Cover Image: The Island

The Island

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Member Reviews

This was a pretty dark book and I guess I shouldn't have been surprised after The Chain. I felt like this was much more brutal and scary in a different way. I didn't care for any of the characters so it made it a more difficult read for me personally. It reminded me of a horror movie but not one I would watch again.

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Ahhhh this was a good one!! I love a mystery/thriller involving a vacation gone wrong. Very good and well written! Loved the narrator of the audiobook also!

*Thank you @hachetteaudio for the audiobook in exchange for an honest review.*

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Whilst on holiday, Heather, her new husband Tom, and Tom’s children get the opportunity to go to exclusive remote island.
They’re excited for the adventure but soon after they arrive they’re involved in a terrible accident.
Heather and the children are separated from Tom and the islanders want revenge.
The three must escape the locals, who want them dead.

This is the definition of an edge of your seat read. There’s a couple of chapters before the family arrive on the island and then it’s go go go.

It’s quite gruesome in places which I struggled with to be honest and that’s usual for me and I can’t put my finger on why that aspect didn’t work for me.

From about 80% the twists come and they don’t stop coming!
One of them I kind of saw coming but the others were a surprise which is the best part of a good thriller!

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DNF. Couldn't get into this book, this book just wasn't for me, sadly. Thank you for approving me and I'm sorry I didn't enjoy the book.

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This book managed to deliver some totally bananas scenarios whilst also dwelling over small movements and an almost halted pace, in other areas. I felt on unsure footing with it and although it remained, overall, a solid thriller, some disconnect had formed between myself and the characters and unfurling events.

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I don't know. This one just didn't feel... feasible. Feasible at any rate. I didn't really have any feelings toward the characters at all, much unlike how I felt when reading The Chain. I know Adrian McKinty does well with a plot developing in one location, but this one wasn't as strong for me. Once getting to the plot point about Owen and the reasoning for his mental wall, it felt a little disjointed from what else was happening and had happened prior to that moment.

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Intense , gripping, great pounding thriller, Mckinty has done it again! 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.

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I didn't really like this as much as I expected to. The mystery was kinda clear cut, the plot was predictable and the characters were bland. There were a few tense moments I really liked, though. I may check out another book by McKinty at some point.

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Unfortunately this didn't hit the mark for me.

I love thrillers when they are gory, scary and intelligent, and especially when they feel like they could easily be happening to you or someone you love. The Island isn't that kind of book. I found it to be more of a fast-paced action story. While that in itself doesn't make it a bad book, there were some aspects I just couldn't abide.

I read one review that described it as Die Hard on an island, and that feels incredibly accurate except that this story was so laden with cheese that it made Die Hard look like a serious drama. Let me give a couple of examples:

"If he so much as farts in my direction, shoot him the way I showed you."
"Why had he listened to Heather? She was a Millennial. She didn't know anything."
"Hit the deck kids, it's a drone! "
"We've walked in to some kind of weapons testing site!"
"Live little mosquito, go lay your eggs."
"Killer and victim united. I wonder what their ghosts are talking about?"

The clumsy and schlocky dialogue really turned me off what could have been a decent plot. I really wish McKinty had given a more believable and detailed backstory to the island and the characters, that would have gone a long way to helping me suspend disbelief.

I also struggled with the way Heather was able to near instantly morph into a fearless hero trained in complex survivalist methods. Not only did she understand high powered weaponry, she could also lift dead bodies without effort, survive gun shot wounds without complication, decipher the meaning behind ancient cave symbols and be an all-around MacGyver with a pen knife.

It became very repetitive and even though I was driven to see what happened in the end, it felt like a drag on my time. I wouldn't recommend this one.

Oh and any audiobook publishers or producers reading this - please don't include sound effects in your recordings. Please. Just don't do it.

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Once again, Adrian McKinty has written a wild ride of a novel! I was hooked right from the beginning with the constant building of suspense creeping up and up the entire time!

Recently married, Heather accompanies her husband, Tom Baxter, and two step children, Olivia and Owen, on a trip to Australia for a work conference Tom was attending. Before the conference, they had spent some time exploring various cities to sightsee as much as they could. With the promise of seeing koalas, the Baxters ferry out to Dutch Island. The island is inhabited by a secluded family that does not take kindly to tourists. Soon after arriving on the island, an unfortunate accident leads to dire consequences, turning their sightseeing excursion into a run for survival.

I was given the opportunity to listen to the audiobook for this novel. The narration was clear and well done. As the book progressed there were added sound effects which I am assuming was to help make the story a listening experience, however, the sound effects seemed to increase later on in the story, and there was one point where it was a bit of an overload and was more distracting than helpful.

