this novel will keep you flipping pages as fast and furiously as possible. This book kind of gave me agita for the simple fact that my pulse was pounding throughout and the pace was lightning fast. 3.5 Stars A buddy read with Kaceey that kept us gripped to our kindles. Thank you to Little Brown and Company for the arc via NetGalley. Published on Goodreads.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kelsi

    I don’t even know what to say. Take your four stars and go scare someone else with your f’d up story, Mr. McKinty.

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