Revel

Title: Revel
Author: Maurissa Guibord
Publisher: Delacorte Press – Random House
Release Date: February 12, 2013

There is an island off the coast of Maine that can’t be found on any modern map – only in the faded pages of old books of New England legends. But it’s real. Shrouded in mist and protected by a deadly reef, Trespass Island is home to a community of people who guard the land and its secrets from outsiders, just as they’ve done for centuries.
After the death of her mother, seventeen-year-old Delia McGovern finds her way to the island in search of her grandmother, hoping for answers to lingering questions. Why did Delia’s mom never talk about Trespass Island?
Delia isn’t welcome here, and she soon finds herself trapped in a world where mysterious ancient symbols adorn the buildings, communication with the outside world is impossible, and death comes quickly to unsuspecting intruders. Despite the dangers, Delia feels drawn to life on the island, as well as to the sea and to Jax, the elusive young man she meets at the water’s edge. She also meets Sean Gunn, a handsome young lobsterman who befriends her but seems to have a troubling secret of his own.
As the young women of the island prepare for Revel, the traditional ceremony held on the night of the summer solstice, Delia learns the terrifying truth: Trespass Island is home to more than just humans.
There are monsters here.

I have mixed feelings about this book. It was decently written, and the idea of the book is great, but I think the actual execution of the plot has some major holes that detracted from the rest of the book.  For example, how did Jax find Delia in the end? Also, I don’t think we get enough of a perspective from the First Ones, which is a huge part of the book. Even if the character isn’t supposed to know something, the reader probably should, sometimes.

Also, the ending was a little anticlimactic. All this build-up, and then it kind of just washes away with the way it ends – very little detail, some vague promises that things would change, and a lot of people died. The suspenseful parts earlier were much better and more fun to read; after a certain point, I only continued reading because I wanted to see how it would actually end, not because I thought the ending was great, or I needed more information about the characters.

That being said, there were some other parts that I thoroughly enjoyed. The idea of the island, and the creatures on and below it, and Delia herself were excellent. I also liked her grandmother, a lot. The characters were great; it was mostly just details here and there that kind of threw everything off just enough to make it noticeable.

The cover, also, is beautiful. The shades of blue, the waves, and the slight distortion of the cover model in the water is great; it really reflects the book. The title, plain and bold, sits perfectly in front of the picture, with a fanciful swirl around a letter pulling it all together.

The last thing I’ll point out that I didn’t really like was that no one else really seemed to want to fight back or think that anything on the island was wrong, and that just didn’t make much sense to me, especially considering the Revel tradition. There should have been at least one other person who agreed with Delia, aside from her grandmother (who did, but didn’t really show it much), even if it was privately.

To finish on a positive note, the book really wasn’t terrible. It was a nice, creative, fast read; I just don’t think it’s for me.

~Yours Truly

*Note: I do not recommend this book for readers under the age of 14 due to some sexual references.

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