Sunday, April 24, 2016

Nil Unlocked by Lynne Matson

Series: Nil (bk. 2)

Genera(s): Dystopian Sci-fi/Romance

Subjects: survival, mystery, adventure, islands, animals, parallel worlds

Setting: The Island of Nil

POV/Tense: 1st person POV, past tense, rotating between Skye and Rives

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 418 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: Macmillan: Henry Holt and Co.

Summary/ product description: “On the island of Nil, the rules are set. You have exactly 365 days to escape—or you die. Rives is now the undisputed Leader of Nil City, but keeping the City united is tougher than ever.

Raiders have grown bolder, supplies are dwindling, and non-human inhabitants have taken a turn toward the deadly. New arrivals cause rifts within the City, putting the Search system at risk, and calling everything Rives knows into question. Desperate for answers, he teams up with the only other person searching for them: Skye, a new arrival with a mysterious past of her own. Soon the duo find themselves locked in a desperate race to save all the residents of Nil—and possibly destroy the island forever. But at what cost? And  

My Review: Reading Nil was exciting because it was new and refreshing, but I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t some crazy twist that involved aliens or a government experiment. The island of Nil, which doesn’t exist just is. Teens are caught by moving portals and find themselves in Nil. They didn’t want to be there. They got 365 day to find a portal to take them back home. There are animals that appear on Nil. Dangerous animals like tigers and other big cats, predators, and angry hippos. And also, the occasional zebra or alpaca.
In the first Nil book, the main character were Charley and Thad. To my surprise, this sequel was told by two other people, Rives and Skye. Rives is the new leader since Thad left. Skye is girl with a father obsessed with finding the mysterious island that changed his twin brother’s life. Skye get the chance to read the post-Nil journal written by her uncle. I really enjoyed getting a peek into her uncle’s experience. Her uncle nicknamed Nil “Giraffe Land” because that’s the first animal he saw there.

Skye’s father has a lead on a possibly Nil survivor and that’s how Skye meets Charley. Skye speak with Charley and get more information. Skye’s father finds out about a place called Spirit Island in Micronesia. He thinks it may be the mysterious Nil, or at least connected to it. On December 21, Charley and her father go to a set of islands near this Spirit Island, and that where Charley reckless follows an island boy through a stationary portal in the middle of the night and finds herself on Nil.

On Nil, she wake up naked to two boy taking, one of the boy angry that Skye was there. Sky finds the island boy she followed is named Paolo, and he’s secretive about his reason for being there. On day 3, Skye meets Rives. She tells him how she got there and about her uncle. They develop a connection. I think Skye and Rives are more interesting protagonists than Charley and Thad were, but those two had more romance.

Skye wants to know about why Nil exists and when and where the stationary portal appears. Skye’s very curious and fierce. Dex, the British guy with the Mohawk from the first book, think Sky is a bloody badass. Much like Thad and Charley, Skye and Rives try to unlock the further secrets of how Nil works in hopes of getting the islanders home.

I recommend this to fans of shows like Lost, Naked and Afraid, Man vs Wild and other shows with survival and islands. Also fans of books like Madman’s Daughter, Lord of the Flies, Catching Fire, and The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse.

Cover Art Review: I like the cover, but not as much as the 1st book’s cover. I do love the landscape on it though. 

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