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Review of "island games” by caleb boyer

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Island Games is a tale of adventure, perseverance, and friendship. It takes the reader on an eventful journey with two friends, Matthew and Ryan.

The story opens with the two boys waking up to discover that they have been dropped off on a mysterious and strange island with no recollections of their lives or how they arrived in this place. With very limited supplies the boys are forced to seek food, water, and shelter. In the midst of simply surviving, additional dangers and obstacles occur leading the boys to question what is really happening to them. Who put them on this island? Why did that person choose them? What is the purpose of all this? Each circumstance that pops up requires Matthew and Ryan to rely heavily on each other and to trust their own abilities. Through the scary encounters they face, they quickly realize that teamwork is key, and supporting each other will be essential to their survival. The danger they overcome help the boys learn how to persevere through the hardest trials.

Caleb J. Boyer has written a story with an interesting plot line; however, this story lacks in character development and dialogue. Boyer wrote this tale when he was twelve years old. His ideas are creative and fun to explore. Despite this, I felt like the book was weak in a variety of ways. First, Boyer is repetitive throughout the book. For example, the boys have a running joke about one of the boys having a “ girlfriend”. This joke was funny the first few times it was brought up, but the author continues mentioning it which becomes quite annoying. Also, the author would state a character’s thought, and the next sentence would be dialogue between characters stating the exact thing that was just written. For example, the following comes from page 186 and 187 from the Kindle Edition. ‘ Ryan then shared with Matthew how he thought they might be in some climate-controlled bubble and they needed to find a way up before they could find a way out. Ryan explained as Matthew listened intently, “ I think this island, if that is what we are really on, is inside some kind of climate-controlled bubble”.’ This happened frequently in the text. The author needs to choose only one way of sharing the same detail. Either use dialogue or narration, but not both. It becomes exhausting and repetitive.

Another issue I have with this book is the lack of creativity when it comes to “ the beasts”. The boys have to battle these animals frequently in the book. There were only two types described. Boyer seems very creative, so I was disappointed that there wasn’t more variety in these creatures.

There were 3 grammatical errors that I noticed. They did not affect the readability of the book.

It took me awhile to really get invested into this book. It should have been an exciting start, but I struggled to connect with it. I would rate this book 2 out of 4. I would prefer to offer a 2 1/2, but I don’t have that option. It is imaginative, and Caleb J. Boyer has some great ideas and twists. However, the characters were flat and it was a little dull to read at times. Boyer needs to keep up the writing; he has great potential! He has a lot of talent, but he needs to keep working on honing his skills.

I would recommend this book for upper elementary to middle school aged kids. It would be a fun read for this age.

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