4 out of 4 stars
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Caleb J. Boyer’s Island Games: Mystery of the Four Quadrants is an action-driven fantasy narrative filled with light-hearted dialogue with ongoing titbits of universal humor. Castaway on an unknown island, Matthew and Ryan find themselves in one unpredictable episode after the other. As they awake from their unconscious state, they find themselves ashore on a seemingly uninhabited island. They become determined to survive and are able after several courageous hours to salvage food that would keep them alive for four to five days after which their feat to find food would begin anew.
They soon realize that they can attain food supplies only after accomplishing a feat. They instinctively feel that they are in a surreal jungle game with someone masterminding their precarious escapades. They wonder whether they are involuntarily caught in untypical island games that keep them at the edge of their seats.
Some of their unprecedented escapades involved killing vicious beast-like animals, finding of a wooden and then a stone key. They also experience themselves awakening in different types of surrounding such as prairie and deserts. The only aspect of the book I disliked was the repeated scenes of fighting off the beasts that comprised of green slime; it began to get a bit boring. I suspect that the target audience of young adults especially males might very well enjoy Ryan and Matthew acting as heroic beast slayers.
Island Games is a narrative of breathtaking adventures than teenagers will revel. It is also a narrative about friendship, teamwork, and courage. I relished the fun loving, and happy relationship shared between Ryan and Matthew. Moreover, their love and passion for nature were heartwarming, “He took a few steps back and then cannonballed right next to Ryan. The big splash sent a wave of water over Ryan’s head, and Matthew roared with laughter.” I particularly admired how this young writer kept his writing style informal and engaging without the use of obscene language. I also liked that his fantasy narrative does not rely on spells and wizardry.
Boyer’s Island Games merits a 4 out of 4 stars rating, as it is a page-turner narrative that evokes considerable laughter and shock at the increasingly dangerous traps encountered on the seemingly uninhabited island. This book is ideally suited to young readers from ages 9 and up, teenagers and adults with a sense of humor and imagination. The book appears to be professionally edited, and only word spacing issues were identified due to the justification of paragraphs.
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