ARC: Savage Island by Bryony Pearce – review.

I would like to thank Little Tiger Group/Stripes Publishing and Bryony Pearce for sending me this ARC via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Savage Island (Red Eye)
Expected Publication: 5th April, 2018 by Little Tiger Group/Stripes Publishing

When reclusive millionaire Marcus Gold announces that he’s going to be staging an “Iron Teen” competition on his private island in the Outer Hebrides, teenagers Ben, Lizzie, Will, Grady and Carmen sign up – the prize is £1 million pounds … each. But when the competition begins, the group begin to regret their decision. Other teams are hunting their competitors and attacking them for body parts. Can the friends stick together under such extreme pressure to survive? When lives are at stake, you find out who you can really trust…

A Red Eye horror novel for teens, this gripping YA thriller story is full of fast-paced action.

If you’re looking for a dark, gripping thriller which will leave you hang on the end of your seat because you are unable to put the book down, dying to know what happens – this book is for you. I chose this book because the front cover is so creepy and haunting that I had to make a request to find out what happens – it didn’t disappoint.

Following five very different personalities and backgrounds, Ben, Will, Carmen, Lizzie and Grady embark on a terrifying adventure in order to win a million pounds each. Initially I was put off by there being five characters as it would perhaps turn the narrative into one big mess, but the story is told from Ben’s point of view with some occasional flashbacks about his parents and brother, Will. I really enjoyed the flashbacks as they added a back story to the main character while creating depth. I wished there had been some more to lengthen the story.

Savage Island was a very fast paced book. The prologue introduces us to the characters and the idea of taking part in the ‘Iron Teen’ competition. It wasn’t overly long which I was glad about as sometimes these things can drag and become extremely dull rather quickly. The first chapter then brings us to the main island where our five young adults are ready for what they think is a fun summer adventure. Though I love a fast paced story that throws me straight into the narrative, I wanted just a tad more world building so I that could envision the story clearer. Otherwise this book was in no way boring.

The main characters were all interesting in their own different way. I enjoyed that every one entered into the competition for different personal reasons. Bryony did an amazing job writing these characters as none felt wooden or boring; their differences made them interesting. If I had to chose a favourite I would pick Carmen. She has a very fun, carefree personality and isn’t afraid to say what she thinks or do what is needed to be done. I think she’s also one of the bravest of the five.

This story is gory and I wouldn’t recommend it to the faint hearted. Personally I enjoyed it and it wasn’t over exaggerated and didn’t feel stupid. If anything I kept thinking how terrified and helpless the five of them must have felt being trapped on the island.

Something that let me down about the book was how it was such a quick read! I felt that it could have been slightly longer, expanding on certain aspects of the story maybe before they came to the island. As mentioned previously the story is very fast paced and so the “drama” starts from the beginning. I would have preferred some more build up leading up to the event, perhaps more interaction with one another so as to learn a bit more about the characters.

Apart from the lack of world building, Savage Island was a fun, gory read that I would highly recommend!

4/5

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