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The Island (Fallen Earth Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Michael Stark
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (257 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The Fever struck hard and fast, rising out of the slums and claiming victim after victim. At first, reports trickled across the wire in small segments relegated to the final seconds of the broadcast news. Lost among stories of failing economies and political bickering, few noticed what proved to be the birth pangs of a monster. Within months, the disease dominated the news as thousands died and infection rates soared.

William Hill knew his chances of avoiding the virus sat squarely between slim and none. With experts predicting a global pandemic, his choices boiled down to not if, but where he would die. While the rest of the world built barricades and set up distribution points for food, he chose a simpler end. The island had been one of the last and best times with his father. He couldn’t think of a better place to spend his final days.

He wanted sun and sand, fresh fish on the grill and cool nights by the campfire. He wanted feel-good days filled with oldies on the radio, days when he could hoist the sails and run before the wind. He didn’t set out to make enemies, but he did. He didn’t plan on becoming humanity’s last hope for survival, or watching over an old woman and an eerie little boy either.

To William Hill, the island seemed as good a place as any to die.

He just didn’t realize how good.

Product Details

  • File Size: 368 KB
  • Print Length: 82 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008EGEOW2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,154 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review and Information August 5, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
At this point I have read parts 1, 2, and 3 so some of my thoughts will include where he's went since the first part.

A little information first:
- You may not realize it (I certainly didn't) but this is a pretty short read - probably a bit less than 100 paperback pages. It's the first "episode" of this story. Every subsequent part is currently on sale for $.99.
- There is a bit more information about the author located at [...]
- The current expectation is that there will be at least 6 parts and he's trying to release a new part every 2 weeks.

On to the review. I thought this was a very entertaining read. The author, as he points out, can go a bit overboard with the descriptions of some things. While they are long-winded they are very well written and I think he gets better after book one. This book is really just an introduction to our protagonist and the writer's style. Note, there is *no* fantasy elements in part 1. I, personally, don't think this was a bad thing. Instead, think of this as an opportunity to get to see the author's ability to tell a story. I thought it was done very well, which is certainly not the norm for free books. The fantasy does start showing up in later parts.

With parts 2 and 3 the story is shaping up to be a very well told end-of-the-world yarn. For me, the main character he spent so much time introducing in part 1 has been the most engaging part. If you try this and enjoy his storytelling I imagine you will very much enjoy the subsequent parts.

This one stands out as one to try.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
"The Island" Part One, is a serialize thriller in the Fallen Earth series by author Michael Stark. This Kindle e-book was a 342 Kb download (approx. 88 printed pages) and was free (normally $0.99) at the time of writing this review.

Spoilers (general theme)

It was called 'The Fever' and it struck hard and fast, going from a few isolated cases to a world wide pandemic in a matter of weeks. There was no cure as the entity causing the infection mutated faster than vaccines could be developed.
William Hill, our hero, decides to take his boat to an island off the North Carolina coast with the hope of surviving as long as he could and maybe, just maybe still be alive if the disease ever burnt itself out.
But the island he chose turns out to be as deadly as the infection he was trying to escape.

End Spoilers.

Some thoughts on "The Island"...

1.) an intriguing story line.

2.) the author has an easy to read writing style and the quality of story telling is well above average.

3.) some interesting characters that will likely have an influence on future installments.

4.) this first episode spends a lot of time with background information, technical descriptions and introduction of characters... all at the expense of action.

5.) cover art which has no apparent connection to this particular episode.

A well written and detailed first installment. Hopefully all this setup information will provide the reader with a more action orientated story in Part Two.

4 1/2 Stars.

Ray Nicholson
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a fan June 27, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
For me, reading this book was like a long drive through Montana or Nebraska. Just a constant flow of the same scenery, over and over. When something of note does finally happen, you almost miss it.

The pace was slow. Too many descriptions were almost painfully detailed. And at times, the story seemed to veer off into some meandering thought of the main character, until it finally winds back to the story that was being told. I was almost scanning the pages to get back to the story.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A sailing book and oh yes, some end of the world illness September 24, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you want to know all about sailing in painfully slow detail, this is the book for you! I know feel I should buy a sailboat after this first installment. That's ALL it is about. Oh and by the way there is an end of the world type of illness that is pushing the lead character to go sailing. Did I mention there's a LOT of detail about sailing?

