- File Size: 1914 KB
- Print Length: 316 pages
- Publication Date: October 1, 2018
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07H1NP295
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,080 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$9.99|
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The Forgotten Island: A Horror Novel Kindle Edition
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What follows is a gruesome struggle for survival as the grotesque, blood thirty inhabitants begin to stalk their prey. Sodergren weaves a terrifying tale with some extremely satisfying deaths (does that make me morbid??). I really liked Ana and Rachel and despised everyone else except for Grub the pug and Chakrit. The men in this novel were just... the worst, they really were. They were not likable, nor were they meant to be. They're dealt with appropriately, however, so I won't complain too much about them. But you really, really want the sisters to get off this horrible island.
It took me a few chapters to "get into it", but once they reach the island, the suspense begins and never lets up. There is plenty of sex and gore. So much gore. I had to skim some of it when I got queasy, and I promise that's a compliment to the author. The Forgotten Island is exquisite, pulpy horror with an ending that I'm still thinking about. I feel like I ought to hate it, but... really, I think I loved it.
For fans of horror, this is a quick, entertaining read. I definitely recommend it.
It’s obvious that Sodergren has spent a long time steeped in the horror tradition, and as a longtime follower of his Instagram, @paperbacksandpugs, I can say that this is—without a doubt—definitely the case. He knows it all, from the most obscure reference to the pop culture stalwarts. His personal love of the horror genre comes across in the style and substance of this novel, and while it feels like it could be a vintage horror paperback from the 80s paying homage to the video nasties, it is a wholly original tale.
Here’s the setup: two sisters, one boyfriend, and a new guy they just met on holiday in Thailand. They party wildly all night and wind up on a boat headed for an island that seems deserted—but as any good horror hound knows, “seems” is just another way to say that this is where things are about to get crazy.
And crazy is only the start of it.
This is a story I found myself really lost in, the type of book that as you’re reading it, the background falls away and you don’t notice time passing or people trying to talk to you, or even if your house might be burning down.
I appreciated getting to see from the perspectives of a variety of the characters. They were an interesting (and sometimes nasty—in all senses of the word!) bunch and getting into their heads gave each one room to become a more rounded and believable character. It also made me unsure of who was going to make it to the end of the book and who was toast. The characters filled horror tropes without becoming total clichés—not the easiest thing to do.
Ana, the main character, is quite brilliant. I loved how she was an average girl, not super good-looking or skinny, definitely has some bad moments in her past, tends to be insecure, and uses sarcasm to keep people away. Watching her transformation throughout the book is quite great. It’s not like she turns into Lara Croft or anything, but I felt she realistically took on the horrific events around her, adapted how she could, and badassed her way through it. I’d like to think I’d do the same, given the chance.
And the monsters—I think you’re going to like them. The opening scene alone is nightmare-inducing, but what’s worse: not knowing what’s down the dark, black hole or having to confront it face to face and try to stay alive? You’ll have to read on to find out!
I definitely recommend this horror novel to fans looking for something a little different and unique and a lot of blood-spattering, gore-infested (but still character-driven) madness—especially if they have a fondness for vintage horror films and books. There is a lot to love here, and I know this isn’t the last we’ll see from Sodergren (or his pug).
I loved this book. I cannot believe that this is David Sodergren’s debut novel. He did a wonderful job writing characters that were likeable and that I wanted to root for. He also did an equally good job writing terrible, awful characters that I wanted to throat punch. Ana and Rachel’s relationship is deep and nuanced with plenty of backstories to give their interactions meaning. Their dialogue is also very funny. All of the characters had their own time to shine (or stink) and you could tell that Sodergren really took the time to make sure that no one was forgotten.
Once the terror ball starts rolling, there is no shortage of scares and terrifying moments. Sodergren unleashes his island on the reader slowly, and each new revelation leads you closer to an ultimately satisfying and horrifying conclusion. Despite the slow reveal of what is actually happening, this is not a slow read. Sodergren punches his readers in the teeth repeatedly with carefully crafted death scenes and brutal situations. The hits keep coming right until the end. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I already have Sodergren’s next book, Night Shoot, and after finishing this one, I don’t think it will last long on my TBR cart.
Top international reviews
The book has a classic B-movie structure – a prologue set in the past where bad shit goes down and lots of people get messed up, followed by a skip forward to the present day and a slow build up to more bad shit going down. In this case the setting is a remote island in Thailand and the bad shit involves hordes of possessed Thai workers and giant creepy spider things.
The protagonist is Ana, a young woman with a troubled past who is on holiday in Thailand with her sister, Rachel, and Rachel’s dick of a boyfriend. Things start going wrong when the sisters wake up on a boat adrift in the ocean after a night of partying. When they end up coming aground on the mysterious island where the shit went down in the prologue it’s pretty obvious they’re going to go even wronger before long.
