Edward and the Island
by Charles Jonathan Martin and Will Weinke
Published by Literati Press, May 2010
The End of the World isn’t the End of the Story. Sixty-three souls find themselves plucked from heaven and thrust into an experimental new universe. Haunted by the dark memories of their past lives on Earth and forced to live in an isolated community, a small group bands together to strike out into the new world and uncover the secrets of the Island.
I’m sad to see the awful review given this book on Amazon. It seems to deter people from purchasing this book and giving it a shot. Clearly, this is not supposed to be a factual book or even a biblical book. Some people call it blasphemy, but I think they are missing the point of this book.
63 people have lived their lives and passed away and then they find themselves with all their memories, but as children just before puberty hits. They have woken up on a plane and all been taken to an island which is home to a rustic summer camp. As they begin to settle in, they are introduced to a hippie looking older gentleman who they are told is God. Other than God, who takes a fairly loose handed role in guiding their activities and two ‘counselors’ who are somewhat of a mystery.
The children are put to tasks like making macaroni art and swimming in the lake, encouraged to read the only book available, the Bible, and are mostly ensconced in the camper life. Many of the children fall into line and are happy to follow the rules. However, the book focuses on Cabin 5, a cabin of boys who are not so willing to always follow the directions. This leads to many interesting consequences which sometimes fit the crime, but sometimes seem to come from out of left field.
As the book goes on, we learn the connections between some of the children and how they knew each other in their past lives. Seeing those connections, and the resulting discussions when the boys of Cabin 5 learn these connections, create a deeper level to the characters and their relationships as children as well as their actions as campers.
I thought that this book was well written, intriguing and definitely thought-provoking. Even after reading this book a few weeks ago, I find that I recall events from it and find myself thinking about the story. Clearly well written, and while it isn’t a religious book, I find that Martin takes into consideration many aspects of religion in his writing.
The end of this book has a nice twist/reveal that I found really made this book stand out and I wish I could discuss it more without giving it away.
I have another book of Martin’s that I picked up at ArmadilloCon when I picked up this one. Martin himself is very well spoken and I find that his personality comes out in his writing. I look forward to reading more of his work, and I would highly suggest that you pick this one up despite what other people have said negatively about this book.
This post is a selection for the Peril the First portion of the 6th annual R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril (R.I.P.) Challenge. To find out more information and/or to sign up to participate, please follow the link. If you are interested in more books or films that are being reviewed as part of this event, please visit the R.I.P. VI Review Site. (This paragraph borrowed from Carl V. who is hosting R.I.P. VI)