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Nomad's Island--A Reivew

Edward G.

NOMAD’S ISLAND by Derek E. Keeling
A Black Spirit Review by Edward Gordon

"Nomad’s Island" by Derek Keeling (author of "The Umbras") is a study in existential isolation. It begins with the main character, Damon, a twenty-three-year-old man in search of adventure in his life. He doesn't want the kinds of pseudo-adventures people have, like hiking in the wilderness with a satellite phone, or camping on a beach with a grocery store just walking distance away;. rather, Damon is looking for a true adventure. He's looking for one where the reward is a fantasy of a lifetime, and the risk is quite possibly his own death.

He sets out to Rarotonga in the Cook Islands in the South Pacific. On the way, the plane crashes and Damon is forced to survive for years on a deserted island that he never planned for. While there, he meets the love of his life, a girl called Willow, who was apparently stranded some time before him.

What he encounters, what he goes through mentally, how she helps him cope, and how their love grows deeper than anything he has ever known, sets up the tragedy of this story. In the end, we are forced to answer what makes a thing real. Can a human being really be an island unto themselves and survive psychologically?

The story borrows from other notable stories of the same theme and genre, namely: "The Beach" (starring Leonardo DiCaprio), "Castaway" (starring Tom Hanks), and even William Golding’s novel "Lord of the Flies." But it stands clearly on its own in the suspense of the plot, the twist in the end, and the deep philosophical conflict between isolation vs. the need to connect with others. It's a deep work, with richly symbolic and metaphorical elements (a discussion of which is beyond the scope of this review), and it is beautifully written on top of that.

Like many independently published books, this one suffers for lack of a good proofreading; however, the little punctuation and grammar mistakes do not detract from the overall wordsmithing of an obviously talented writer and the compelling nature of the story that Keeling has written.

Page Length: 163
Kindle Price: 2.99 USD
Paperback Price: $14.99 USD
BSR Rating: 3/5 stars