‘The Island’ – C.L. Taylor

As a teen I can recall an annual skiing holiday taken by my parents and their group of friends. Every year we’d spend a week abroad, the families, and be forced together. The parents would relish their time to unwind but for the kids tagging along it was a strange thing. We had little in common, but a shared experience. Each year brought the same thing, but with little differences in our interactions that reflected the fact we weren’t really friends.
Reflecting on this immediately made me empathise with the group in this story. They seemed to have closer bonds, but it is evident that they harbour secrets and that not everything is as rosy as it seems on the surface.
Our setting is a remote holiday resort…and then our group of almost-adults is packed off together to a deserted island. Unfortunately, their guide has a stroke and dies. Then they discover the starter cord to the boat has been cut and they are trapped. Their immediate plan is to hunker down on the island and wait for their parents to be alerted to their non-return before being rescued.
Unfortunately, things aren’t quite so predictable. Strange things start happening. The groups’ fears start to become reality…and they’re soon in a nightmare scenario, fighting for their lives.
Throughout, it was clear things were being manipulated but it was good fun trying to guess who was behind it. Clues were there, but the revelation – when it came- was a little odd. We knew enough to realise different behaviour in the build-up could have led to a different story. It was plausible, but not quite the tension-packed thing I was expecting.
Thanks to NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this before publication.