The Island by Adrian McKinty
5/17/22; 384 pages
Little, Brown and Company
The Island by Adrian McKinty is a highly recommended survival thriller set in Australia.
After the death of his wife, surgeon Tom Baxter married
24-year-old massage therapist Heather. His two children,
14-year-old Olivia and 12-year-old Owen aren't thrilled with now
having Heather taking over caring for them and view her as too
young to be a real mom. Tom is the keynote speaker at a medical
conference in Melbourne, Australia, and the whole family has
accompanied him, making the trip a short vacation. When the kids
keep demanding to go see kangaroos and koalas, Tom rents a car and
they go in search of wildlife.
While taking a break and eating at a roadside stand, they meet
two members of the O'Neil family who say that the private island they live on has plenty of Koalas. The kids want to go, and Tom, along with a Danish couple,
paying a large sum of money to take
their private ferry to the island. The Baxter's realize that
something is wrong on the island, and after a horrible accident
they are taken prisoner by the O'Neil family and brought before
who will decide their fate. Suddenly circumstances leave them
fighting for their lives. Both Heather and the kids must work
together to use all their skills and intelligence if they want to
survive and get off the island.
The first thing I though while reading was that this was Deliverance set in the outback. It is an uncivilized, frightening, harsh plot that moves at a rapid tumultuous pace with brutality at every turn. The danger can come from both human and nature. Neither the hunters nor the hunted will accept failure. McKinty includes intermingled among the attention grabbing action some earnest thoughts about human existence, spirituality and meditation.
There is no doubt that this is an intense, compelling,
thriller that will hold your complete attention throughout the
novel, however you also need to set aside some disbelief to fully
enjoy the experience. Sometimes setting aside your incredulity and going
with the action is the best way to appreciate a novel and that approach
will work well with The Island.