The Isles of the Gods
By Amie Kaufman
Reviewed by Mia Macrossan
Amie is a New York Times bestselling writer adept at writing books that attract a loyal following. These include the Aurora Cycle and the Illuminae Files which she co-authored with Jay Kristoff. She tends to write tense blockbuster adventures set in original created worlds and The Isles of the Gods fits neatly into that pattern.
The story is told from multiple viewpoints, each an interesting character. Jude is a fighter working to survive and look after his mum. This makes him vulnerable to manipulation by gangsters. Laskia is the younger sister living in the shadow her older sibling, a successful and powerful mob boss. She is desperately trying to become recognized as a force in her own right. Keegan is a scholar who wants nothing more than to live and study in the Bibliothek but events keep pushing him in other directions. Selly is a sailor who wants to impress her dad with her nautical skills after her magic failed. She has absolutely no interest in Leander, the handsome, charismatic prince of Alinor who commandeers her ship for a private mission…
These five interact in complicated ways that creates humour, tension and suspense as well as mystery and excitement. The created world is a surprising mix of old and new technology – there are big sailing ships and sleek steam boats, candle lights and electric lights and above all there are gods and magic.
This is an enjoyable romp of a read, with lots of teenage angst, death and destruction and a sweet romance delicately portrayed. Its the first of a trilogy so this one ends on a bit of a cliffhanger but there is also some satisfactory resolution as well. Amie knows how to keep her young adult readers happy and wanting more.
Allen & Unwin Children’s Books 2023