In this fast-paced survival story set in Hawaii, electronics fail worldwide, the islands become completely isolated, and a strange starscape fills the sky. Leilani and her father embark on a nightmare odyssey from Oahu to their home on the Big Island. Leilani’s epilepsy holds a clue to the disaster, if only they can survive as the islands revert to earlier ways.
A powerful story enriched by fascinating elements of Hawaiian ecology, culture, and warfare, this captivating and dramatic debut from Austin Aslan is the first of two novels. The author has a master’s degree in tropical conservation biology from the University of Hawaii at Hilo.
Praise for Islands at the End of the World:
“A riveting tale of belonging, family, overcoming perceived limitations, and finding a home.”--School Library Journal, Starred
"Aslan’s debut honors Hawaii’s unique cultural strengths--family ties and love of home, amplified by geography and history--while remaining true to a genre that affirms the mysterious grandeur of the universe waiting to be discovered."--Kirkus Reviews, Starred
"Aslan’s debut is a riveting tale of belonging, family, overcoming perceived limitations, and finding a home."--School Library Journal, Starred
After 16-year-old, half-Hawaiian Leilani and her father travel from the Big Island to Oahu so she can take part in a trial for a new epilepsy drug, tsunamis sweep across the eastern shores of the Hawaiian islands; additional chaos descends as people realize that other disasters have struck all across the world. Technology fails, the military tries to gain control, food and resources dwindle, and ethnic factions take up arms to wrest Oahu from the tourists. Lei and her father only want to get home to the Big Island, and thus begins their dangerous journey across jungle, sea, and the islands, even as a strange cloud appears in the heavens that people start calling the Emerald Orchid. Debut author Aslan shows off his promise as a writer, delivering a fresh, of-the-moment take on apocalyptic fiction. The ecology of Hawaii and its mythology glow vividly as Lei awakens to her special connection to the Emerald Orchid and its purpose. First in a planned two-book series, it's an exceptional adventure and survival story that's intimately tied to its setting. Ages 12 up.
I couldn't put it down, it was thrilling and captivating. I loved everything about it from the writing to the history and the personalities of the characters. My only criticism is with the epilepsy communication- it makes sense and the book provides the perfect amount of evidence to throughly back up the theory- yet it seems a little too far fetched. Overall I loved the book and cannot wait for the sequel:)