Bad Island

Bad Island (250)Synopsis: Something on this island is up to no good . . .

When Reese is forced to go on a boating trip with his family, the last thing he expects is to be shipwrecked on an island-especially one teeming with weird plants and animals. But what starts out as simply a bad vacation turns into a terrible one, as the castaways must find a way to escape while dodging the island’s dangerous inhabitants. With few resources and a mysterious entity on the hunt, each secret unlocked could save them…or spell their doom. One thing Reese knows for sure: This is one Bad Island.

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Bad Island, by Doug TenNapel 7.75

While I was taking care of my library account, I stumbled upon ‘Bad Island’, by Doug TenNapel. I knew nothing about it, but it showed up in the Recently Recommended section of the website, which pops up when you log out. Based on the cover art, I logged back in and immediately requested it.

I was looking for something to read after having revisited ‘Fred the Clown’, and I wanted a change of pace. Flipping through the pages of ‘Bad Island’, I was drawn in by the artwork, which is simple but sleek. The book looked like early teen fare, but it nonetheless seemed appealing to me.

It’s the story of a family going on a fishing trip at the father’s insistence, thinking that the family needs some bonding time together. None of the others want to go (particularly not their teenaged son, who has been planning to run away from home), but the mother humours him.

Unfortunately, their expedition does not go well at all, and they end up marooned on a mysterious island that’s not-so-deserted. In fact, it doesn’t very long before the group realizes that there are inhabitants there. Strange inhabitants. And they’re not entirely friendly.

Soon they are on the run, trying to outpace the creatures all the while finding a way off of the island, and solving the mystery of an artifact that they’ve found – one that is intrinsically linked to an age-old rivalry between two alien species, and that may be the solution to their predicament.

‘Bad Island’ is an exciting sci-fi/adventure/survival story. It’s no great literature but. given its targeted audience, it’s quite good: the characters are relatable, the story is paced very well, and there are enough hooks to keep the pages turning all the way to its grandiose finale.

The artwork, as I mentioned, also serves the book quite well. The character designs are appealing and all the unusual creatures that TenNapel has created are quite a sight. They’re not always believable, but they’re meant to be fantasy and to tickle the eye. And they certainly do that.

All told, I would recommend ‘Bad Island’ to teens and teen fiction enthusiasts. It’s a vibrant, breezy read that is built on all the key elements of a good family ride. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this turned into a feature-length motion picture someday. Mark my words.

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