A Sinister Island in Nil || BOOK REVIEW

Nil by Lynne Matson


Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi
Author: Lynne Matson
Published: May 2015
Publisher: Square Fish
Pages: 400 {paperback}

Review on Goodreads

Initial Thoughts Upon Finishing

OH MY GOD. This was insane. I was two seconds away from throwing the book out the window towards the end there but DANG, that ending was everything I could’ve hoped for. From page one this is a nail biter because aggghhhh – you’re just so unsure where it’s going. I’m mega intrigued to continue on with the series given that book two is Rives’ perspective *insert speculative face here*.


Now I’ve never read Lord of the Flies and I’ve never seen Lost but without fail, 90% of people who read this or hear me talk about it compare it to one or both of those. So, I cannot add my two cents to that discuss BUT I can tell you how freaking awesome this book was from my own, naïve perspective.

Nil is set on earth except that there are these portals – or ‘gateways’ – that open up and take teenagers (and only teenagers) to an island called Nil. Once here, the teenagers have one year to escape or they die. Just drop dead. Poof.

They are not told these rules. This is not a challenge. This is simply a phenomena that happens. There are a good number of other kids on the island so usually they band together and share their knowledge of what they’ve seen and heard. In this way, they create a city-like set up with tasks, leaders and order to help people find their way back off the island.

It. Is. Awesome. The story is multi-perspective flipping between Charley and Thad. The romance in it is one of my all time favourites, the pace is FAST as fast can be, the characters are gloriously diverse and complex and the setting is intriguing, mystifying, something new and creepy. This is the ultimate fight for survival.

Why I Loved It

What I loved about this book was how well the story was told. Whilst I haven’t seen or read the other stories this is so frequently compared too, I was aware going into it that this could feel like a copied idea or something unoriginal. But it has so many complexities within its plot that to me, this felt utterly unique.

I really loved the characters. I connected to Charley and Thad really well and I was so invested in their welfare. As the tensions builds as their numbered days do, I was so stressed wondering if one or both of them (or neither?!!) would get off the island. STRESS, I TELL YOU. Matson does an excellent job of completely and utterly frying your nerves towards the end of it. And if the actual ending doesn’t blow you over with a feather then I don’t know what to say.


This was an incredible book and I can’t recommend it enough. I have been trying to force it upon everyone. It’s one of those reads I’ve enjoyed so much that I now have both the second and final books to read because heck, I ain’t waiting to see where this story goes. I have to know NOW!

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Happy Reading

~~ Kirstie ~~


2 thoughts on “A Sinister Island in Nil || BOOK REVIEW

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