Puffin Books – published 4th March 2021
Friendship, dark secrets and malevolent forces, Struan Murray has delivered another fast-paced and thrilling adventure that will have you gripped from from cover to cover.
Orphans of the Tide was without a doubt, one of my standout favourite books of 2020 and this phenomenal sequel did not disappoint - I'd even go as far as to say I enjoyed it more than the first book! Shipwreck Island had me entranced and enthralled from the very first page -it was absolutely unputdownable!
Not a second is wasted - we are transported straight back into the action and reunited with Ellie and Seth, floating on a make-shift raft in the middle of the ocean. They have escaped the City and after months at sea, wash up on Shipwreck Island.
From the moment we arrive on the island we are absolutely immersed in Murray's stunning world building and vivid setting descriptions. The tropical land is awash with colour, with an almost carnival atmosphere in places - a stark contrast to that of the City. The island is ruled by a beloved Queen, also a Vessel, revered by her loyal subjects. Ellie is determined to get close to the queen when she learns that the Enemy fears the god that lives inside her.
Ellie and Seth take up lodgings at the Vile Oak Public House and it's here in the rowdy bar and the nearby docks that we are introduced to a cast of new characters. Viola, the daughter of a fisherman is a feisty, fearless character and extremely handy with a sword. 12 year old Molworth, the grumpy and brutally honest landlord of the pub is an ingenious and often hilarious addition to the story and I'm sure will be a firm favourite for many readers.
New friends nonetheless, Ellie and Seth can't allow themselves to feel too at home as there are dark forces at work. A treacherous villain is out to take the queen's powers and claim the island and Ellie is sure she keeps catching glimpses of a dark figure - is it possible that she and Seth were followed when they left the city? The Enemy it seems is everywhere and Ellie wrestles with her own inner darkness - has she got the strength of mind to defeat it?
Once again, diary chapters bind the past and the present and weave in characters from long ago, from a time when the drowning happened, offering greater insight into Seth's past.
With twists, treachery and moral tests at every turn of the page, and a final few chapters to set hearts racing, Shipwreck Island is unmissable - it's going to be an agonising wait for book 3!
With thanks to NetGalley and Puffin books - I feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to read this book in advance of publication.