Gray Wolf Island

Gray Wolf Island

by Tracey Neithercott

Hardcover

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Gray Wolf Island 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Pens-and-Parchment More than 1 year ago
I have to be honest, when I first started this, I didn’t expect much more than a 3-star book. But WOW was I wrong! Gray Wolf Island absolutely blew me away with its mysterious setting, lovable characters, and suspenseful treasure hunting. Probably the aspect of this book that made me fall completely head-over-heels in love, but I actually expected the least from, is the characters. This book definitely features an amazing group of friends. With a boy that can foresee his own death, a girl that never sleeps, a talented teenage cook born to a supposedly virgin mother, a nerdy bad-boy that loves to spout linguistic facts, and a main character hiding a dark secret, things are never boring. Their interactions are hilarious and utterly seamless, I could’ve read about their trip to the grocery store just as easily as their treasure hunt. Each one is individually developed and fleshed out, none of them fit into a certain YA character stereotype. The setting is just as captivating, though I have to admit I was creeped-out at times! The island itself is mystical and entrancing, the lush surroundings are described beautifully. But if I were in this story, I think I would’ve avoided the island just like all the towns people! I never trusted that the characters would be safe, I was kept unnerved and on the edge of my seat, waiting for disaster to strike. I think that feeling added a ton to my reading experience, and the author does an amazing job of maintaining those vibes throughout the book. I really enjoyed all the folklore and hints at Native American culture as well, though I can’t speak for the quality of the native rep. Thanks to this book, I need more treasure-hunt books in my life now! Like, REALLY need them! I was instantly intrigued by the poem “map” that the characters must use to find the treasure, and solve each riddle as they go. At times, however, I felt like the characters are able to solve things a little too easily. The ideas seem to pop in their heads about exactly what the poem means and where they need to go, so I was a bit skeptical. But overall, the mystery is still tons of fun. And the plot twists people, THE PLOT TWISTS! I have to say, I’m usually pretty good at predicting what’s going to happen next, but this book had me fooled till the last page. There are two reveals in particular that still have me reeling. Yet another thing that I did not expect but completely adored: the romance. In case you haven’t read some of my other reviews, I’m a tough crowd when it comes to romance. It has to be done very well for me to enjoy it, but I can confidently say this book had me swooning. I didn’t know that nerdy bad-boys exist, but if anyone would like to find me one, I would highly appreciate it. Elliott Thorne has officially been added to my (very short) book boyfriend list and I *may* be a tad in love. The romance is well-balanced with the overall plot, and definitely added to the book as a whole. In addition to the main story line, Gray Wolf Island features an alternate perspective that intertwines with Ruby’s adventure. I really loved how the author managed to bring each plot together at the end, and create eerie parallels between the two for the reader to pick up on. It brought an extra layer of mystery and suspense that made this book hard to put down. My biggest issue with this book is that there’s not a sequel! I fell completely in love with these characters and now I want to read so much more about them!
YAandWine More than 1 year ago
With its atmospheric setting, dynamic cast of characters, and wonderful spirit of adventure, GRAY WOLF ISLAND is one 2017 debut novel that is simply not to be missed. This book takes readers on a quest to uncover a hidden treasure, and the journey there brims with action, danger, and high-stakes mystery that will keep readers glued to the pages. This book had me absolutely hooked from the very first chapter, and I only became only more captivated by it as the story progressed. The catalyst that sends Ruby on this adventure was heart-wrenching yet believable and really sets the tone well for the rest of the novel. And while there are some moments were the plot moves a little more slowly, overall the balance between the high action and world/character development is well executed and creates a highly addictive story. The cast of characters is wonderfully crafted. They all had such distinct and fascinating personalities, and they were truly a pleasure to read about. The dialogue throughout this book is so well done and really serves to breathe life into these incredible characters. Their banter was witty and added a wonderful bit of levity to an otherwise very intense story. I love when the setting of a book truly feels like a character in and of itself, and Neithercott has certainly achieved that in GRAY WOLF ISLAND. This book is deliciously atmospheric with incredible attention to detail. The island itself is lush and fascinating, yet at the same time, it has this dark and threatening presence that is always lurking on the edges of the reader's consciousness. The romance in this story is also very well done. It manages to be swoony and heart-pounding without overpowering the other elements of the plot. Elliott Thorne is sure to be a favorite amongst readers. Neithercott also did a fantastic job of weaving the POVs together in a way that added to the suspense and mystery of the story. 2017 has been a year of incredible debut novels, and this is certainly one of the best that I've read so far. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, and I'll be eagerly waiting to see what Neithercott has in store for us next!
Aditi-ATWAMB More than 1 year ago
