4 out of 4 stars
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Trouble is brewing in paradise as an organization meant to restore the cultural and economic heritage of the Hawaiian people is hijacked by an ex-military man on a revenge mission. It seems there is no stopping him as the beautiful island is awash with news of horrific deaths. In the background, a geeky young teenager sponsors this cause for personal gain, and an agency hidden in the shadows is on their trail. Will this mission go as planned? Would paradise be lost? Island Law by Kevin Spaise takes a front seat in this tale of intertwined lives, gruesome murders, and betrayal in an unlikely setting.
When Hawaii is mentioned, what usually comes to mind are beautiful beaches and tropical getaways. However, amid this natural paradise lives a proud people with their rich cultural heritage that has been eroded by foreign influence. Cultural norms and, most importantly, lands were lost to the foreign invaders, and today the fight to win back what is lost is still on. For some, the war is meant to be a physical takeover, but for others, it is more of a cultural renaissance through education and seeking reparation through legal channels. This book explores the struggles from both ends; it is a dive into a less-known tale of the paradise we have come to know. The narrative paints a contrasting picture of something beautiful and ugly — a true representation of human nature.
Island Law is a compelling narrative bordering on the criminal and detective type. The author's narration style — switching from character to character and switching up the perspective from omniscience to the first-person — steeps the reader gradually into the story. Each character has their chapter, where they tell their story. Their actions and emotions are detailed and personal. The author's descriptive prowess also comes into play to create a vivid image of the island's oceanic and beachfront lifestyle and topography. Readers who are familiar with the Hawaiian islands would find the places mentioned endearing, and for those who have not been there, knowledge is gained.
The editing of this book is pretty good, as there are not so many errors in it. The dialogues are engaging. The switch in the narrative style (point of view) gives this book a somewhat out-of-the-normal outlook. It is not a typical style employed by writers. However, it takes time to get used to it. The glossary of Hawaiian terms at the beginning of the book is apt and well placed, making it an easy read. There's nothing significant for which I can fault this book.
I will recommend this book to readers who love narratives bordering on suspense and action fiction. It is fast-paced, vivid, and brutal. The culture and history of Hawaii are also mentioned, alongside the struggles for reparation and cultural renaissance. Therefore, readers who have an interest in these would find their preambles in this book. Finally, I will rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. Overall, this book is powerful as it is engaging; there is never a dull moment.
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