Forbidden Island Paperback – 29 May 2009
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'Fast-moving and highly readable' - Books for Keeps; 'Listed as 10+ but I'd say it would be equally appropriate for older children. One of the few titles to address environmental issues, a short text packing in a hell of a plot - good for girls too this one' - The Bookseller; 'A page-turning story...a splendid and very accessible blend of science, history and mystery - cross curricular fiction. Look out for, read and recommend to students' - SecEd; 'Malcolm Rose's fiction is an intriguing adventure story that would make an interesting addition to topics on the Second World War or islands. With its serious but uncomplicated plot and language it is an easy and fast paced read' - Write Away; 'Science, history and mystery collide in breathtaking fashion in this chilling and spine-tingling conspiracy thriller where cover-ups abound. Inspired by a real island in Scotland used for anthrax testing, this eerie and contemporary thriller will keep readers on the very edge of their seat, in the style of Malcolm Rose's acclaimed "Kiss of Death"' - Lovereading4kids; 'Starts like a modern take on the Famous Five when a group of youngsters sail happy and unsupervised around the Scottish Islands. Then they find an island with warning signs that they ignore. This, like the real-life Gruinard until 1986, is a place contaminated with anthrax. But, unknowing, they land - with foreseeable results and some sinister attempts to stop them' - Independent on Sunday; 'What starts as a traditional adventure story - four wealthy kids go out on their boat and discover an island unmarked on their maps - soon develops into a much more complex and chilling thriller. Based on the true story of Gruinard island off Scotland, this pacy read asks uncomfortable questions' - The Daily Mail; 'This fine book is set in Scotland and the children, Mike, Hugh, Daniel and Lauren have a great adventure. This is the "boy's own" idea brought bang up to date and a great introduction to the thriller genre for a younger generation of avid readers' - Shetland Times; 'This book will not disappoint. It is a fast-moving thriller, eminently readable, while it also presents a thoughtful look at our world today. Malcolm Rose has a gift of making history, science and mystery accessible to secondary school readers, while at the same time keeping them totally enthralled' - School Library Association
About the Author
Kiss of Death was shortlisted for the Sheffield Children's Book Award, the Bolton Children's Book Award and the Lancashire Children's Book of the Year Award 2008.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a modern day children's adventure story (in the Enid Blyton vein, but with a modern style and plot), aimed at around 9-12 year olds (pre-teens), depending on their reading ability.
For an adult reader, the general plot direction is clearly sign-posted from the outset, but I doubt if it would be to a child. The book is just over 200 pages, and explanations of anything likely to be confusing for the target readership is cleverly woven into the dialogue.
An adult reader would also probably demand more depth in some of the issues covered, and more character description, but I thought this book was spot on for the age group it was aimed at. Enough detail to explain the story, but not enough to make it too demanding, or too slow-paced. The characters do develop through their actions, and by the end of the book, their individual personalities are quite distinct.
The ending seemed to be fairly obvious too, right up to the last chapter, when the author adds a twist of the harsh realities of real life (no Enid Blyton style perfect happy endings here!). Harsh, but realistic if the events of the book had happened as depicted. I enjoyed it, and would happily recommend it as likely to appeal to the pre-teen age group.
five young people are sailing a boat off scotland. adventuresome mike. his friend annie, who likes mike's style. her rather strait laced brother Hugh. His trophy girlfriend Lauren. And their nervous stuttering but thoughtful younger brother daniel. finding an island that isn't on any maps, they land and investigate. Ignoring a warning sign. But that sign was there for good reason. and when their boat is then destroyed, they discover exactly why people would prefer that they never get back home.
can hugh and annie's adopted sister claudia, obsessive and attention deficit syndrome child, save the day?
running for a little over two hundred and twenty pages in relatively short chapters with good clear prose this is an absorbing and easy read. the gradual investigation of the island holds the interest throughout, and then when it turns into a battle for survival you will be hooked. all the characters are very well rounded and their personality traits shine through. and this does manage to bring the enid blyton style up to date with mobile phones and other modern technology that those of this age would have coming into play.
