THE ISLANDS AT THE END OF THE WORLD by Austin Aslan
Kirkus Star

THE ISLANDS AT THE END OF THE WORLD

From the "Islands at the End of the World" series, volume 1
Age Range: 12 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

Hope for a promising epilepsy treatment brought Leilani, 16, and Mike, her ecologist father, to Honolulu; when a global catastrophe plunges the world’s most isolated metropolitan area into chaos, they’re desperate to return to family on the Big Island of Hawaii—it won’t be easy.

Lei—half-Hawaiian, half-white—still feels like an outsider three years after moving from California to Hilo. Nevertheless, her island heritage speaks to her and could be the key to understanding the cataclysmic technological disruptions changing the world. Satellite-based GPS and other electronic communications systems fail, and only well-heeled tourists can buy their ways home. To combat mounting chaos, the military herds those at large, including Leilani and Mike, into internment camps. Leilani’s seizures carry voices to her, while an alarming discovery makes her quest to unravel their message and escape from the camp increasingly urgent. Seeking home drains their dwindling resources but strengthens their trust in each other. Flashes of kindness and empathy provide respite from the chaos and cruelty. Anchoring the story, the powerful bond between father and daughter reminds readers that love is as potent as fear and greed. Aslan’s debut honors Hawaii’s unique cultural strengths—family ties and love of home, amplified by geography and history—while remaining true to a genre that affirms the mysterious grandeur of the universe waiting to be discovered.

A suspenseful and engaging series opener made all the more distinctive through its careful realization of setting. (Science fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 5th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-385-74402-7
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Wendy Lamb/Random
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2014




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