On the mysterious island of Nil, the rules are set. You have exactly 365 days to escape—or you die.
Seventeen-year-old Charley doesn’t know the rules. She doesn’t even know where she is. The last thing she remembers is blacking out, and when she wakes up, she’s naked in an empty rock field.
Lost and alone, Charley finds no sign of other people until she meets Thad, the gorgeous leader of a clan of teenage refugees. Soon Charley learns that leaving the island is harder than she thought . . . and so is falling in love. With Thad’s time running out, Charley realizes that she has to find a way to beat the clock, and quickly.
When seventeen-year-old Charley wakes up on the mysterious, yet beautiful, island of Nil she had no idea where she is or how she got there. Enter Thad, the breathtaking leader of a group of teenagers stuck on the island. Soon, Charley finds out that the beautiful island’s facade is just that – a facade, and behind it all is a clock, counting away the seconds until she – and the others, die if they don’t make it off the island in time.
I have to admit I started this story expecting a book full of danger on every page, action, and adventure. So you have no idea how disappointed I was when NIL was a paradise island, where you have exactly 365 days to get off. Or you’re dead.
But the further I ventured into the world of NIL, the more the suspense grew with a select few characters who were counting down the time. So don’t quit when you’ve read, say, the first half of the story. That part was rather boring, and I *nearly* set it down. But after that, it grew interesting. Incredibly so.
Although there weree no life-threatening dangers and the like, the characters were all deeply fleshed out, and well-written. From all over the world – France, Canada, Switzerland, Pakistan, the USA (of course), to name a few, they were all different and likable. I loved the diversity Lynne Matson included in the pages of her debut. That’s always a plus, because we rarely see different cultures and people in YA.
The origin of Nil wasn’t explained well enough. We had a few guesses here and there, but that was it. Despite that, I really like how Nil wasn’t some dark and dreary island, more like the dream vacation kind.
One major dislike for me was the insta-love, and how many times Charley fantasized about Thad and vice versa. It was annoying, but after a while you get used to it, and the two of them together are kind of sweet.
I really liked the cover change, the first one was rather boring and generic, but the new cover is pretty cool. Dark and mysterious and really compelling.
Judging by the way it ended, I’m guessing NIL is a standalone, something that I’m both glad and a tad bit sad about. Y’know, the usual feeling when you finish a good book. All in all, I enjoyed NIL. I wish all my questions were answered, but alas, you can’t get everything you want.
About the Author
Lynne is a former attorney who thinks writing books for teens is much more fun. :) Her debut novel, NIL, a YA thriller with a SF twist, will be published by Macmillan/Henry Holt on March 4, 2014.
When she’s not writing or reading, you’ll find her hanging out with her husband and their 4 boys, usually at the beach. Cookies are her kryptonite, especially thin mints.