The Islands at the End of the World

The Islands at the End of the World

by Austin Aslan


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In this fast-paced survival story set in Hawaii, electronics fail worldwide, the islands become completely isolated, and a strange starscape fills the sky. Leilani and her father embark on a nightmare odyssey from Oahu to their home on the Big Island. Leilani’s epilepsy holds a clue to the disaster, if only they can survive as the islands revert to earlier ways. 
   A powerful story enriched by fascinating elements of Hawaiian ecology, culture, and warfare, this captivating and dramatic debut from Austin Aslan is the first of two novels. The author has a master’s degree in tropical conservation biology from the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

Praise for Islands at the End of the World:

“A riveting tale of belonging, family, overcoming perceived limitations, and finding a home.”—School Library Journal, Starred

"Aslan’s debut honors Hawaii’s unique cultural strengths—family ties and love of home, amplified by geography and history—while remaining true to a genre that affirms the mysterious grandeur of the universe waiting to be discovered."—Kirkus Reviews, Starred

"Aslan’s debut is a riveting tale of belonging, family, overcoming perceived limitations, and finding a home."—School Library Journal, Starred

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385744027
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 08/05/2014
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 8.30(w) x 5.60(h) x 1.30(d)
Lexile: HL590L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Austin Aslan was inspired to write his debut novel, The Islands at the End of the World, while living on the Big Island of Hawaii. He earned a master’s degree in tropical conservation biology at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. His research on rare Hawaiian plants located on the high slopes of Mauna Loa won him a pair of destroyed hiking boots, a tattered rain jacket, and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. He lives outside Tucson, Arizona, deep in the Sonoran Desert, where he pets scorpions and hugs saguaro cacti with his high-school-sweetheart wife and their two young children. Austin is pursuing a PhD in geography at the University of Arizona and thinking up new stories while conducting ecosystem resilience research atop the Peruvian Andes. He continues to write fiction and looks forward to the publication of this novel’s sequel, The Girl at the Center of the World.

