April SST: 4 Reasons Why You Should Read The Island by S. Usher Evans

Sunday, April 10, 2016
The Island by S. Usher Evans
Series: The Madion War Trilogy #1
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Page Length: 260 pages
Publication Date: April 26, 2016

About The Island (via Goodreads):

Prince Galian is third in line to the throne, but prefers his place as a resident at the Royal Kylaen Hospital. When his father urges him to join the military to help reclaim their colony, Galian is forced to put aside his oath to Do No Harm and fight a war he does not believe in.

Across the great Madion Sea, Captain Theo Kallistrate dreams of a day when she is no longer bound by conscription to fight for her country's independence. But when the Kylaens threaten, honor and duty call her to the front lines to fight off the oppressors.

When an air skirmish goes wrong, both Theo and Galian crash on a remote island hundreds of miles from either nation. Grievously injured, Theo must rely on Galian's medical expertise, and Galian must rely on Theo's survival skills, to live another day in a harsh and unforgiving terrain.

Can they put aside their differences long enough to survive? Or will the war that brought them to the island tear them apart?

The Island is the first in a new romance trilogy by S. Usher Evans, author of the Razia series and Empath.
1. THE CHARACTERS. I loved Theo and Galian as protagonists! They were very flawed and opinionated at the beginning, but went through a huge transformation throughout the book. While being opinionated obviously isn't a bad thing (it's a great thing!), they started out unable to compromise their ideas of what the enemy is supposed to be like. They were able to overcome so many obstacles, both physical and mental, and I was rooting for them the whole time. It was great seeing them transform as people and become more aware of the world around them.

2. CONNECT-ABILITY/LIFE LESSONS. It's important that what we read teaches us to be good people. Although this trilogy takes place in a fantasy world, we can definitely learn things from The Island. It teaches a lot about the issues that arise from discrimination and ignorance. Although it does not go into a lot of depth about specific customs or cultural differences between the Kylaen and the Raven peoples, the relationship between Theo and Galian and the development of said relationship shows the importance of making a better effort to be more accepting of other cultures and other people. Obviously we shouldn't have to be stuck on a deserted island in order to make such progress in our world today, but a lot of conflicts probably would not occur if we were willing to learn and listen, instead of making false assumptions about people we might not know as well as we think. I guess this lesson is one we should already know, but it seems like a lot of people still discriminate against people simply out of ignorance or past grudges we barely understand. And sometimes we miss out on meeting the most incredible people because we are too afraid to give them a chance.

3. THE ROMANCE. I can guarantee that this one is a slowwww burn. Although they could be awkward at times, Theo and Galian complemented each other really well. At the beginning, they never failed to throw some snarky comments at each other, which I loved. And then when they get together... it actually gets pretty steamy ;) Overall, their relationship was just so wonderful *spins around happily* They started off as enemies, but they gradually warmed up to each other and once they finally realized they love loved each other... *flails spastically* IT WAS TOO CUTE.

4. QUOTABILITY (AKA SNARK AND SWEET NOTHINGS). From hilariously snarky sayings that I can't repeat because of somewhat inappropriate language to sweet nothings, The Island had a variety of quotes I just couldn't help but laugh or smile at. I'm going to share a few quotes I like, just so you can get a taste. Some of them are neither snarky remarks nor sweet nothings, but I adore them all the same:
“She stared back at me with those beautiful dark eyes. In them, I could see the years of abuse, of fear, of living every day as if it were her last. She was Raven by birth, but they'd never loved her the way a country should love its child. They'd put her to work, enslaved her to a fighting force caught in a losing battle."
 This quote ^ is probably one of my favorite quotes from the book. There's just something so emotionally raw and powerful about it.
"'So, Princeling...' 'I'm sorry, what?' He blinked at me. 'Princeling.' The horrified look on his face tugged a smile onto my lips. 'It's what we call you in Rave.'" 
 "'Oh, go to hell,' she hissed at me. 'I'd rather drink my own piss than accept anything from you.'"
And these last two quotes are just a bit of a peek at how sassy Theo is to Galian. And these aren't even the best ones. Some of her comments are absolutely hilarious, but also outlandishly inappropriate, so I didn't want to share them. If you're curious though, I really suggest reading it and finding out for yourself!

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