Monday, April 22, 2013

The Library - YA Dystopian Review "Isle of Man" by Ryan Winfield

Title:  Isle of Man (The Park Service #2)
Author: Ryan Winfield
Publisher:  Birch Paper Press
Publication Date: April 16, 2013
Genre: YA Dystopian
Format:  Kindle 470 kb  |  Paperback 310 pages

Buy this book on Amazon:  Kindle Version  |  Paperback
Author's Website:
Author's Goodreads Profile:  Ryan Winfield

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

The journey continues...

After discovering the horrific truth behind the Park Service, fifteen-year old Aubrey Van Houten has overthrown its leader with the help of his best friend Jimmy and his girlfriend Hannah. But their victory has left all three parentless and alone in a world where drones still hunt humans. And while the Park Service founder might be dead, he's far from gone. Now, Aubrey's quest to free his people will lead him even farther into a world where nothing is what it seems.
My Thoughts...
I have to say that I think I liked this second book of The Park Service Trilogy more that the first one!  I have no doubt that the conclusion of this series will be even better.  If you would like to read my thoughts on The Park Service you can read my full review here.

I have to keep this relatively brief because there is really no way to reveal the full scope of my feelings without dropping major spoilers and you know how much I hate to do that.  I will warn you that while I won't post spoilers for this book, there will be spoilers from book one. 

This book takes these characters into places that I never expected both emotionally and logistically.  The bulk of book one takes place on what appears to be a new planet.  It's actually Earth 900 years in the future where the "Park Service" has all but destroyed humankind on the surface allowing it to return to an "eden-like" state.  What humans managed to survive are continually hunted by drones programmed to kill them.  Aubrey discovers all of this when he essentially escapes from the underground world where he grew up.  Now Aubrey, Jimmy and Hannah are on a mission to de-program the drones so they can free the people underground without fear of them being hunted on the surface.

This book takes them halfway across the globe in search of what they need to free Aubrey's people.  On The Isle of Man nothing is what it seems, but it's all so very interesting!  It's like stepping back into medieval Ireland complete with a castle and tournament games.  The imagery is so vivid that you feel like you are right there roaming the castle with Aubrey and competing in the tournament with Jimmy

There are some definite "hold your breath" moments in this book.  You hit a point where the action just keeps coming at you and then things take a turn that I totally wasn't expecting.  I have to say that I have a whole new respect for Ryan Winfield after reading the last 1/4 of this book.  I would imagine that it takes a lot out of a writer to put his characters through this, not to mention what they are sure to face in the next book.

There are some pretty tense moments between Aubrey and Jimmy in this book and it makes you wonder just what exactly is between these two.  At times they are the best of friends, but there are times when they seem to be more although it's never quite clear.  While it may not be intentional, there is definitely some tension between them.  It will be interesting to see where this leads, if anywhere.  It's clear that Aubrey has grown throughout the course of these books.  He is truly well on his way to becoming the man he will need to be in order to lead his people once they are freed.  He is starting to see people for what they really are instead of how they portray themselves to others.  
Maybe humans are the problem.  Some humans, anyway.  At least a person can see a shark's teeth.  They don't hide their intentions.  And they don't kill because they can kill, they kill because they need to survive. 
So, I loved this book!  I had a couple minor issues with the first book, but there was nothing like that in this one.  It's a great YA read and really I think my daughter is going to love this series if I can ever part with my Kindle Fire long enough to let her read it!

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