Right before Sadie died, she begged her sister, Ruby, to do the one thing she could never do herself: Find the treasure on Gray Wolf Island.
With just a mysterious treasure map as a guide, Ruby reluctantly allows some friends to join her on the hunt, each of whom is touched by magic: a boy allegedly born to a virgin, a girl who never sleeps, a boy who can foresee his own death, and a boy with deep ties to the island. Each of them is also keeping a secret—something they’ll have to reveal in order to reach the treasure.
As the secrets come to light, Ruby will have to decide: Can she make peace with her friends’ troubled pasts and continue to trust them? Can she forgive herself for doing the unspeakable? Deep in the wilderness of Gray Wolf Island, Ruby’s choices will determine if they make it out with the treasure—or merely with their lives.
From debut author Tracey Neithercott comes a darkly compelling tale of profound friendship, adventure, and finding the strength to tell the truth.
Gray Wolf Island is a blend of some of my favorite things: mystery, adventure, with a hint of magic and a dynamic cast similar to that of The Raven Cycle. If you’re familiar with The Raven Cycle, then you know they are a spectacular cast of characters who are so layered and authentic and magical that you cannot help but want to be right there beside them. And this is exactly how I felt with the characters in Gray Wolf Island.
But that’s the thing: in a flash, alone becomes lonely. Maybe I’ve been waiting for someone to push me. That’s what these boys are doing, I think. They’re forcing their way under my skin.
Our main character Ruby has lost her twin sister Sadie, and since her death, Ruby has felt more lost and alone than ever. But she decides to honor her sister’s wish to attempt to discover the treasure of Gray Wolf Island. This is when our other characters come in. We have Elliott, the boy with deep ties to the island; Gabriel, the boy who was born to a virgin; Charlie, the boy who has foreseen his own death; and finally, Anne, the girl who never sleeps.
I watch them all, and I’m amazed. How is it that after a purposefully solitary year so much of my own happiness is wrapped up in theirs? But solitude is a crafty devil, deceiving you into thinking you’re alone by choice. Only when you meet people who make you feel a part of something real does he whisper in your ear “You see, I’ve been loneliness all along.”
Not only were these characters extremely witty and entertaining, but their interactions with one another was something special. Each character developed a strong, individual bond with each other that felt so alive. They felt real, secrets and all. I loved their banter and thoughts and questions. I loved how they grew from observing each other.
“Don’t grow up,” he says over his shoulder. “It’ll turn you into a monster.”
Gray Wolf Island is told from Ruby’s perspective, along with a mysterious boy named Cooper. Throughout the novel, the two POV’s slowly intertwine, and it blew my mind. These characters always kept me guessing with their flawed ways. Neithercott threaded their stories together in a beautiful manner that left me breathless.
“Careful,” Anne says. “Venomous words have a way of poisoning more lives than you intend.”
This novel is the perfect collaboration of mystery and adventure and insight. Gray Wolf Island gave me a keen perspective on some things I am familiar with, but with a different light, along with a few various ideas. I also really admired how Neithercott subtly touched upon PTSD within this novel. I think she handled it well and accurately, and will hopefully raise more awareness of this condition.
Maybe wickedness tears holes in our hearts, like it did for me the day Sadie died. But maybe we fill those hollows with the people we love, and they make us better, stronger.
If you’re looking for a classic treasure hunting story with the addition of compelling characters and stunning writing, BUY THIS BOOK. You won’t regret it.
Thank you to Knopf for approving me to read an ARC of Gray Wolf Island. This ARC was received through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Gray Wolf Island is expected to be released October 10, 2017.
Happy weekend, my lovelies! I hope you enjoyed this review and perhaps even pre-order Gray Wolf Island (which I obviously did before writing this review because I will NEED to take pictures of this novel to rave about for years to come). Or, at the very least, I hope you’ll add this book to your list. I know books are subjective, but I’m quite sure you’ll love this one.