This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.Gray Wolf Island by Tracey Neithercott
Genres: Magical Realism, Mystery, young adult
Release Date: October 10, 2017
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Format: ARC, E-book
Purchase at: Amazon ◊ Barnes & Noble ◊ Book Depository ◊ Google Play ◊ Kobo ◊ IndieBound
Right before Sadie died, she begged her sister, Ruby, to do the one thing she could never do herself: Find the treasure on Gray Wolf Island.
With just a mysterious treasure map as a guide, Ruby reluctantly allows some friends to join her on the hunt, each of whom is touched by magic: a boy allegedly born to a virgin, a girl who never sleeps, a boy who can foresee his own death, and a boy with deep ties to the island. Each of them is also keeping a secret—something they’ll have to reveal in order to reach the treasure.
As the secrets come to light, Ruby will have to decide: Can she make peace with her friends’ troubled pasts and continue to trust them? Can she forgive herself for doing the unspeakable? Deep in the wilderness of Gray Wolf Island, Ruby’s choices will determine if they make it out with the treasure—or merely with their lives.
From debut author Tracey Neithercott comes a darkly compelling tale of profound friendship, adventure, and finding the strength to tell the truth.
Gray Wolf Island is a beautifully written story about a mysterious treasure that everyone has looked for but it has yet to be found. No one was more entranced with the idea of finding the treasure of Gray Wolf Island than a teenager named Sadie. She has spent her entire youth dreaming about finding the treasure with her sister, but it was not meant to be for Sadie.
Sadie and her twin sister Ruby were as different as can be. Sadie was always the outgoing one and Ruby was satisfied to live in her shadow. Ruby never thought that things would be different until Sadie lost a battle to illness. Before succumbing to death, Sadie begged Ruby to promise that she would look for the treasure herself. Ruby made her the promise but she had no intention on keeping it, she just couldn’t break her sister’s heart that way.
Sadie wanted Ruby to live her life and she knew that Ruby would never step out of her comfort zone unless forced to do so. These sisters were very close and Sadie knew that if she asked Ruby to find this treasure that she would eventually. She knew that Ruby didn’t want to do it, but that she would not break her promise. There was also something else that Sadie asked Ruby for that unfortunately would torment Ruby’s inner soul.
One year after Sadie’s passing Ruby finds herself in a position to search for the treasure of Gray Wolf Island. This was something that Ruby was conflicted about but she did it for Sadie and in the memory of her. Although Ruby was barely a blip on anyone’s radar she found herself accompanied by four friends who each had something to hide as well as having something extraordinary about them.
As this unlikely band of friends search for the treasure they come against others looking to steal the treasure right out from under them. As well as finding themselves in dangerous situations that lead to remarkable discoveries. In addition to outside influences and dangerous situations, they must also battle their own inner conflicts as the Island will not give up its secrets without each one of them giving a secret in return.
All of the characters in this story will definitely draw your interest. My only issue with the story though was the main character, Ruby. Ruby had nice character development throughout the story but I just felt that she lamented too much about her inner turmoil regarding her sister’s death. I am not saying she should have not been conflicted about it but there was just too much inner discussion about it for me. I felt like saying “I got it” too many times.
I fully enjoyed the treasure hunting aspect of this story, as well as the idea that they each had to give secrets to continue on to the next part of their journey. Gray Wolf Island itself was almost its own character and there was a magical realism feel throughout the story that gave me a sense of wonder. Soooo good! The pace of the story is not overly fast but it is a nice pace with plot twists that keep your imagination fully engaged. Overall, Gray Wolf Island is a meaning adventure that has some powerful lessons along the way.
*Thank you to NetGalley & Random House Children’s for this eARC of Gray Wolf Island*