Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Tour + Giveaway: The Island & The Waves by Jen Minkman

The Island (The Island #1) by Jen Minkman
Published: June 1, 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian

“I walk toward the sea. The endless surface of the water extends to the horizon, whichever way I look.Our world is small. We are on our own, and we only have ourselves to depend on. We rely on the Force deep within us, as taught to us by our forefathers.
If I were to walk westward from here, I would come across a barrier – the Wall. Behind it, there are Fools. At least, that’s what everyone says.
I have never seen one.”

Leia lives on the Island, a world in which children leave their parents to take care of themselves when they are ten years old. Across this Island runs a wall that no one has ever crossed. The Fools living behind it are not amenable to reason – they believe in illusions. That’s what The Book says, the only thing left to the Eastern Islanders by their ancestors.
But when a strange man washes ashore and Leia meets a Fool face to face, her life will never be the same. Is what she and her friends believe about the Island really true?
Or is everyone in their world, in fact, a Fool?

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The Waves (The Island #2) by Jen Minkman
Published: October 4, 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian

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.

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Title: The Island
Author: Jen Minkman
Series: The Island series book 1 (novella)
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian

Leia lives on an island where children, who reaches the age of 10, are separated from their parents and live on their own. They don't rely on anyone but themselves. They live on the minor with the other children to learn how to survive. Leaving and interacting with their parents is not an option; they could only do so when they get married or leave the minor. 

In the minor, Saul is their leader. He follows and teaches what is written in the Book to everybody. However, it seems that Saul is not teaching them everything in the book and are keeping secrets himself. Is there really another world or life outside the walls? Is there another way of living other than the life they have? Leia may have been living in a world full of lies but will she be willing to let everything she knew and believe in go despite the circumstances? 

This is my very first novella series. I'm not really into novellas. Most of the novellas I read is only a short installment to a series. I was a bit uneasy with this experience because most of the novellas I read are a disappointment. They just ruin the series for you. You'll think that the author is scamming you for writing something that is totally useless and letting you buy it because you won't really get the next book if you don't. However, this book isn't like that.

The flow of the story was really good. It was great actually. This is just like your normal book compacted into a novella. The events are well connected. Though, the story progressed way too fast but it's understandable considering it's a novella. Also, the thing about the plot is that you could easily see the ending or what's going to happen. In other words, it was quite predictable.

The author used Star Wars as her basis for the story. I don't really know anything about Star Wars so it was fine with me. Although, I think I'm missing some connections. I don't recommend this to Star Wars fans because if it was me, I would be so pissed with what the author did, taking up parts of series and using it for my own story. Again, I don't know anything about it so totally fine.

On the other hand, character-wise I didn't really see any improvement or drastic change because it was way too short. Favorite characters. None, as well, because I didn't really get the much time with the characters.

Over all, fine. If you want to read something short and has some sense to it, this book is good for you.

I would like to thank Jen Minkman for providing me a copy of the book for this review.

Rating: 3.5/5

Title: The Waves
Author: Jen Minkman
Series: The Island series book 2 (novella)
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian

Walt lives in Hope Harbor, where they believe that Annabelle, their goddess, would come back for them to bring them salvation. They've waited patiently for the goddess, building ships and going to temples everyday. They are also taught to fear the Unbelievers beyond the wall. 

Walt has been questioning his faith. He believes that he is becoming an Unbeliever. After the death of his friend, it seems that not everything that they are taught is true, about Annabelle & the Unbelievers. It is up to Walt to find the truth and give himself peace & happiness. 

This novella is technically a mirror plot to the first novella. When the first book was about Leia, this one is about Walt. The first half of the book is basically about Hope Harbor and their belief while the second half is about Leia. Nothing much changed, really. You just get some insights about how Walt's people live and how he thinks.

I think this book is way better than the first one. First of all, the plot was way better than the Star Wars thing. I like this because it somehow reflects our religion & society, where corruption is present. How the head of churches use their powers to their advantage. How some believe blindly without really knowing about their religion first. Second, I think this book is well written. I think the lines were less cheesy or corny and the plot was smooth flowing. The story didn't really jump from one stone to another. You could see the improvement in both content and writing skill.

On the other hand, in the first book, there was no character improvement but now there are some changes and improvements in Walt. You could see how he struggled with himself and found the answer he was looking for.

I still think that the series is fine but you just get tired of reading the other novella, when you've read the first one. If you're really interested in Walt, this is the book for you.

I would still like to thank Jen Minkman for providing me a copy for this review.

Rating: 3.5 (This is way better than the first one but I just can't give it a 4)

About the Author:

Jen Minkman (1978) was born in Holland, in the town of Alphen aan den Rijn. When she was 19, she moved between The Hague, Salzburg (Austria), Brussels (Belgium) and Cambridge (UK) to complete her studies in intercultural communication. She is currently a teacher of English and Dutch at a secondary school in The Hague, Holland. She tries to read at least 100 books a year (and write a few, too!). She is a published author in her own country, and translates her own books from Dutch into English for self-publication.
In her spare time, she plays the piano, the guitar and the violin. For every novel she writes, she creates a soundtrack.

>> I have always been drawn to writing. My first book was a sci-fi novel at the age of eight, which I painstakingly typed out on my dad’s typewriter and illustrated myself. Nowadays, I stick to poetry, paranormal romance, chicklit and/or fantasy. In my home country, I am the first-ever published writer of paranormal romance, and I will gradually make my books also available in English (seeing I have to re-write and translate the books myself, this will take some time!). <<

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