[BLOG TOUR: REVIEW & EXCERPT] The Island (The Island #1) by Jen Minkman

Title: The Island
Author: Jen Minkman
Series: The Island #1
Publisher: CreateSpace
Date of Release: June 1st 2013
Pages: 138
Source: *Received from Author in exchange for an honest review*

“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?

Mysteries, lies and rules with a dash of inspiration from Star Wars, this story is both intriguing and chilling. The cover is simple however highlights the important aspect of the story of how they are very isolated and waiting for someone else to cross the deserted sea.

There are two lives you can life; a Fools or an Unbelievers. The Unbelievers are sent away from their parents at the age of ten, to fend for themselves and gain independence. They are then to marry and move back to the village where they may meet their parents again. However, the Fools side is a mystery; living behind the wall their life has been classed as tough and those who cross will never be at one with the Force. But what happens when the lies come crashing down on the Unbelievers?

Leia describes herself to not be a person who only needs to know the basics, however I found that from her actions she could be quite nosy, but for the right reasons. Additionally, she is also a strong character whom will always try to do the right thing, with others in mind.

I loved to learn about the Fools, how their life was different than the Unbelievers you got to see a true comparison enabling you to come up with your own conclusions. However, I found the population of Leia's town rather strange as there were only two hundred of them compared to the thousand on the other side of the wall. I did find the importance of their Book very interesting and the way only the leader was allowed to read it added a strong presence of how the strongest rules out everyone... even The Parents don't get involved!
This is a short quick story but is definitely worth the read as it will provide a strange and different take on the Star Wars stories. I look forward to reading the second book in the series: The Wave.

THE FIRST memory I have of my grandfather is of a moment that we share together.
I’m sitting on his knee looking out over the harbor. Grandpa is smoking a pipe. He points at the horizon. “Look, Walt. Our ships are out there. And one day, another even more beautiful ship will appear at the horizon. A mighty ship to take us all away.”
“Where to, Grandpa?” I ask curiously.
He remains quiet. “No one knows exactly,” he says at last, “but that doesn’t make it any less fantastic. One day, that ship will come in. And Annabelle will be on the prow with open arms, inviting us all to come on board.”
The Goddess with black hair waving in the wind, as portrayed on the biggest wall of our temple.
“Why don’t we sail to her ourselves?” I want to know.
“Because she promised she would come,” Grandpa replies. “And in that promise we trust. It’s only the Unbelievers who think they can do everything themselves. They have no faith in the Goddess.”

I was only five, but I still clearly remember feeling a cold shiver running through my body after hearing that last remark. Most children in Hope Harbor are scared of the stories their parents tell them about the Unbelievers: if you don’t visit the temple every week, they will get you in your sleep. If you don’t listen to the priests, they will send you out into the wilderness behind the Wall where the Unbelievers dwell, their robes of black and masks of horror a sure sign of their sinfulness. Once they sink their claws into you, there’s not a chance you will ever return.
But that was then.
I know better now – because I’ve been there, and yet I am still alive.

Jen Minkman (1978) was born in Holland, in the town of Alphen aan den Rijn. When she was 19, she moved between The Hague, Salzburg (Austria), Brussels (Belgium) and Cambridge (UK) to complete her studies in intercultural communication. She is currently a teacher of English and Dutch at a secondary school in The Hague, Holland. She tries to read at least 100 books a year (and write a few, too!). She is a published author in her own country, and translates her own books from Dutch into English for self-publication.
In her spare time, she plays the piano, the guitar and the violin. For every novel she writes, she creates a soundtrack.
>> I have always been drawn to writing. My first book was a sci-fi novel at the age of eight, which I painstakingly typed out on my dad’s typewriter and illustrated myself. Nowadays, I stick to poetry, paranormal romance, chicklit and/or fantasy. In my home country, I am the first-ever published writer of paranormal romance, and I will gradually make my books also available in English (seeing I have to re-write and translate the books myself, this will take some time!). <<

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