cover image The Island

The Island

Tim Lebbon, . . Bantam Spectra, $12 (416pp) ISBN 978-0-553-38468-0

Stoker-winner Lebbon returns to the magic-saturated land of Noreela (most recently the setting for 2008's Fallen ) for this gripping adventure. Kel Boon deserted the Core, a secret organization that hunts the mysterious Strangers who spy on humans, after one mission went badly and his lover was butchered. Now settled in an isolated fishing village, Kel is shocked when the island of Komadia appears in the ocean after a devastating tsunami. Distrustful of the seemingly benign Komadians, Kel and his new inamorata, the young witch Namior, make a clandestine trip to the island. What they find ends Kel's dreams of safe anonymity. While slightly less intense than earlier Noreela tales that slid from dark fantasy into horror, this solidly constructed tale offers hope that the compelling protagonists can achieve believable heroism if they're willing to pay for it. (May)