Review: Daybreak on Raven Island
Thursday, September 8, 2022

Daybreak on Raven IslandDaybreak on Raven Island by Fleur T. Bradley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I absolutely loved the characters in this story. The three kids who get trapped on the island are unique and memorable, and each has a distinct set of goals and motivations. Tori is a soccer goalie suspended from play due to bad grades. She hates being on the prison island because it reminds her of her brother who was just arrested. Noah is afraid of everything. He has been since his mother died. But he's willing to face his fears on the haunted island if it means getting a chance to see his mom's ghost. Marvin wants to be a movie director, and what better place to film a horror flick that a spooky, abandoned prison island? The three alternate having the narrative perspective, and each voice is unique.

The setting and world building are believable, based on stories from Alcatraz. The layout of the island is well reasoned, enough so that you can picture a map in your head as the kids explore. The writing style is smooth and descriptive.

The only place where the story fell down a bit for me was in some of the detail and motivational consistencies. The best example of this is Marvin and his phone. At the beginning of the story it was clear he wanted more than anything to film some of Raven Island on his phone to get spooky shots for his film, but the teacher said student phones were off limits until they got back on the ferry. So maybe he wouldn't risk filming while the teacher was around... but why wouldn't he whip out that phone as soon as he and his friends were out of sight of the teacher? He thinks about how much he wants a shot of the creepy forest they're walking through and the lighthouse they climb, but he never takes out his phone. This led me to believe the teacher had physically taken the kid's phones. Except then when the kids miss the ferry... they all have their phones. And yet Marvin STILL doesn't film anything. He's constantly considering shots he wants for his film, but never filming. What is he waiting for?

There were a few other examples of character inconsistencies like that, or straight up detail glitches when the narration shifted or timelines didn't quite line up. That's why I couldn't give the book five stars, but the overall story was fast and fun. My ten-year-old loved the book. She said she was glad the kids had a mystery to try to solve rather than just being trapped on a haunted island. She enjoyed trying to puzzle out the clues along with the characters.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews