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Rebel Island Hardcover – August 28, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At the start of Edgar-winner Riordan's entertaining seventh crime novel to feature San Antonio, Tex., PI Tres Navarre (after 2005's Mission Road), Tres has just retired and married his longtime girlfriend Maia, who's eight-plus–months pregnant. Tres's wheelchair-bound older brother, Garret, has persuaded the couple to honeymoon together with him and other old friends on the Texas Gulf's Rebel Island, where Tres and Garret spent vacations with their dysfunctional parents. When U.S. Marshal Jesse Longoria, a character from earlier books, is killed, Tres gets a chance to work out some unfinished business. As the bodies begin piling up, a lethal hurricane approaches. Fans will enjoy the update on Tres's life as he prowls through secret passageways hunting down the ghostlike killer while the roof of the island's old hotel begins to shred and the seas begin to rise. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Fans of the old William Powell–Myrna Loy Thin Man movies will like what Riordan has done with Tres Navarre and his retinue. Garrett, the hand-walking amputee brother, surprises Tres and his eight-and-a-half-month-pregnant bride, Maia, with a honeymoon to a once-luxurious hotel on a subtropical island. The fly in the ointment is the hotel's owner, Garrett's old chum and Tres' nemesis, Alex Huff. Actually, there are two flies in the ointment. The second is a series of mysterious goings-on that Garrett thinks Tres may be able to unravel. They have hardly arrived when a Texas lawman of the take-em-out-to-the-chapparal-and-let-em-try-to-get-away school is murdered, and the desk clerk goes missing. Naturally, a supposedly harmless tropical depression morphs into a Category 4 storm, and the hunt for the murderer is complicated still further. Riordan's strong narrative voice, reminiscent of Randy Wayne White and James Lee Burke, is alive and well in this thriller, as he attempts to enlarge the genre by going back to something the early Dashiell Hammett might have tried. Glassman, Steve

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (August 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553804235
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553804232
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,913,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rick Riordan is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, the Kane Chronicles, and the Heroes of Olympus. He is also the author of the multi-award-winning Tres Navarre mystery series for adults.

For fifteen years, Rick taught English and history at public and private middle schools in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Texas. In 2002, Saint Mary's Hall honored him with the school's first Master Teacher Award.

While teaching full time, Riordan began writing mystery novels for grownups. His Tres Navarre series went on to win the top three national awards in the mystery genre - the Edgar, the Anthony and the Shamus. Riordan turned to children's fiction when he started The Lightning Thief as a bedtime story for his oldest son.

Today over 35 million copies of his Percy Jackson, Kane Chronicles, and Heroes of Olympus books are in print in the United States, and rights have been sold into more than 35 countries. Rick is also the author of The 39 Clues: The Maze of Bones, another #1 New York Times bestseller.

Rick Riordan now writes full-time. He lives in Boston with his wife and two sons.

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#38 Overall (See top 100 authors)
#38 in Books
#78 in Kindle eBooks
#38 in Books
#78 in Kindle eBooks

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By TMStyles VINE VOICE on October 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been reading Riordan's Tres Navarre novels since the publication of "Big Red Tequila". Obviously, I like them enough to remain interested but after reading "Rebel Island", I have concluded that I miss some things from the past. I miss Tres' wicked almost irreverent sense of humor and wise cracking that was so prevalent in "Big Red Tequila" but has since become less and less visible. And I clearly miss Ralph Arguello whose absence leaves a huge void in the psychological and moral development of the novels.

In "Rebel Island", Tres, his wife, Maia, and brother, Garrett , are trapped in a dilapidated hotel by a powerful hurricane. It is a classic "we're trapped in this place and one of us is a murderer" story that quickly prompts us to start imagining who each character might "really" be in order to guess the ending. Along the way we get mysteries from the past interlocked with the mysteries of today. We also get an old hotel blown apart, hidden passageways, mysteries in an old lighthouse, red herrings, and, of course, trapped guests who are never who they claim to be.

