Review: Samhain Island by Taylor Thomas

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Publication: October 30th 2015
Publisher:  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Pages:  148 pages
Source: Author (Thank you!)
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Paranormal, Supernatural, Fiction
My Rating: ⛤⛤⛤⛤

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

When the author, Taylor Thomas, messaged me about this novel, I immediately became interested because of the title. You see, I have a love/hate relationship with Halloween that is much more hate than love. I love the magic that Halloween brings, the myths, the stories, and the magic. But I absolutely hate being scared, and that seems to be the main focus of the holiday. From reading the description, I didn’t get any scary vibes that I usually do when reading the back of horror movies, but instead the feel of a cute, spooky mystery that reminded me of Gravity Falls. I wasn’t wrong. 

When I first read the name Tremaine Boppel, I thought of this:

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Luckily, Tremaine Boppel is nothing like Cinderella’s wicked stepmother Lady Tremaine. Instead, Tremaine is an incredibly spunky, smart, and tough thirteen-year-old who’s excited to be moving to Samhain Island with her parents. Tremaine was such an refreshing protagonist for the typical “kid moves to new area and discovers secrets” story. She is ready to find out the secrets of her new town and she isn’t afraid to fight for it if she has to.

I enjoyed the brief introduction to the secrets and world of Samhain Island that readers get.Not too much information is given, but just enough for readers to know that the information on the secrets, monsters, and myths that surround the island will be answered in the upcoming novels. I look forward to learning about the other monsters that inhabit the island in the upcoming books/episodes.

I don’t know how I feel with labeling this book as YA. While there are definitely elements of the YA genre in Samhain Island, it read more like a high middle grade, just before Young Adult novel. It was excellently written, aside from a few spelling, grammatical, and tense errors (as well as naming a character before they were actually introduced) the simplistic style moves the story forward and keeps reader’s interested in engaged.  There were also some parts where Tremaine seemed to act much older than a thirteen-year-old, or eighth grader, would but maybe I’m just not used to reading a YA novel with such a young protagonist since most of the protagonists in YA novels range from 15-18.

There was also a code at the back of the book that, when I get time, I hope to solve. It’s a nice little Easter egg to place in the book and allows readers to participate in the mystery of the story.

Overall, Samhain Island is full of great mystery, mind games, and spunk. If you enjoy Halloween reads, monsters, myths, and mind games you’ll adore this book. It’s the perfect series to fill the hole that Gravity Falls left behind!

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