Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Review: The Waves (The Island #2) by Jen Minkman

Release Date: October 4, 2013
Publisher: Jen Minkman
Source: Author
Author Links: Goodreads | Twitter | Website

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. And Annabelle will be at the front deck with open arms, inviting us all to join her on board.”
“Why don’t we sail to her ourselves?” I want to know.
“Because she promised she would come,” granddad 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.”
Walt lives in Hope Harbor, an island community that has put its trust in salvation from across the sea. The townspeople wait patiently, build their ships to sail out and welcome the Goddess, and piously visit the temple every week. Horror stories to scare their children are told about the Unbelievers on the other side of Tresco.
But not all is what it seems. Walt has questions that no one can answer, and when his best friend and cousin Yorrick is killed in an accident, he digs deeper to find out the truth about the origins of Hope Harbor’s society… and the secrets of the temple.
Return to the world of The Island and discover what Walt's life was like before and after he met Leia!

I have a rule. Anytime an author emails me with an offer to review their self-published title, I ignore it.
It's a good rule.
I occasionally tend to be an ass if I don't like something, and a book is like an author's baby.
And I know what I would do to someone who was being an ass to one of my babies.
*insert Psycho shower scene music here*
Why did I make an exception to the Golden Rule? Well, I'd already reviewed Minkman's first book in this trilogy The Island, and I only gave it 3 stars. It was a weird little book that made no sense until the end, but it stuck with me. Now, I've seen authors go apeshit over reviews like the one I gave her book.
Hence, The Rule.
And I do not feel like getting cyber-stalked by some indie author with too much time on their hands.
Minkman was very....dare I say it?  about the whole thing.
So, yeah. Turns out I like this author very much.
It won't change the way I rate her books, but I thought it was only fair of me to mention it.

Ok, enough of that, it's Review Time!

* Warning: possible spoilers for The Island ahead!* 

Right off the bat, The Waves just made waaay more sense than The Island. Now, it might have been because I already knew how this society came into existence, but I don't think so.

Walt's community is much more conventional than Leia's, because it wasn't built on some kid's fan-fiction diary. On Walt's section of the island, you have the more traditional culture all around.
People worship goddesses at the temple, children are raised by parents, and there is a structured leadership in place. It's not some crazy version of Lord of the Flies.

If you've read the first book, then you already know what will happen at the end of this one.
However, this time around, you're hearing it from Walt's point of view.
No, it's not the same story. There are a few parts of the book toward the last half that match up with The Island, but other than that, you're reading something entirely fresh.

Another thing I liked about this one, was the lack of a Twilight Zone feel to it. The character's in Walt's world were more realistic, and less...feral?
Even the people I thought were going to be painted as villains, had an incredible amount of gray in their personalities, which made it more of an interesting read.
And the budding romance between Walt and Leia seemed quite a bit more fleshed out than in the first book. The whole tone was just...different, but in a good way.

My interest in this world is officially piqued, and I'm pretty excited to see where these characters end up in the last installment!


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