Island Fire

Young Adult

DYSTOPIAN:  Bea and Sam Whitley are secluded from society by their alcoholic father after the death of their mother. On the tiny island of Lanai, all rely upon the resort for employment and the ocean for sustenance, yet Bea and Sam know poverty far too well. Survival is the foundation of their knowledge. When a bizarre event suddenly destroys all electricity in the islands of Hawaii and possibly the world, survival means life or death. With the aid of her longtime friend Jaden, a stranded passenger from a crashed airplane, and a mo’o dragon the kids come together and discover a new side of living and surviving. 


A hodgepodge of science, survival strategy, fishing knowledge, and mythology, "Island Fire" tends to leave the reader scratching their head in confused wonder. Ms. Neal gives the reader a plethora of information and clearly knows her Hawaiian culture, mythology, and lifestyle, but may have overwhelmed the story with the details that cloud the plot line. Start to finish there are a number of detours that could probably be left to the wayside. The beautiful connecting thread is the relationships forged by old friends and new in a time of crisis. Sam and Bea take their individual knowledge and bond with Jaden and Nick not only to survive, but to overcome the challenges dropped in their laps. Each character stands alone but is so much better when they open their hearts and minds to those around them.  "Island Fire" is a testament to humanity in its purest form. 


Penelope Anne Bartotto