Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Book Review - Feast Island

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Heck yeah! Today, I have another book review for you all from my Indie Fever 2014 reading list. I'm making one hell of a dent in my list, and I've scheduled myself a review a week (sans November, because of NaNo) until I get them all done. Then, I'll have a new collection coming at me in December from my 12 Days event. If you're an author, you don't wanna miss that fun! I only take review requests once a year, and if you miss it, you're out of luck.

Now, if you're a reader, join us over on the Indie Fever Challenge! So far this year, we've reviewed over 300 Indie books! Wow! That's a lot of awesome for self-pubbers right there. You can join in the fun here. Just add your name to the linky thing with your pledge level, grab the badge, and get to reviewing. Here's mine so far:

Tamar Hela Feast Island REVIEW BELOW
Rebecca Trogner The Last Keeper's Daughter REVIEW HERE
Scott Marlowe The Five Elements REVIEW HERE
L.K. Evans Keepers of Arden: The Brothers Volume 1 REVIEW HERE
Sarah Mäkelä The Witch Who Cried Wolf REVIEW HERE
Felicia Tatum Masked Encounters REVIEW HERE
David T Griffith The Bestiarum Vocabulum REVIEW HERE
Thaddeus White Sir Edric's Temple REVIEW HERE
Heather Topham Wood The Memory Witch REVIEW HERE
N. L. Greene Illusions Begin REVIEW HERE
J. A. Huss Tragic REVIEW HERE
Pauline Creeden Sanctuary REVIEW HERE
Casey Bond Reap REVIEW HERE 
Casey Bond Devil Creek REVIEW HERE
S. G. Daniels The Druid's Doorway REVIEW HERE
Misty Provencher The Fly House Amazon Kindle $3.99
Peprah Boasiako The Hitman Amazon Kindle $0.99
C. S. Janey Surrender To You Amazon Kindle $2.99
Gloria Piper Finnegan's Quest Amazon Kindle $4.99
Elle Todd The Elect Amazon Kindle $3.99 
Morgan Wylie Silent Orchids Amazon Kindle **FREE**
Laura Howard The Forgotten Ones Amazon Kindle $0.99
Skylar Hamilton Burris The Strange Marriage of Anne de Bourgh Amazon Kindle $2.99
Christina Marie Morales Ambience Amazon Kindle $2.99
Molly Taggart Off Target Amazon Kindle $2.99

Here's a little about today's book:

Title: Feast Island  (Spirit Lake Book 1)
Author: Tamar Hela
Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi
Length (print): ~ 192 Pages
Buy Link: Amazon Kindle $2.99

Seven teenagers from Northern California are assigned a seemingly innocent group project for their freshman English class. Little do they know, this project will literally take them on a journey out of this world. Cantelia appears much like Earth, until the kids realize magic is as plentiful as the danger surrounding them. A dark and evil ruler has placed a curse on the tribal people of Sikuku Island—the same island where the teens have been transported. Now, they must help the tribal people break the curse if they ever want to see their own planet again. Join Alex and her friends as they learn that there is so much more beyond their comfortable lives in Pollock Pines and its legendary Spirit Lake. 

**Will not appear in review elsewhere.  While the cover does capture the story on the pages, it's a bit too dark overall, in my opinion. This is YA and I feel like it needs to be a bit lighter. That being said, it's just an opinion and should be taken with a grain of salt.**

I picked up this book when the author, Tamar Hela, pitched it to me on my blog during my Twelve Days of Christmas event. She was looking for reviews, and her book got me from both the pitch and the sample. I ran out and bought it, as I do all books I review, and the rest, as they say, is history. Enough about how I came upon the title! Let's get to the good stuff.

From a Reader's Perspective:
This book has a lot of heart and a great story. I enjoyed the main character, and felt like she grew as the book progressed. It's a standalone in the beginning of a series, but there's no crazy cliffhanger at the end. Everything is wrapped up in a pretty bow. Plot-wise, Feast Island was spot on. Teens getting whipped away into another world? Yes, please! I also adored the idealism of the youngsters. I felt the story was paced well, and will be a great read for younger people. All that being said, I didn't really connect with any of the characters. I think it's because there were too many for me to get a firm grasp on one. I did like that I got to hear Alex's thoughts (she's a typical teen with a snarky process), but I found myself wishing for more of the Spirit Lake legend to be intertwined with her journey. There were also a ton of redundancy issues. Head hopping happens a lot, and there are at least three POVs (though the only one I could put a finger on whose head I was in was Alex's). There were a few times the author's voice intruded, and pulled me out of the story. Dialogue felt forced with names spattered in often. Which leads me to...

From an Editor's Perspective:
Very few pronoun issues. I was pleasantly surprised by that. However, the issues I found were redundancy (as mentioned), lack of comma lists where needed, author's voice intrusion, and confusions/dropped words. Examples: She had long, white hair that was braided and pinned close to her head and looked younger than she was. This translates to: her hair looking younger than her face. Nominated and voted. Same meaning in two words. Use of ?! and ?? happened often. Corporal and corporeal. Two very different words, the first used where the second should've been. I dismounted and chained my bike to a tree and made my way... Needs commas to improve flow.

1 Star for giving me a fun read with great pacing
1 Star for making me laugh at some of Alex's inner monologue
1 Star for tying up all the loose ends and an interesting plot
-1 Star for redundancies and forced feeling dialogue
-1 Star for confusions of words and phrases and for head hopping with no focus
Overall, 3 out of 5 stars. A good read for a teen (very clean), and something to enjoy on a rainy afternoon.

What do you think? Have you read it?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!



  1. Thanks for the review, Jo! :)

    1. You're welcome, Tamar! Thanks for acknowledging :)

  2. Doesn't sound like my normal reading genre, but sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised when I go out of my comfort zone.

    1. Sometimes, we must all step outside, breathe deeply, and take a leap of faith :) I liked the characters and their quirks :)


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