Review: Marrow Island

MarrowIslandTitle: Marrow Island
Author: Alexis M. Smith
Pages: 256
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Summary: A young woman returns home to investigate a secretive community that has appeared on a nearby island, while further exploring her own issues related to past relationships and loss.

My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

Perhaps it was unfair to want this novel to be something it was not, but that was what I kept feeling while reading this. It never quite reached the intrigue-piquing levels of books with similar plots and settings like CaliforniaThe Lightkeepers, or The Beach. Every potential revelation was muted and underwhelming. Things appeared to be picking up steam about halfway through when the true nature of the secretive, cult-like society’s motivations were made clear, but any narrative momentum was quickly halted by the unsatisfying chapter structure that switched between past and present. This did not enhance the story and, at times, left me confused about the true timeline of events. I did enjoy Smith’s prose and her descriptions of nature, especially when it came to fungus. That withstanding, I was let down with this book overall, as the contents of the book never lived up to the description on the back.

★★ out of 5

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