It's surprising how much you'll come to care about these characters. which is why you won't forget the end in a hurry.
Added to which there are some moral dilemmas which will make the reader think.
Best suited to those say aged eight and up, but a very good read that readers of all ages can enjoy
They discover signs of experiments on animals (the usual traps - skeletons - blood stains & etc) and thence to the base camp where there's even a trap door down to a dungeon - sorry - basement.
The clichés continue with one character remarking that they think they heard a rumour once that there was a haunted island out this way...I couldn't resist a roll of the eyes at this point. It's not that I think this is a particularly bad story; just that it's nothing more than words on a page. For me, it just didn't live and breathe.
The premise goes that a bunch of friends find an island - of course said kids ignore the signs that state: Danger - keep away, and go exploring anyway - so in many ways deserve everything they get!
They come across the aforementioned signs of experiments and end up at a base camp where they discover a journal. The journal nods towards this and that effect on that and this animal and the phrase: Agent A is used.
A - by the way - is for Anthrax
For the sake of the curious reader who wants to persevere I'll give no more of the plot away (although there really isn't that much more) but if you think TV series "Lost" on miniscule basis with none of the good bits you'll be close; one of the characters even terms the ragtag survivors as: "the anthrax six" (another roll of the eyes) - now doesn't that sound exactly like the oceanic six from Lost....
The rest of the story is as uncreative as its title suggests and failed superbly to make me feel anything - fear, tension, empathy; a delicious chill creeping up my spine....Read more ›
I think this book suffers from being too short with not enough build up of the characters and plot. It smacks of being highly edited.
The plot is simple and easily understandable but deals with themes and events which need more of an indepth and emotional treatment. This book is rather - this happened and then that happened, like newspaper reporting of a tragic story with no emotional involvement.
It's clearly not meant for an adult audience but is perhaps suitable as a reading and history 'lesson' for younger teenagers. I have a suspicion though that real life teenagers might think this is an old fashioned adventure story of an adults idea of cardboard cut out teenagers, despite the constant reference to mobile phones. Even the best behaved teenagers aren't like the Famous Five anymore. It seems a dumbed down version of an adult story which I think some of the target readers may find condescending (bits about identifying a monkey and M15 are particularly naive).
Not recommended for younger than teenage age children because of the medical nature and graphic description of the events the children suffer. It's teen light horror with a lttle bit of gruesomeness.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved the book, i finished it in a few hours because i didnt want to put it down. I would definately recommend it!! 😜😁Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I ordered this thinking the kids could read it but of course read it myself first,
It was really gripping, the settings and characters really clear and a great story. Read more
Forbidden Island has a fantastic concept for a kids book mixing a mystery and horror plot with political intrigue and a touch of real history. Read morePublished on 29 Jun. 2010 by Stalker
Five teens stumble onto a mysterious island. No this isn't Enid Blyton!
There's quite a lot going on here. Read more
This was an enjoyable adventure story. The type where it is clear that the main characters are in danger, right from the beginning and if it were a film you'd be shouting a... Read morePublished on 15 Mar. 2010 by Voracious for Books
The synopsis for this book gives you a good idea of the story and it not for me to review that story. Read morePublished on 27 Jan. 2010 by Fletch-a-sketch
Given that Forbidden Island is written for young teenagers, I'll give it 3 stars (as it is, really, rather good; a bit like an Enid Blyton adventure that went wrong). Read morePublished on 11 Dec. 2009 by Amazon Customer
I thought this was a decent book, not earth shattering but not as dull as others are making out, yes maybe the plot and the characters are a little predictable but it wasn't a... Read morePublished on 16 Oct. 2009 by Mr. M. Regan - The Regsy
...is the author? Some of the other reviews said it all. Exactly the sort of plot regurgitated ad nausiem in the Secret 7 books. Choc full of cliches and even the title is naff. Read morePublished on 6 Oct. 2009 by Scubaboy