Overall. The Island is action packed and a bit of a different pace for me from domestic thrillers. It was highly plot driven and engaging, making a reader not want to stop until finding out what was going to transpire and whether the Baxter family would find their way to safety.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

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The Chain is one of my favorite thrillers, so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Adrian McKinty’s next book.

The Island is all about the chase. When Tom Baxter commits a hit-and-run on a private island, the locals track the Baxters down and demand justice. Their desire for justice is somewhat of the eye-for-an-eye variety, rather than getting the police involved. When Heather and the children escape, the chase begins as the locals attempt to track them down. These scenes were very well written–tense and exciting, with the parch, barren Australian outback as a backdrop.

I’m not sure if the author was trying to make a point about white tourists acting entitled to Indigenous lands, but it certainly came across that way at the beginning. Tom throws money at a local in order to take his kids to their private island to see some wildlife, instead of going to a wildlife preserve like the rest of the tourists. Once they arrive on this private island, they’re pissed that wildlife is wild and that they can’t find any. And then they kill a woman, and decide to run.

After that, the plot sort of veers away from this point, and the locals are painted as hicks and barbarians. It almost seems like they tricked the Baxters into coming to their island in hopes they would mess up, so that they would get the pleasure of being able to hunt them down.

Perhaps none of these points were intended, and the book is really just about the thrill of the chase. It certainly was fast-paced and enjoyable. I thought Heather was a great MC for the most part, doing her best to keep the children safe and get them off the island in one piece. I didn't love it as much as I loved The Chain, but it was still an entertaining thriller.

Audio Review: This audio production was a lot of fun. Macmillan Audio used a handful of cool background effects, like the nature noises and gunshots, to really add to the effect of the story and draw the reader in. It was very smooth and well done, in my opinion.

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A family decides to visit a remote Australian island in search of some koalas ... what could possibly go wrong? Turns out everything. Adrian McKinty's new novel The Island, soon to be a Hulu TV series, brings the treacherous side of the Australian outback to readers full-force in a propulsive action-packed thriller about literally running for your life. Perfect for fans of pulse-pounding survival stories with a touch of horror mixed in, The Island will have you on the edge of your seat as you race through its pages.

When Tom Baxter, a doctor, visits Australia for a medical conference, his new wife Heather, much his junior, and two kids tag along in hopes of some family bonding. Or, at least, that's what Heather, the novel's narrator, was praying this trip would bring. Turns out her stepkids want nothing to do with her, which is why she throws her support behind them when they plead with their dad to take them out in the Australian outback in search of some exotic animals.

But what was supposed to be a quest for the perfect selfie with some adorable critters quickly turns into a nightmare when Heather, Tom, and the kids venture onto the isolated Dutch Island, which is inhabited by a strange family. As the Baxters are exploring the island, a tragedy happens and they soon find themselves caught up in a dangerous situation with unpredictable people. Before they know it, they are on the run with a crazed group of people hot on their heels in a deadly game of cat and mouse. Will they make it off Dutch Island alive?

McKinty's The Island packs a punch and takes no prisoners. This fast-paced, intense read combines instinct, combat, and survivalist strategies to deliver a family through a nightmare come to life. Not light on the horror or the gore, this unflinching novel is best enjoyed by readers who love books that both thrill and chill.

I personally enjoyed the first part of the book before the Baxters are under attack more than the latter chapters of the novel, which focus intently on outwitting the enemy. However, readers who enjoy books that are packed with action will have no qualms about this explosive read.

I listened to an audiobook production of this book narrated by Mela Lee. While there was nothing standout about Lee's performance, her narration held my attention and didn't distract me from the story. I did appreciate some of the sound effects that were included in the audiobook, such as gunshots and rain, as it made the narration feel more authentic; however, they were sparsely used, so it did at times feel random when a sound effect popped up.

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I received. Free arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was an okay read. There was a lot of action. Some of it believable and some a little far fetched. Some of it was very predictable but it flowed pretty well.

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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 profile page or the about page on

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Instagram, Amazon and my webpage

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3.5 rounded to 4

"Be not afraid; the Isle is full of noises, sounds and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not."
Willam Shakespeare, The Tempest 1611

Well this book was certainly a wild ride. I was hesitant to read this one because when I read The Chain by Adrian McKinley, it wasn't my favorite... but everyone deserves a second chance, so I took the leap. This book is told in the third person and kinda hops around between POVs, but mainly focuses on Heather and the Kids, Owen and Olivia. I really loved the character development with Heather and her relationship with not only the kids but herself as well... the experience made her believe in herself again and it was good to read about.

