Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Blog Tour Book Review: Death Island + GIVEAWAY!

Release Date: December 31, 2017
Author: Kelsy Ketch
Publisher: Self-Published
Length: 726 pages
Source: Review Copy Provided by Good Choice Reading Promotions

Her family name tainted by her great-grandfather’s crimes of piracy, Meriden Cummings is far from the typical 18th century woman. A social outcast, she works in a carpentry shop in a small village, where the people barely tolerate unconventional behavior.

However, her life takes a turn after a gang of pirates attack her village and her blood reveals an ancient map adorned with Mayan glyphs leading to Death Island. An island legends say is ruled by the Mayan god of the underworld, Ah Puch. Her great-grandfather had sought after the island before he vanished without a trace. Now, Meriden is about to journey across the sea to understand her family history.

There are only a few problems: her growing feelings toward a mysterious stranger linked to her great-grandfather’s past; a greedy band of pirates after her great-grandfather’s legendary treasure; and a contract she has unwittingly signed in blood with Ah Puch himself.



Protagonists: This story is told from two points of view. The first being Meriden, the daughter of a carpenter, and a girl with fire in her veins. She isn't one to be told what to do, and she'll turn and give society the finger for trying to force her to someone she isn't. The second is Gregory, who upon meeting him is being held captive and tortured by pirates, which include his own brother. After said pirates attack Meriden's town, the two meet and go along on an epic seafaring adventure to find the lost and mythical Death Island. I really enjoyed both characters a lot, in fact, their backstories and characterization made them fascinating to read from. As the story progresses, despite some rather annoying events, their characters grow and develop even further. I appreciated how these two broken souls learned to not only lean on each other but, their friends and fellow crew members over the course of the story.

Romance: One of my biggest pet peeves is what I like to call the "True Love Rebound" trope, where you have one, or two individuals, who have been in serious relationships only to have those end horribly and for them to, almost immediately, or at least it feels that way to the reader, find their next romance to be their "actual" true love. It does give reason to why they wouldn't be chomping at the bit to find another romantic partner, but in the end, it just sort of feels like a rebound. This was the case for both our protagonists as they fight their growing feelings for one another. I say growing, but it's sort of handled like an insta-love held back by the previous hurt of their failed relationships and that was what made this romance hard to stomach at first. Over time it was easier to feel their bond and to really start to root for them as a couple, but it took some groaning on my part.

World Building: Now, I'm not expert on the linguistics of early eighteenth century England or Colonial America, but at least toward the beginning of this story, I found some of the phrases and idioms to be too modern for the era. Again, I could, and just might be, ignorant to when these phrases and idioms were first introduced, but they really pulled me out of the story whenever I came across them. As the story went on I noticed them less and less, but much like the romance, it felt like a bit of a slog to get through. The rest of the world building was amazing. I can't speak to how well the author incorporated Mayan mythology into the series, but as someone who doesn't know all that much about Mayan mythology, it was fun to see it incorporated into this series. What I was really excited about was the sailing and pirate aspects of this tale and it was glorious. There were so many great swashbuckling scenes and pirate-y action in this book and I loved every minute of it.

Predictability: On the whole, this story was pretty predictable. The foreshadowing was a tad heavy at times, it wasn't as though the author bashed me over the head with it like I've felt in other stories I've read, just that there a plenty of clues that if you pick up on them could tip readers off the twists well before they happen. There are a couple of twists to this story that I didn't predict that caught me off guard and really threw me for a loop, but those were the twists that didn't have any clues leading to them.

Ending: Going into this book I was expecting a standalone, and for as long as it is I wouldn't have minded this being the only book in a series, however, the epilogue of this tale seems to indicate a possible sequel, and while I'm not sure if I need a sequel, other than a few ends left loose at the end of this tale, I'm interested to see where this author goes next. The ending of this tale is fantastic. The final climax is fraught with tension and action and I savored every second I could get of it. As the story wound to a close, we didn't really get a cooldown period and there were a few things I would have liked to see wrapped up, even if this is the first book in a series.


Despite loving the swashbuckling action and adventure this book contains, plus all of the magic and myth that are woven into the story, there were a few things I couldn't get past, the romance's rocky start, the possibly too modern text toward the beginning, and the fact that some of the time things felt a little too safe for even the secondary characters.

About the Author:

Kelsey Ketch is a young-adult/new-adult author, who works as a Wildlife Biologist in the state of North Carolina. During her free time, she can often be found working on her latest work in progress or organizing the New Adult Scavenger Hunt, a biannual blog hop. She also enjoys history, mythology, traveling, and reading.
Twitter: @kelseyketch
Facebook Page: Kelsey Ketch


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1 comment:

  1. I think the story sounds interesting but the cover gives my eyes fits. Her body gets lost in the background images.