3 out of 4 stars
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Island Games: Mystery of the Four Quadrants by Caleb J. Boyer is a tale of teamwork, adventure, and overcoming adversity. The journey begins with two young boys, Matthew and Ryan, waking up on an island. Neither boy remembers how they got on the island. Their memories of their lives before the island are fuzzy and muddled. They know, maybe instinctually, that they are friends. The boys have to work together through a series of tasks. Each major task that they survive results in a reward in the form of supplies that they need. After the first task, they realize that to survive, they need to trust each other.
Caleb Boyer does an excellent job of keeping the plot moving. The pace keeps the reader engaged and waiting in anticipation for what is going to happen to the boys next. The reading level remains consistent and uses a good combination of dialog and descriptive writing. He does a great job of creating a story that, while similar to other books in this genre, has a uniqueness that is all its own.
The flow of the writing was at times awkward with unnatural and stilted conversations between the boys. The rhythm of the writing would occasionally be distracting. Also, it ends on a cliffhanger.
I give Island Games: Mystery of the Four Quadrants by Caleb J. Boyer 3 out of 4. The plot is well thought out and combines adventure and friendship. However, at times, the writing came across as rushed and awkward. Overall, it is a good book for a one-time read.
I would recommend this book to readers 10+ years old. The writing is at a level that would be easy to follow for even younger readers if it was read to them. There are a few intense scenes in which the boys are in danger in the book that might be frightening to readers younger than 10 years old. However, one aspect of the book that influenced this rating is the author. Caleb Boyer was 12 years old when he wrote this book. I think that that would appeal to younger readers (and their parents). Children often have much more active imaginations than adults. When I told my daughter about how it ended in a cliffhanger, she replied, “That is so cool! You can decide what happens after! You get to pick the ending!” Younger readers might not be bothered by the ending as those of us that need to know what happens.
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