The writing style was very different in this one., and sometimes confusing following along. I did really love though how the author described in detail how being stranded on an island with native people would be like... made you feel like you were there with them. I also really loved reading about Australia and the indigenous people who lived on the island (Bunurong) on which he took inspiration from.

Overall this book was ok. I liked the plot and the characters, but the writing style and the pace kinda threw me off a little. Great of fans of stranded island mysteries.

Thank you to Little Brown and Company, Hachette Audio, Netgalley and Adrian McKinty of an arc of this book and audiobook in exchange for an honest review !

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If there is a book that I want to be converted into a movie, it is this one! I had heard about Adrian McKinty's The Chain and have it on my TBR but if it is half as good as this, I'll have found a new favourite author!

<b>The Story:</b>
Heather is a massage therapist in the US. She is married to Thomas, a doctor. This is his second marriage and he has two children from the first aged 14 and 12.

Thomas, Heather, and the children go to Australia for a medical conference Thomas is attending. They plan to spend the off-days on vacation.

On one such outing, the family comes across some people who say that they can take them to a private island for some exotic sightseeing. 12 wants to see koalas and kangaroos, so off they go to this island which is prohibited to outsiders.

Once they reach the island, the story takes a bizarre turn, thus putting Heather's family straight in the line of fire. Will she, a small-town masseur, be able to escape the island with her family?

<b>The Positives:</b>
1. The speed
The story moves at breakneck speed. The twists and turns come along at a fast rate, shoving us along the road.

2. The story
The story moves fast, true. But the author does not forsake the story for speed. He builds up the characters well and shows us their motivations even before they face any kind of danger.

3. Heather
Now, I love a strong female protagonist and Heather is one of the best.

4. Creepy vibe
If you have seen the movie, Wrong Turn, you will know how creepy it feels to be roaming in a forested area. It always seems as if someone is watching us. This book had that vibe. There was some gore but not very graphic.

<b>The Negatives:</b>

Nothing. I loved this book.

As I said, I want a movie out of this book (and please follow the book). I listened to the audiobook and the narrator, Mela Lee, was delightful and the book was interspersed with background sounds that made it all sound more authentic. Like, there were gunshot sounds when someone was shooting in the book and so on.

4.5 stars.

Thanks to Netgalley and Hachette Audio for the audio ARC.

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Absolutely brilliant read, one of my faves this year. Thrilling, on the edge of my seat the whole time. Will 100% be made into a film I'd reckon. Character development fantastic. Story engaging and exciting! Haven't had chance yet to read The Chain even though I've had it on my shelf for forever, going straight to it now, given how much I loved this. A proper smasher!

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How far would you go to save your family?
A work trip from Seattle to Australia is the perfect time for this new family to bond. Heather has been with widowed Tom for just about a year and recently married. His young son, Owen and teenage daughter, Olivia aren't big fans of Heather. In an attempt to win them over, Heather talks their way onto a ferry to a remote Dutch island that's off-limits to visitors. After a tragic accident, the island locals want blood. Getting separated from Tom, Heather and the kids stay seconds ahead of their pursuers. Will Heather be able to save them or will the locals get the blood the seek?
I flew through this thriller, picking it up every chance I got! After reading The Chain, I couldn't wait to dive into this Adrian McKinty novel and was not disappointed. I was constantly on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next. I read the e-book and listened to the audiobook; I highly recommend either. This is the first audiobook that I've come across that had sound effects to go along with the story and I absolutely loved it! I also feel that the narrator, Mela Lee, did an excellent job portraying each character. I am so excited to see what Hulu does with this as it will soon be a Hulu Original Series! I will definitely be recommending this to my fellow thriller lovers and impatiently awaiting another release from Adrian McKinty!
I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

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Loved. Loved. Loved. Holy crap what a wild ride. I was a fan of the first novel The Chain, so I expected to love this one as well. Just 100 times yes. If you want a thriller that is outside of the norm, welcome to your new fave. Great new and different ideas, away from the dumb, alcoholic, female protagonist, I could not have loved this more.

Adrian, I will read and listen to whatever you write. So keep writing these out of the norm thrillers.

5 stars from me. First book was 5 stars as well.

Also, I listened to parts of this as well. Fantastic narrator and the atmosphere was so thick you could cut it with a knife. Great job!

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I was such a fan of The Chain that I jumped at a chance to read this one. And it seems night and day to it, I did really like it. Something about it gave me No Exit vibes. Maybe it is the description of violence and the take no prisoners attitude. This is not for the weak of heart as it is intense. It lulls you into a family vacation and turns deadly.

I really liked Mela Lee’s narration but was a little put off by sound effects in very small places in the audiobook. Personally I’m not a fan of these effects, but they were in a very small part of the book and it threw me when they’d happen.

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