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The Islands at the End of the World 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had the privilege of listening to Austin Aslan read an excerpt from The Islands at the End of the World during a young adult author round up. At the time he mentioned a twist in the story that he was happy made it through to publishing. As I read the story, I found myself excited when I reached the point in the story that was obviously the twist he mentioned. It was nothing like I expected. The entire story was captivating and I found myself stealing every moment in the day that I could to sneak in a few more pages. I couldn’t wait to see how the story ended even though I did not want it to end. Leilani and her father showed the power of home and family throughout their adventures. The action drew you in and made you feel as though you were on this journey with them. After thoroughly enjoying the story, I read the sneak peek for the sequel and cannot wait for more! I am looking forward to sharing this story with my own son. While it is in the YA genre, it is a great read for young adults as well as adults.
ImaginaryReads More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars Sixteen-year-old Lei and her father Mike travel to Oahu to search the medical cure for her epilepsy. When a mysterious force cripples the world's technology and plunges the isolated metropolitan area into chaos, they’re desperate to return to family on the Big Island of Hawaii. Lei is half-Hawaiian and half-white. She still feels like an outsider even three years after moving from California to Hilo, partly because she is only half Hawaiian but mostly because of the disease that prevents her from having a normal life. Nevertheless she feels a connection to her ancestry and the old gods and hears echoes of the mythological past whenever she slips into a seizure. I love how Lei grows throughout the book. Not only does she learn how far her father is willing to go to keep the family together, she also comes to accept herself. Lei is an inspiration for young girls to act courageously in the face of challenges and to observe and understand the environment around them. The storyline is filled with the fiery legends and wonder of Hawaii. It primarily focuses on the love that Lei and her father feel for their other members of the family,and how desperate they are to get back to them. Leilani and her father fight their way through depleting resources, looting, martial law, and chaos. Their voyage is filled with challenging and life threatening obstacles, but rather than weakening their bond, it strengthens their trust in each other. The Islands at the End of the World is a thrilling and heartbreaking story of survival tale of father and daughter bonding against impossible odds, as well as a journey into the history and mythology of Hawaii. The author does an excellent job of capturing the voice of a teenage girl hungry to belong and who discovers the strength to fight for herself, her family, and her home. I highly recommend this book for YA fans of all ages. Review by Alice
StephWard More than 1 year ago
'The Islands at the End of the World' is a dynamic young adult dystopian novel about what would happen to people living on an island or islands - like Hawaii - if a global disaster struck. This is precisely what happens in the novel, and our main character Leilani and her father must revert to survival skills in order to return home to their family. It's a fascinating take on the apocalyptic/dystopian genre that makes you think about things in the world differently. I have to start by saying that this book was fantastic and a complete breath of fresh air into the dystopian genre. Most novels that deal with the end of the world or a dystopia are centered somewhere inland; whereas this book is set on the islands of Hawaii. Before reading this story, I hadn't really thought about what would happen to people living on an island if a global disaster should occur. It would be completely nightmarish - being alone and disconnected from the rest of the entire world. Shedding light on this possibility was obviously part of the author's point - and it was an intriguing one that made me really sit back and think about it. Our heroine, Leilani, feels like an outsider in her own world. She's half-Hawaiian and half-white with epilepsy on top of that. It was easy to identify with Lei right from the beginning of the book. Who hasn't felt different or left out at least once in their lives? She's a fantastic heroine for the book - smart, strong, determined, and a fighter. It turns out that what made her an outsider might just be what saves them all. I loved watching Lei's character grow and mature throughout the book as she grows into her self and assumes responsibilities and trials that she never imagined. The plot was sensational - as I said before. It really hits on ideas and possibilities that never occurred to me and it is completely unique in the dystopia genre. The writing is magnificent with a fast pace that had me reading as quickly as I could to see what was going to happen next. The descriptions and imagery throughout the novel were incredibly vivid. I felt like I was right beside Lei the entire time, experiencing each situation - good and bad - with her. I loved how the author put in facts about Hawaii - it's culture, economy, and setting. I loved learning everything that I could about the islands and I think that adding in those elements really gave the book a depth that it wouldn't have had otherwise. I'm hoping that these interesting tidbits about Hawaii and other things are expanded on in the sequel. Overall, this was a really thought provoking novel that also combines several genres - such as action, science fiction, dystopia, and adventure - to create a wholly original and unique story that has something for everyone. I highly recommend it to those who enjoy the dystopian genre as well as those wishing to read something new and exciting. I'll definitely be reading the sequel as soon as it's released! Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Kat_Ross1 More than 1 year ago
The plot of this amazing book is deceptively simple: Austin Aslan knocks out the global power grid and takes us on a wild ride through the Hawaiian Islands as society devolves into a state of anarchy. But as they say, things soon get complicated. I was kept guessing until the very end, and I'm usually good at seeing plot twists coming a mile away. This story is fresh and original, scary and touching and funny; but it's the finely drawn characters and the author's deep respect for Hawaiian culture that make it a must-read. Plus I hear there's a sequel coming, woot!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A heart-thumping, can't-put-it-down, haunting, postapocalyptic tale of the love in one family and a desperate journey home. I fell head-over-heels in love with Leilani and her disintegrating island paradise. And the father-daughter relationship is hands-down the strongest I've ever seen in fiction. The characters live and breathe, the plot swept me along, and the setting is exquisite. This book will draw you in and leave you begging for more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We are from Hawaii and we loved this book! My son and I read it together. He loved how it took place where he was from. While Leilani and her father were on Oahu, we could always picture exactly the location. He also thought that although it could be classified as a science fiction book, the protagonist, Leilani, was a believable teenager. I found Aslan's portrayal of Hawaii's cultural nuances to be an accurate example of the hardships the varying races experience living in Hawaii. It actually brought me back to my roots and taught me something! And the pidgin English, da kine! Whether you live with a medical condition, like to surf, come from a bi-racial family or simply love defying death (in your books), you will enjoy this exciting read. The map of the Hawaiian islands helped with following Leilani and her father's journey, which was harrowing! A few times, I read over sentences that might have disturbed my tween.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Books-I-Love More than 1 year ago
Full review to come, but seriously . . . imagine being on an island when the world at large is in chaos. An edge-of-your-seat read!
AprilLS More than 1 year ago
Fresh, exciting, and filled with the fiery legends and wonder of Hawaii...what a setting! Very impressed with Aslan's expert use of imagery, Leilani's character (I love a strong female lead), and the powerful relationship between father and daughter. A great story. I loved it! Can't wait for the next one!