The very first thing I heard about this book was that it gave off a Raven Boys vibe. All it took was those three words, and I was IMMEDIATELY sold on Tracey Neithercott’s upcoming debut novel, Gray Wolf Island. A bunch of slightly mystical teenagers on a quest to find treasure coupled with that spooky book cover and for fans of The Raven Boys? I NEEDED TO READ THIS BOOK. I got through the entirety of this 330-ish paged book in a little less than a day and I can honestly say that while Gray Wolf Island isn’t the BEST book I’ve read in 2017, it comes pretty close. There were a few drawbacks, however, so let’s go more into detail: THINGS I LOVED: 1. THE CHARACTERS: What’s a story without good characters, really? It took me all of three chapters to get used to Ruby, Anne, Gabe, Elliot and Charlie and slip into their mystical world, and within the next five I felt like I knew them as well as I knew anyone I’ve known for years. I loved the playfulness, the banter and the camaraderie between all five treasure hunters. I LOVED that Elliot was a know it all and I ADORED the chemistry between Ruby and Elliot. Tracey Neithercott’s characters were some of the best characters I’ve read in terms of the way they jumped out of the page and connected with me and I can’t wait for more from her. 2. ALL THINGS TREASURE RELATED: This isn’t much of a spoiler since you find it in Chapter two or Three but Ruby finds a treasure map in the back of Treasure Island which coincidentally is one of my favourite treasure hunting books of ALL TIME. I read it back when I was eleven and I’ve loved it since. This only boosted the fact for me that this book was ALL ABOUT HUNTING FOR TREASURE. The clues, the riddles, the mistakes, the suspense was all really well done and I loved it. THINGS THAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER: 1. THE MYSTICISM: For all its talk of a mystical island that housed an unimaginable treasure and characters with such mystical backgrounds (A boy born to a virgin and a boy who has seen visions of his own death?!) I DIDN’T REALLY FEEL THE MYSTICISM? I loved the concept, and the book had me believing it too, but for some reason, the mysticism like I felt with The Raven Boys or even Spellbook Of The Lost And Found just didn’t hit me and I SO WISH IT HAD. 2. THE ENDING: I honestly believe that endings should be the best part of a book. Even though my heart breaks, cliff-hanger endings are GOOD endings to books. Closed endings are the good but the ones with a little grief and a lot of happiness are the BEST. I feel like after doing everything so BRILLIANTLY the ending to Gray Wolf Island was very rushed, and I didn’t like it. The big reveal in the end wasn’t properly explained and I WISH IT WAS. Maybe even a few more pages and I could have gotten that ending I so desperately need. At the end of the day, if you’re a fan of magical realism, treasure hunting and BRILLIANT sassy, know it all characters with gorgeous backstories, Gray Wolf Island should be on your TBR piles!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Goonies meets The Raven Boys This book is beautifully written and even haunting at times. The characters are richly developed each with their own secret and tie to the island to which they go to hunt the treasure. The story and the writing are both magical. Though the cover suggests an action/adventure story, this novel is so much more. It’s about friendship and truth, trust and mystery. Highly recommend.
TheLiteraryEmpress More than 1 year ago
Special thanks to Random House Children’s Books for the ARC. Wow. Just¬— WOW. This book hit me with so many feels, in so many places, and the end! Oh my, that ending was beautiful and heart wrenching and magical. Shall we begin? The basics: Character, Plot, and Craft. Well, Tracey knows how to craft characters. Can I just end there? What she does is magical, how each character is independent but also form this group that steals your heart. The core characters are Ruby, Charlie, Elliot, Gabe, and Anne. And there’s another perspective that I won’t be sharing because this is an adventure, I’m just leaving you clue. First, Ruby overwhelmingly reminded me of myself, and maybe that’s why I had an instant connection to this book. I’m avoiding a spoiler delicately by saying I’m not ALL Ruby— because her secret, oh my. But how Ruby would rather disappear, how everyone else takes center stage… it was like seeing myself. It’s not how I like to see myself, but it’s a part I’m working on. Anyways, the nuance in her character is fantastic. Elliot… well he easily became a favorite. A ridiculous and wonderful favorite. The entire gang is full of delicately subtle characters who make you laugh, make you cry, who will warm your heart while making you cringe. Tracey creates this group in bold strokes and small hidden details. While you unravel your assumptions about these characters, you begin to see them for who they are, and what’s more is you understand how those assumptions are shaped by others perception. TREASURE MAP! Gray Wolf Island is a different sort of treasure hunt, but I’ll leave that for you to decide. The intricate puzzle pieces that make up the plot are masterful. Everyone has secrets, but what if there was a place that draws out the truth? Make your guesses at the beginning, and watch as the story begins to unwind, how the twists tangle you deeper into the mystery of Gray Wolf Island. As someone who normally isn’t shocked or surprised when the “Big Reveal” takes place, I was shock at the ending. But not in the way I expected. The ending. It’s one of the biggest arrows that stabbed through me and left a hole. I mean this is the best way. As in it made me think, made me consider the story, the “moral” (if you want to call it that) or theme presented— and then I started crying. BECAUSE IT’S SO DARN BEAUTIFUL! *gosh I’m tearing up writing this. It’s a rare book that makes me cry, and Gray Wolf Island is something I never expected to hit me so hard. But it did. Crafty she be… If this is Tracey Neithercott’s debut, then I CANNOT WAIT to see what she does next. Like I said in my previous reviews— easy reading does not mean poor writing, in fact, it means the opposite. The craftsmanship in Gray Wolf Island is on point. From characters, to plot, to the subtle ways this story works around your heart Tracey does a phenomenal job. There are many, many layers to Gray Wolf Island and each of them offers something different. The second perspective though… I won’t spoil things but it threw me through a loop and then some. And not until the very end did I figure out the mystery of the island. Gray Wolf Island has mystery, but also a morality to it that swirls and eddies like the mist surrounding the island (or the gorgeous cover), and for me, that was the magic— that was the treasure.