A little while ago I reviewed book three of Island Book not realizing I had read book three until I was into it a bit. Of course, I said, well since there are holes in the plot I need to find one and two. And I did. And some things were cleared up and other things added. The big thing I noticed was that there is a lot of foreshadowing that you might not pick up if you are reading in order. The thing I came away with from this book is that it feels a smidgen disjointed, perhaps it is a translation? Perhaps there is a theme(s) that I am missing? I am going to say my interpretation is about power and the corruption that happens. That the past is important but the now is, too. And finally there might even be a spiritual, religious theme (the character of Sola is Christ like). Two quick reviews of volume one and two are below, followed by a few questions/comments I have.
Island Book (Island Book #1) by Evan Dahm Find volumes two and three as you will want to go onto the rest of the series. As I said, I read them out of order, so I was able to see the foreshadowing, but had I read in order, it would have been an interesting story of a child who is considered different and their journey to understanding the ugly and beauty; the fears and loves of the world. As the images are the main character and the force behind the story, things move quickly but take your time. However, there is an odd build up to things, so you will need to take your time. Kids will enjoy the surface story, adults will understand the political aspects of the story arc.
The Infinite Land (Island Book #2) Book two has the “meat” of the story while the first starts us into things and volume three starts to take us out (I know this is a trilogy, but I smell a fourth story potential). Read all in one sitting. Knowing the art is as important as the minimal text. Take your time. Enjoy. This book made many of my questions about book three. The second book, for me, was maybe the most important as you see the people of The Ghost (I came to the conclusion these people were Ghost-like as they had no home but the ship, The Ghost). They are an “earthy” people (ironically as they live on the ocean), but literally “go with the flow” and do what is right, not for themselves, or for others they care about, but because it is the right thing. They are a true democracy (one person with one vote) but also, individuals. I do not think kids will see past the surface story of Sola and her friends journeying, trying to stop those trying to find the Eternal Land (or find it themselves), but adults will see Sola, her friends, her enemies, and those who are both, learning about power, corruption, friendship, love, and the awesomeness of the ocean and water. The water/ocean is the theme. The power and beauty of it. The danger and really the life it has and gives. But also how it can take, mostly by death.
I had questions since nobody looks “human” do they follow a binary gender system? Some present male (one has a mustache); but the not-Captain of The Ghost seems to present male but they say she when introducing her. The person Sola forms an attachment to seems female and male. And I was curious what you were to assume the people were as they have turtle, lizard and pea seeds looks to them. Some look like little goblins, but others have no shape. Are we talking about a Star Wars/Star Trek-like world where they are not aliens, but not all beings are humanoid? And if Sola was with one person, that would explain the child in book three (spoiler/foreshadow). This is a discussion book series. It is good, but not for everyone. It has matured elements and is simplistic. We each take from it what we bring to it and maybe something new.