Review: The Island by Jen Minkman

The IslandThe Island by Jen Minkman

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This will be a very short review for a very short novella. I’ll admit that I’m a little taken aback by the fact that this is essentially a Star Wars AU fanfic – in technical terming. With direct references to the characters, with the main characters having names similar to Star Wars, but it tries to wrap itself up in an original story which…it’s hard to separate the narrative when its so contingent upon the other story.

Here’s the synopsis: Siblings Leia and Luc (*side-eyes the screen*) are forced from home at the age of ten to survive in the wild on an island under a tyrannical leader. Their existence is defined by The Book, which contains information about their ancestors Luke Skywalker, Father Darth, and talks about The Force being the code they live by (there’s the utterance of “May the Force Be With You!”), even when they are to be separated from their parents and girls, like Leia, are supposed to be married off into this dystopic world. But Leia senses there’s something wrong with their leader and grows even more suspicious when a Fool (someone who lives outside their realm) comes wandering in from beyond the Wall. Leia steals “The Book” and after a series of events realizes essentially that the world and the rules they’ve been living by are all lies. Why? Because they’re based on a young boy’s abandoned book with the narrative containing the story of – you guessed it – Star Wars.

No, I’m not hiding that behind a spoiler because it’s a forgone conclusion. And yeah, that’s this story in a nutshell. It felt like a waste of time and I couldn’t get behind the narrative. Sure, there were parts of it, particularly in the beginning where it fooled me and I could say it drew me into the work, but then it threw a bone to the Star Wars leaning and the ball kept dropping from there because it was so contingent on the Star Wars references. I know there are other works that do hinge on famous movies, books, or other such things, but…really? This is no “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline. The characters were very threadbare, the romance nonexistent, the Star Wars leaning a bit silly and just…I’m still in surprise that I took an hour and some change of my time to read this. I thought it would be a better story and it just…wasn’t.

I’m sorry to say I can’t recommend this for clear reasons.

Overall score: 0.5/5

I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher.

View all my reviews

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