If one is writing a book about a worldwide disaster then for your reader's sake please mention it in more than passing. Clearly the author is a sailor or researches well but that shouldn't be dragging the book slowly to the bottom of the sea while mentioning the main thrust of the plotline. Edit, edit and then edit some more. Hire an editor who isn't a friend or in love with sailing. Even for a free book, this is painfully slow.

The author is a storyteller but one cant find which story he wants you to read. Focus is needed. I wont be reading the rest of the installments since I don't want anymore sailing courses.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The B movie equivalent of a book September 28, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Firstly, my apologies to the author, because he does seem like a nice person from his forward and bio.

I read the first chapter (free) based on the great reviews. And in fact, I was entertained and thought it was a neat premise -- severe epidemic. But by the third book, I had a hard time finishing it (and couldn't do it without rolling my eyes--a lot), and only kept reading because I had already bought the rest of the books. I finally gave up about halfway through book 4. I can't imagine it will get better. The editing in the book goes downhill the farther you read. By book 3, there was a typo about every 2 pages. It felt more like I was reading a rough draft. Additionally, somewhere during book 2 or 3, the story takes a ridiculous turn. I love the fantasy genre of books, but this is laughable. I won't go into detail, but suffice it to say that it was the kind of story that a father might make up around the campfire to scare the kids at night. I would say it's somewhere between that and a really bad B movie -- complete with all the cliches. (A cross?? Really??)

I'm sure some of the great reviews were real, but I just finished reading a newspaper article where a self-published author on Amazon was caught writing his own glowing reviews (according to the journalist, that book also wasn't worth the few dollars you might have to pay for it). Just got me wondering. If I had bought each of these "books" at a bookstore, I'd be trying to return the last one unread for at least part of my money back. It's more the principle than the $2 I spent, but what a waste of time...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Really liked the ending!
Published 13 hours ago by Max Lamson
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this one and all the others
I loved this one and all the others, Im bad about leaving reviews, in fact will probably read thru all over again more than once
I am curious when he plans on adding to this... Read more
Published 16 days ago by qplady
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
there is no dragon in this book
Published 20 days ago by lilbrownpony
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 28 days ago by azziebakk
4.0 out of 5 stars The flow of the book was made for an easy read. It takes place very...
The flow of the book was made for an easy read. It takes place very near to where I live in NC so I guess that makes it more interesting to me. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Bob Licari
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fun Series
Book 1 starts and ends with little plot advancement. Most of it is back story that shows you who the main character is and the state of the world he lives in. Read more
Published 1 month ago by MikeRichmond
5.0 out of 5 stars I thought the concept was interesting especially as the Ebola ...
I thought the concept was interesting especially as the Ebola outbreak has just happened. The end got a little bloody and seemed to be getting rid of characters right and left. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Rhonda Martin
3.0 out of 5 stars well written
Good form and flow but read the whole first book expecting the promised plot to show up. Several unique or mysterious people or events are introduced that left the feeling... Read more
Published 1 month ago by James H. Hood
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
Very well written!
Published 2 months ago by Patrick Dempsey
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A good read.
Published 2 months ago by Julie
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More About the Author

Trying to figure out when I started writing is like trying to decide when I started walking. The stories have always been there, rummaging around in my mind. Some went on paper. Most didn't. I wrote my first novel when I was 22. Thankfully, I left it to the dustbin of history where it shall always remain.

Imagine the grin, yes, it was that bad.

I landed what some writers would consider a dream job in my thirties. Playing with wind chimes led me to my first publication, a how-to piece on building and tuning wind chimes that was featured in Popular Woodworking. That article drove a series of freelancing efforts and took me to the office of a local newspaper. I spent the next few years roaming forests and streets as their freelance outdoors reporter. I panned gold. I followed hobos and street preachers. I hung out with witches and took a trip with a man confined to a wheelchair in order to give readers an insight into just how difficult life could be.

As for influences on my latest story, The Island, that one has been up there banging away in my head for a long time. Parts of it were told at bedtime. Though honestly, those who heard the parts wouldn't recognize them in the story. By the time we get to the second book in this series, they will find some recognizable moments. They'll also probably be upset that the adventure turned into something of a horror story.

Ahh, well, most of them are old enough now to read it for what it is.

I grew up in North Carolina, which is why the story is set there. I've been to exotic parts of the world, many countries, and most states. None of them I know as well as the one I called home for most of my life. It makes it easy to write about it, and the people in it.

I hope you enjoy the stories.


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