Island Games: Mystery of the Four Quadrants
by Caleb J. Boyer
Lasting Press

"'We keep saying the same thing over and over. We want some food and water and a way off this stupid island.'"

Matthew and Ryan are two young friends who wake up on an island together. Almost all of their memories are gone, and they have no supplies or understanding of where they are or why they’ve been taken there. Needing to locate food and water to survive in a hostile environment, Matthew and Ryan decide that they have to work together and figure out a way back home. Along the way, they travel through jungles, mountains, deserts, temples, and even a volcano while solving puzzles, avoiding hidden traps, and fighting off dangerous and mysterious beasts. As they grow to trust and depend on each other, they get glimpses of their families and their past, pressing forward until they can find their way off the dangerous island.

This story contains plenty of action and imaginative wonder, perfect for younger readers following along with the two protagonists. The memorable settings and the pace of the story are similar to an exciting video game, perhaps helping potential readers put down the controller and pick up the book. Matthew and Ryan banter, tease, and prod each other while also demonstrating the deep kind of friendship that children so often form with each other. The mystery of the island looms large over readers, filling them with the same kinds of questions as the boys, but a deeper meaning lies beneath the surface for those that can look beyond the literal details. There are enough excitement and personal growth to draw any reader of young adult fiction in and hook them, leaving one wanting much more adventure and action once the story is over.

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