There’s a lot to enjoy here if you like simple, readable horror. David Sodergren writes gore really well (something that’s not easy to do) and keeps the story moving along at a decent pace. The characters are mostly fun too, from the slightly grumpy Scots to a couple of free living (and loving) hippies. It’s pretty broad brush stuff, and not what you’d call deep, but it works well in a low budget horror movie kind of a way.
There’s some sensitive handling of mental health issues along with the gore, and whilst most of the Thai characters are pretty weak, there is at least one fully rounded one in boat captain Chakrit. The slightly salacious use of sex in the book is a bit less palatable, with lots of leering men and a seemingly ever-present threat of sexual assault for the female characters. It’s something that was common in Laymon’s books, and it felt a bit dated here, but it didn’t intrude too much,
Overall then, this is a slight but entertaining piece of nastiness. It’s fast, ferocious fun, even if it isn’t going to win any awards for originality or depth.
Most survival horror works want the reader to like and relate to the characters, and so as a result, dread their inevitable demise. Sodergren turned that sentiment completely around, and in this instance I yearned for their termination, even to the point I fist-pumped the air when it eventually came about. My opinions on over the top, excessive, and downright undesirable personalities can vary, however. Sometimes it’s too obvious when the author wants you to dislike their character, that it almost feels like hand-holding. I want to come to my own conclusions, follow my own mind; even if it’s merely an illusion. With this title, I found enjoyment in my animosity, because that was a large part of the experience.
That isn’t to say I hated them all. Ana and Rachel were entertaining and realistic in their relationship. They shared jokes, looks, and history that made their bond as siblings all the more believable. It was the little things that built them up as fully-fleshed people, and their synergy was, at times, heartwarming. I got a kick out of their Scottish heritage, as being Irish myself I felt a kinship when it came to their sarcasm and potty-mouth way of life.
The ending hooked me, and admittedly had me re-reading several passages relating to the final showdown. The atmosphere took on a cosmic quality that constructed a foundation for the future; there’s so much potential in this universe. I can’t wait to see what else is in store.
In conclusion: The description on the back cover aptly defines The Forgotten Island as outrageous, and it was, in every sense of the word. I may not be into the old Video Nasties, but I certainly believe this one to be more than a simple tale of violence (even though the violence itself was glorious). Recommended, and bravo on that incredible monster.
Often they came to her in dreams, nightmare visions that dissipated upon waking, leaving only the lingering sense of dread hanging over her like a black cloud. They spoke to her faintly in a language she didn’t understand, the words giving her migraines that felt like dead fingers rooting around in her brain.
© Red Lace 2019
The novel tells the story of two sisters, whose dream holiday to Thailand turns into a fight for survival when they find themselves on an apparently deserted island. The plot's completely mental, and I genuinely wonder how any mind could invent something so intensely strange. If I didn't know David better, I'd probably send a doctor round to his door just to make sure that everything's alright upstairs (if you know what I mean). But I know it is. David's awesome, and so is this book. Honestly, I loved every page of it. You will too, if you like a good horror story. You'll probably even love it if you hate the genre.
My spine gets all tingly just thinking about it.
I am so excited to see what Sodergren has in store for us next year. If this book is just the start of things to come, even as a hardened horror fan I may need to invest in a nightlight (and maybe a strong lockable box to keep the ghoulies from leaping off the page!)
I can't say enough good things about this book. Simply brilliant! Creeped me out and scared the bejesus out of me. Death scenes were awesome.
Fan of horror? Do yourself a favour and check this out.
This is such a well written book, the suspense had me gripped to each chapter desperately trying to figure out what happens next.
Wonderfully articulated, this author amazingly sets the scene and the characters are very relatable. It allows you to become apart of Ana’s adventure!
It is very impressive how the author constructs this novel, but allowing you to believe the horror is not outside the realms of reality! In my opinion the best written books are those that make you ponder even after the story has ended!
Not even going to hint at the story, but the ending was WOW, and the twists and gore throughout the book keep your interest! Waiting for the next book :)
Featuring well realised characters, most of which you’ll love to hate, mixed with a big dollop of visceral horror and a smattering of humour, I devoured it in record time. I’d love to say more but that would be spoiling things, except to say that when I started reading I wouldn’t have considered myself an arachnophobe, now I’m not so sure.
I can’t wait to read what Mr. Sodergren has in store for us next. A great debut novel.
Having read the other reviews posted here, I found that most of the points I wanted to make had already been made. So instead, I'll simply say BUY THIS BOOK.
Characters were fun enough and fit the mood of the book.
I only give it 4 because I found the story really disappointing with no explanation or pay off.