by Tracey Neithercott
Published on October 10, 2017 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Genres: Fantasy, Mystery, Young Adult
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.
From debut author Tracey Neithercott comes a darkly compelling tale of profound friendship, adventure, and finding the strength to tell the truth.
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I wasn’t expecting this book. And by that, I mean I think I went in with more expectations for action, adventure, the standard fantasy elements that I always look for but this book just isn’t that.
I loved that this felt like a mysterious treasure hunt and combined with the beautiful writing that reminded me a bit of The Court of Broken Knives, both books featuring a very lyrical, almost flowery style. It definitely slowed the pacing down but not in a bad way so much as world slowed (rather than bang-bang-bang action).
Gray Wolf Island is one of those books where I can’t really get into the plot or risk too many spoilers. The mystery is beautifully woven throughout the plot and each of the characters had their secrets that made me invested just because I wanted to know more. That wasn’t the only reason I loved these characters but it sparked the initial interest.
But this book wasn’t perfect (I don’t think any book is). I wasn’t a huge fan of the protagonist, Ruby. She wasn’t a bad character or anything but something about her just didn’t click for me. That being said, the secondary cast was also stunning and interesting and I was just so happy with that. I love books featuring groups adventuring. They’re like candy, I can’t get enough, and to see the secondary cast developed as well as the protagonist was so exciting.
Y’all don’t want to let this book go to the wayside. It’s a bit of mystery, a bit of magical writing, and a lot of amazing characters that you can get behind. Definitely get Gray Wolf Island on your list!