30 December, 2009

Review: The Island, by Tim Lebbon

The Island (2009, 416 p.) [US][UK], by Tim Lebbon is the fourth book to be set in the world of Noreela. And for me this was the second visit to Noreela after Fallen (2008, 416 p.) [US][UK]. It is not mandatory to read the other books before except you miss good stories and more information of the world of Noreela.
I received the copy of the book through the kindness of The David Gemmell Legend Award. For details please read Bona Fide: Weekly Roundup #50.
I will write two versions of the review. One with Bona and Fide because they belong to this blog. The other one will be for the DGLA without Bona and Fide.

The Setup

Pavmouth Breaks is a fishing village on the western shores of Noreela. Near the village at Drakemen's Hill lives a woodcarver. His name is Kel Boon and he keeps a secret. He is a runaway of the Core, a hidden society fighting against an enemy known as the Strangers. And there is Namior Feeron, a young witch and his love. Everything goes well until the "Island" arrives.....

My Take in Brief

The story is told from a third point of view but the reader is not the omniscient observer. We follow most of the time the two main characters: Kel Boon and Namior Feeron. Kel is confronted with his past and Namior suspects that he is more than just a woodcarver. Tim Lebbon does not loose much time to confront the inhabitants of Pavmouth Breaks and the reader with the "Island". Menacing, mysterious, so near, yet so far away appears the isle - a legacy of a tsunami which shook the village to the core. Due to his past that cause Kel's distrust.
Tim Lebbon takes us along on a travel through Kel's doubts and the renaissance of his fighting spirit. And he shows us surrounded by darkness the power of love. In the end it is a strong adventure with just one aim: Survival.
The story is a bagful of horror, fantasy, steampunk, science fiction and mystery. You find swords, crossbows, machines driven either by magic or steam, witches and wraiths. Sorry, no dragons. Tim Lebbon brewed a strong story by mixing genres which is also interesting for readers beyond fantasy. And I must admit there are passages which sent cold shivers up and down my spine.

The pace of the story is like hunt. Run - take breath and check the scent - run - and so on until the end.
That means a constant pace with fortunately some stops so you can go to the smallest room in the house.
The prose is like a good ale running down your throat.

This book is like a magnifying glass which shows as another part of Noreela and the life of its inhabitants.

The story starts with a bang and ends with a bang. There are still open questions and I instantly hope that Tim Lebbon will continue the story around Kel Boon, Namior Feeron and the Strangers.

Bona Fide's Book Oracle

What is Bona Fide's Book Oracle? To keep it short. It is a palaver about the reviewed book held by ediFanoB and his alter ego Bona Fide. And I am the keeper of the minutes. Now read my minutes.

Bona:"Hey Fide, this is our last meeting." Fide:"You're joking or I'm in heaven." Bona:"The last meeting in 2009. You won't get rid of me. Back to the book. Let's spend some days at Noreela's seaside." Fide:"Are you crazy? Did you forget what we have read?!" Bona:"Come on you yellow-belly! That was a notional real travel guide. As true as a Brother's Grimm tale." Fide:"You remember that Kel Boon spent his life as a woodcarver in Pavmouth Breaks. Tim Lebbon is spending his life as a writer and he use paper. Woodcarver=Writer; Wood=Paper; Kel Boon=Tim Lebbon. You understand that is a part of a autobiography!!" Bona:"That is nonsense! You nutcase! The Island is a virile fantasy book." Fide:"I can't believe. Everything is so real. Since I read the book I avoid travels to the seaside. For me the Island itself is a mix of Isla Nublar and The Island of DoctorMoreau. And it gives me the creep!" Bona:"Stop it! Stop it! When talk any longer about this book I will get more nightmares. I need to be alert to survive. I'm afraid there are Strangers among us..." Fide:"Why do you look so strange? What do you want to do with the knive? Don't touch my back....Heeeeeeeeeeeeelp!!!" Bona:"Don't make a fuss! I must assure myself that you kjljljlljijfdefefggr [censored due to spoiler]." Fide:"I'm definitely aefgttlawetrj4wktw [censored due to spoiler]". Bona:"Hey, keeper I said kjljljlljijfdefefggr and you write kjljljlljijfdefefggr." Fide:"Help!Help! Help! He is censoring us!" Bona:"We need your help you brave reader in the front of the screen." Fide:"Yes! Read the book and share the truth about The Island..."
I'm the keeper of the minutes.I'm innocent. I would never censor Bona and Fide. What's that? What happens to my nose? It's getting longer....

Read the book. Find out the truth about The Island. You won't regret if you like a bagful of horror, fantasy, steampunk, science fiction and mystery.

More Tim Lebbon

For more information about the author and his books click on following links: Tim Lebbon website, Tim Lebbon on Twitter.