Nil

Lynne Matson, Author
Lynne Matson. Holt, $17.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-8050-9771-9
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-1-250-05702-0
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-8050-9772-6
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Matson makes a strong debut with this tense, cinematic struggle for survival on a peril-filled island that may have some readers flashing back to episodes of Lost. A mysterious portal transports 17-year-old Charley to the possibly sentient and certainly capricious island of Nil, where she encounters a community of teens who have also been stolen from the lives they once knew. While circumstances remain clouded in uncertainty, Charley quickly learns the chief rule: she has one year to find and catch a portal home (these "gates" appear and vanish at will), or she will die. When Charley falls for handsome Thad, whose own deadline swiftly approaches, she must choose between love and survival, with no guarantee either will last. Matson's eye for detail and skillful characterizations fuel a fast-paced story that blends beauty, horror, romance, and adventure. A memorable cast of attractive and resourceful teens, along with the lush and deadly island, offer an effective hook, while the story's psychological intrigue, cleverly subverted expectations, and slow unveiling of information contribute genuine drama. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jennifer Unter, the Unter Agency. (Mar.)
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