Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Isle Royale / John Hamilton

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Thriller/Historical/Supernatural

Approximate word count: 70-75,000

Kindle US:
YES UK: YES Nook: YES Smashwords: NO Paper: NO
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


John Hamilton is a jack-of-all-trades. His biography calls him a graphic designer, journalist, filmmaker, photographer, and novelist. His award-winning photography has appeared in dozens of magazines and books. He has written well over one hundred children’s books, twice winning the Golden Duck Award (for excellence in children’s science fiction). Hamilton’s history book, Lewis & Clark: Adventures West, was a finalist in the 17th annual Minnesota Book Awards. A resident of the Minneapolis metro, Hamilton enjoys hiking and martial arts in his spare time. For more, visit his website.


Ian MacDougal lives part of the year on Isle Royale, a remote island in Lake Superior, with his father Clarence, the lighthouse keeper, and mother Collene. Set in the 1920s during the prohibition era in the United States, the MacDougal’s simple life grows complicated with the appearance of a group of bootleggers, led by Collene’s former lover Sean LeBeck.


Although Isle Royale is a historical thriller, it could also be considered action/adventure and would be an appropriate book for teens as well as adults. Ian, the protagonist, is a teenage boy, stuck on Isle Royale with no one his own age except Sally, the daughter of the assistant lighthouse keeper. Between school work and helping his dad, Ian is bored. He doesn’t relate well to his father who seems too serious. Ian will sometimes sneak away for fun and exploration, both alone and with Sally, but not nearly as often as he’d like.

A conflict with someone from his parent’s past forces Ian to mature quickly. Before the story reaches its resolution, Ian understands his father’s motivations and receives a lesson in responsibility. He also experiences the adventure of a lifetime. Isle Royale was a fun read with an unexpected supernatural twist.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: **** Four stars

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