Sunday, 11 August 2013

Zarconian Island by Aja Hannah

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Curiosity Quills Press and Netgalley.
Zarconian Island
Blurb (from Goodreads):
My stomach knotted tighter, winding so hard it hurt.
Kate watched me, rubbing a piece of her hair between two fingers.
I bit my tongue, trying to work the words out.
"The boat …we're going under.”

Possessing powers that are feared and shunned, eighteen-year-old Alexandra “Attie” Hotep is no virgin to attacks. Her ancestors, the Zarconians-- mixed-blood inhabitants of Atlantis--were rumored to be the English fairies who kidnapped children, the Caribbean sirens that sunk ships, and the dream-like apparitions who broke into psyches. By the 1850s, they were hunted to near-extinction, leaving the existence of Atlantis and Zarconians little more than myth.

When a class trip turns deadly, Attie and her friends become stranded on an uncharted tropical island in the middle of the Pacific, and Attie finds herself targeted once more. With a jungle full of extinct and prowling animals, she struggles to find a compromise between keeping her friends safe and keeping her family's secret.

Enter Doug Hutchinson—the school’s soccer star, and a handsome boy with his own secrets. But Attie and Doug soon realize the animals aren't the only threat. There is a traitor amidst the group, one that plans to turn all Zarconians into permanent myths. And Attie is next on the list.

Zarconian Island by Aja Hannah

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Zarconian Island(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Curiosity Quills Press and Netgalley.)
18-year-old Attie has no idea why she was picked to go on the cruise ship by her teachers from school, but she did know that she didn’t want to go.
Unfortunately she didn’t have much of choice, but realised why she didn’t want to go when the cruise ship she was on was attacked and sunk by some weird whales, and she ended up on a deserted island with only 4 of her friends from school as survivors – Doug, Bryan, Kate, and Michelle.

It seems like there’s no rescue party coming for them though, and strange animals that look like dinosaurs keep attacking them. The only thing Attie has to rely on are Zarconian instincts, as she is really only half human, and half-Zarconian – an ancient, thought extinct race, who used to live in Atlantis.
Why did Attie and her friends end up on this deserted island? Why are there dinosaurs here? And will they ever be rescued?

This book was a strange mixture of ‘Lost’ meets ‘Jurassic Park’ with a bit of teen drama and romance, crime drama, and a fantasy twist, all wrapped up in one odd little package.

I really don’t know what to think of this book other than that it was a bit weird. I found it quite difficult to get into because there was so little in the way of explanation about these ‘Zarconians’. Although we were told the pertinent information – they’re an old, thought extinct race, that have cross breaded with humans to survive, and they have these odd little marks somewhere on their skin which change colour with their mood like a mood ring, it just wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to know more, and I wanted explanations. Why do the odd marks show up in different places? What does the whole ‘marking’ thing when two Zarconia’s get together mean? How come Attie still has the mark and Zarconian attributes even though she’s a half-breed? There was so much more than could have been explored here that it made the story feel really unfinished.

When the dinosaurs showed up I have to say that that was a big no-no for me. Fine – let them get attacked by weird creatures, then decide that they’re pre-historic dinosaurs somehow set free on this remote island? Give me a break. This just seemed quite ridiculous to me, and really made me doubt this story. I would have seriously doubted the sanity of anyone who tells me that the desert island we’ve washed up on is infested with dinosaurs. Oh, and we never got an explanation for the weird whales that sunk the ship either.

There was some romance in the story involving Attie and Doug, but again this wasn’t very developed, and the fact that they were both Zarconian, and marked each other and the consequences of this weren’t really explained very well either. There was also some odd mention of them having a ‘demon child’, which I didn’t get. Why on earth would anyone suggest that their offspring would be a demon child? Where did this even come from? Are all Zarconian offspring ‘demon children’? Was this just someone being sarcastic or something? Don’t know.

Then, as if we didn’t have enough going on with them being shipwrecked, getting attacked by dinosaurs, and having this odd Zarconian romance thing happening, we also had a wanted murderer roaming this desert island with a gun to shoot them all with! Why? No idea.

Having finished this all I can say is that it was odd, and that I’m glad this isn’t part of a series ‘cause I really wouldn’t want to read another of these books. I felt like I had to force myself to finish this one as it was, I was lucky really that it was fairly short.
Overall; an odd story about a desert island, dinosaurs, and an ancient race.
4.5 out of 10.

1 comment:

  1. Sound like you couldn't hang on to suspending reality. Bad thing for a writer and reader.