I jump at the sound of a whispered voice over my shoulder. But when I turn all I see is sand and the towering green wall of the rainforest. I guess it must have been the breeze but I can’t help shivering. I have the weirdest feeling we’re being watched.
Grace Delaney and her fellow dance students are en route to perform on a South Pacific cruise-ship when a freak storm hits and they find themselves stranded on a seemingly deserted island. With the tropical heat rising passions and tensions swell to breaking point. And the island itself is quietly steaming with a terrible secret . .
My second Siobhan Curham book was very easy to read and get sucked into. Curham has this easy-reading and flowing narrative that just rolls over you and draws you in. And with a mad and adventurous story as this, the story-telling has to be great. Luckily, it really was!
Told from Grace's P.O.V, the group of dancers get stuck on an island on their way to the cruise ship for which they are the entertainment. The lot of them make up quite a stereotypical group, from the rich brats, the jock types and the scholarship kids, but I couldn't help but get involved in each of their lives. The nice were easy to like but even the spoiled ones had secrets and complicated layers that they didn't like to show. One might hope that with their lives in danger, they would put aside their differences and work together. But no, the bitches still lash out, the scholarship kids are still treated like crap and Grace still has to deal with stupid relationship drama.
On the island, it soon becomes apparent that there are other things to worry about than not being found. Strange and spooky things happen, like the SOS sign being moved and a skull hung in a tree. The fear and the not knowing was nicely paced and kept things interesting with a mix of weird voodoo and Mother Nature's bitchiness. Lucky for the teens, they have Spanish-speaking Cruz, their boat driver, who has real life skills like splitting a coconut and how to catch and cook fish. He is the one who fears and realises where they are - a lost island where a voodoo queen was banished. The weirdness goes up a notch, as did my nervousness!
This was a great introduction to the world and story; the characters were compelling and the we-might-die-on-this-sticking-island attitude was gripping, made better by the magic scariness. The whole book was really fun to read and kept me guessing the whole time, and although some of the characters were incredibly annoying (I think I was actually hoping they'd die at some point!) they created this strange balance on the island. Which of course was ruined when they went stir-crazy. All in all, a great first book and I can't wait to find out what happens next in Dark of the Moon!
Published 3rd June 2013 by Electric Monkey.