While the mystery was entertaining enough, it never really grabbed me...I never reached that "gosh, I can't wait to turn the page feeling". Maybe this was due to the failure of Riordan to fully evolve the characters--I just didn't care about them. Some come and go so quickly only to resurface later that you need a score sheet handy.

I will stick with Tres Navarre a bit longer but I find the things I miss overriding the things that are left. For example, is anyone else getting tired of Garrett's schtick? He adds little beyond exasperation to the storylines and I'd gladly trade 2 Garretts for one Ralph.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gabriela Perez VINE VOICE on September 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
*warning--spoiler about previous Riordan novel included in this review*

Rick Riordan is an excellent writer. His Tres Navarre series is one of my all-time faves. This one, however, isn't at the top of my list when it comes to this series. It's not a terrible book; it's just not quite as engaging as the others in the series.

This one takes place on an island as a hurricane roars through. The mystery is complex enough, detail-wise, but I kind of knew who the "villain" was about halfway in. The characters I already liked were all there (Tres himself, his wife Maya, his brother Garrett), but this book kind of suffered from the loss of Tres' best friend, who (spoiler!) was killed in the last book in the series. I miss Ralph (Ralphas) and the way his interactions with Tres really spiced up the previous novels. Ralph could always be counted on to really pump up the moral grey areas. Adios, Ralphas. You are missed more than you can imagine.

In this book, Tres has retired from his previous job as a PI and is teaching full-time at a local university. The action of this novel throws him back into investigatory mode, but it seems that while it comes naturally to him, he isn't really into it. As a result, neither was I.


Well, I still really enjoy Tres. Hopefully he'll be a bit more thrilling next time around.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Andrew S. Rogers VINE VOICE on September 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Rick Riordan is proving himself a master of what I've come to think of as the "claustrophobic thriller." "Cold Springs" particularly impressed me with its psychological pressure-cooker of emotions and repressed secrets. "Rebel Island" takes that a step further, with almost all the action in the story taking place inside a crumbling old hotel in the middle of a hurricane. In that sense, this story is like a classic English country-house mystery, where you know from the start that "one of us in this room is ... The Killer" (dum dum dum!). As Riordan's fans will expect, though, the author gives the genre a distinctive South Texas twist that makes "Rebel Island" one of the best Tres Navarre stories in some time.

One of Riordan's storytelling distinctions has always been the twisting plot, with suspicion pointing first one way and then another. As bodies turned up in these pages, I started making a list of who I thought the killer was. By the time I finally twigged to the right answer (satisfyingly close to the end of the book), I had identified and rejected three other candidates. And even then, the author had one or two final surprises in store.

Now that Riordan has been doing it for a couple of novels, I'm more used to his new convention of only narrating some of the story in Tres' first-person view. As with "Mission Road," this technique not only lets other characters participate in the story more fully (always in third-person), but also gives us a glimpse inside the mind of the still-unidentified killer. As I've noted before, telling the story this way necessarily means we get less of Tres than we might otherwise like, but it does help increase the tension and make the story more well-rounded.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JoeV VINE VOICE on September 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is the seventh entry in the adventures of Tres Navarre, a part-time English Literature college professor and part-time San Antonio PI. The series is above average with a cast of captivating characters and fairly engaging plots. Unfortunately Rebel Island is a very weak addition.

The book opens with Tres marrying his 8 ½ month pregnant girlfriend and then honeymooning at a childhood vacation spot - Rebel Island - on the eve of a hurricane. As implausible as that sounds - things get worse. Once on the island the hurricane hits, one of the other guests is murdered, Tres is "enlisted" to solve the crime and then things grind to a standstill - for 300+ pages. I think the goal here was to write a Key Largo-like story, (the old Bogart/Bacall/Edward G. Robinson movie), and the author uses flashbacks and switches the narrative from one character's perspective to another to move things along - all to no avail as there really isn't an engaging story here.

This mystery also employs one of my pet peeves, which for the lack of a better term I'll call the "placeholder murderer", i.e. the character who serves no purpose to the story-line only to be named the villain at its conclusion.

As mentioned the earlier books in the series are fairly good reads, so if Tres sparks an interest, read those but avoid this one.
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