Gray Wolf Island by Tracey Neithercott
Summary from Goodreads:
Right before Sadie died, she begged her sister, Ruby, to do the one thing she could never do herself: Find the treasure on Gray Wolf Island.
With just a mysterious treasure map as a guide, Ruby reluctantly allows some friends to join her on the hunt, each of whom is touched by magic: a boy allegedly born to a virgin, a girl who never sleeps, a boy who can foresee his own death, and a boy with deep ties to the island. Each of them is also keeping a secret—something they’ll have to reveal in order to reach the treasure.
As the secrets come to light, Ruby will have to decide: Can she make peace with her friends’ troubled pasts and continue to trust them? Can she forgive herself for doing the unspeakable? Deep in the wilderness of Gray Wolf Island, Ruby’s choices will determine if they make it out with the treasure—or merely with their lives.
ARC provided by publisher via Netgalley for an honest review.
I was attracted to this book by both the cover and the summary. I am always up for a good treasure hunting story and this one was everything I hoped it would be. I really liked the characters and the plot was intriguing. Some of the magical realism could have been left out, but did add to the story in some unexpected ways.
Ruby is an interesting character. In some ways she is very strong and resourceful, but she has a lot of doubts about herself. These doubts mostly come from having lived in her sister’s shadow her whole life. Her sister, Sadie, was the stronger twin who was outgoing and sociable. Ruby, is more of an introvert and she has to try really hard to get along with the group through out the book. She does develop good relationships with the others eventually but it is a struggle for her.
The boys who accompany Ruby on the treasure hunt, are not as well developed, which is a shame. They are more typical characters except for the magical aspect of them, which could have been better developed. It is never really explained why Gabe was born to a virgin mother, or why Anne never sleeps. Elliot’s issues are eventually revealed but it didn’t fully explain his ties to the island. Charlie was the only one I felt whose abilities were explained. As an ensemble cast though they all work well together.
The writing in this book is suburb, I enjoyed reading it and often had a hard time putting it down. The plot was not entirely predictable, and is well thought out. Ruby is the narrator for the main story of the treasure hunt, but there are other chapters throughout that tells the story of Cooper, a boy with no memory who is found on the island. At first his story does not make sense in the context of Ruby’s tale, but they eventually do come together in an unexpected way.
If you are a fan of magical realism with a mystery this is a good book for you to pick up. The setting of the island and all of its mysteries makes for a really good read.