3 out of 4 stars
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Island Games: Mystery of the Four Quadrants is a promising young adult novel written by Caleb J. Boyer. Published in December 2017, Island Games is packed full of action and suspense through and through. One of my favorite things about reading is discovering information about the author after finishing their work. The author of Island Games just so happens to be one of the most surprising revelations I have found regarding an author's work. Caleb Boyer is the name behind the Island Games novel, and he was only twelve years old when he wrote the story.
When best friends Ryan and Matthew wake up stranded on an island with no memory of how they got there or how they will find their way home, things seem like they can't possibly get any worse. The two boys are terrified, but know that they have to keep moving and find sustenance for survival if they ever plan to make it home. With each quadrant they find themselves in, they are faced with seemingly impossibly challenges that test them to their limits. As the two boys are forced to face their fears to move forward through each quadrant, they quickly learn that sticking together may be their only way out and back home.
As far as the character development goes, Matthew and Ryan seemed to have some similarities, but overall they were uniquely separated from each other. You can sense the growth within each of them drastically from the beginning of the story to the end, which proves how much their struggles have changed them. I was hoping to learn the ages of the two characters, as there were some sections that I felt like they were possibly in their late teens, yet others where I felt they were much younger.
When I chose to read Island Games, I was looking for a shorter novel, but one that would fuel the craving I had for some action and energy. What I didn't expect to find, however, pleasantly did, was a page-turning and suspenseful read that left me wanting to know more! I'm a total sucker for a cliffhanger ending, and it's apparent the author had a clear intent on where he was heading with this story, as I'm already impatient to know more about Ryan and Matthew!
From the beginning, I did seem to struggle with accepting the language and dialogue used by Matthew and Ryan, but once I learned the author was only twelve years old, I found the dialogue to be much more fitting for that age group. Although I did feel like the writing seemed a bit immature for my taste, I truly enjoyed reading the story and would gladly recommend to readers who enjoy some suspenseful action, especially those who are swayed more towards the Young Adult genre. The editing and proofreading for the book seemed to be done well and professionally, as I found no errors during reading. Due to the dialogue struggles I had, I'm rating Island Games 3 out of 4 stars. Although I did enjoy the story very much, I think my rating could only go up with a bit more mature dialect between the two main characters.
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