Yup. Yup. This is it — my favourite of S. Usher Evans. The Island is a fabulously unique and enjoyable read. It has just enough fantasy, just enough romance, and just enough adventure to please a wide variety of readers. I was fortunate enough to beta read the first half, and am thrilled with the outcome. I think it’s a great start to a series, and I applaud Evans for its awesomeness. Well-written. Beautiful cover. Fun paperback. A+.
I’d rate this 14A (Canadian ratings). There is violence and mature issues like genocide and war crimes. There is also a sexy little scene which is pretty tame but chalked full of feels.
Theo is a classic S. Usher Evans female lead. Snarky. Independent. A little surly. But she has a softness deep down that we get to see, slowly peeling back the layers until she’s bare in front of us. Of course, moments later all everything goes to hell, but I won’t spoil it for you. I was pleased with the way that Theo and Galian shared POVs across the story, telling us how everything unfolds from their respective viewpoints. Theo was a strong lead. She’s broken but trying so damn hard not to be. She’s on the cusp of adulthood physically but has been a grown-up since she was first drafted. She’s gruff. She’s realistic. She makes sense to me.
Prince Galian was excellent too. A former playboy who wants to be a doctor. Totally helpless in the wildness of the island. He really grows as a character as time goes on, taking on a little of Theo’s dependability and grit. In the beginning, he’s a bit of a floofy puppy, and by the end, he’s ready to crack skulls in order to get what he wants. Done. Yes. I like it.
The romance was sweet and inevitable. I would have liked to see it be a liiiiittle less developed at the end, primarily because we have two more books for these characters to be in love with each other. I’m interested, given the ending, to see where things go with the two.
As of right now, this is still available for preorder, and I can say with absolute certainty that it is worth the purchase. There’s a strong community building around the series — join in on the fun!
Check out The Island on Goodreads for more reviews and preorder links!