Nil - Lynne Matson

This review was originally posted on One Curvy Blogger

I knew this book would be hard to put down, but I never thought it would get so creepy so fast. Not sure why, since Nil is not only an eery non-existent island that kills you in 365 days. Of course it would be creepy! Fair warning readers: do not start Nil at bedtime. You will not get any sleep.

things to know about Nil

You have 365 days to leave the island or you die on the island.

There is only one way to make it off the island, by shimmering gates that seem to appear at random locations on the island every day at noon.

No, you can't leave on a boat or a raft. That would be too easy.

Nil isn't just an island. She's the omnipotent overseer of the island. When things are going to well, she likes to throw new and ridiculous and dangerous situation at you.

Nil doesn't want you to leave the island.

Humans aren't the only creatures living on the island. Any warm-blooded animal can be caught in a "gate" and brought to the island. Surviving on Nil is hard enough, but add in warm-blooded predators looking for food ... you're left with some sticky and weird situations.

don't be intimidated by the insta-love

The characters of Nil are a unique cast, each with their own personality and strengths. Sure the romances that ignite on the island happen super fast, but can they not? They each have 365 days on the island from the time they arrive. Makes for some short romances since nobody on the island knows what happens when you leave.

When it comes to Charley and Thad, the sparks fly the moment they spot one another. Charley is a tough chick. I mean, she survived 15 days by the time she met the survivors of Nil City. She's also incredibly observant, has a knack for directions, and hut-making. She's also incredibly blind when it comes to her looks and doesn't handle compliments well. But we all have our weaknesses, right?

Thad's weaknesses are clearly feeling responsible for everything that goes wrong to the survivors (where the survivors call home) he believes he's responsible for. His time on Nil is coming to an end and he's feeling the brunt of it in a bad way. Now he's finally met the girl of his dreams, and it just had to be on an island where everything is temporary.

the writing was addicting

Nothing says "I'm hooked" like reading an almost 400 page book in one sitting. The world Matson imagined made it feel like I was right on the island fighting for my life along with the characters. I felt like one of them, which is not particularly settling on an island like Nil. I would be lying if I said I didn't have trouble going to sleep that night, but I would be disappointed if I hadn't been spooked. Yes, at times I was creep-ed out but the world building was spot on - clearly the plot was as well!

I have to say, I didn't hate the dual POV because I like knowing what both main characters are thinking, but at this point I feel like authors are cheating they use this technique.  The object is to give us well-round characters without the need to be in both of their heads. However, I will say that Nil is unlike any other book I've read in the genre. In fact, I had a hard time pinpointing what genre the book even fit into, outside of survival. It's a genre bender if I've ever read one.

The one question I'm left with at the end of the book is this: if every one on the island is a visitor, who the hell figured it out that you only get 365 days? It's not like you have the chance or the time to test the theory out and pass it on and Nil sure as hell doesn't give them a survivors guide.  I'm hoping these questions are answered in Nil Unlocked.

I was surprised by the ending!

And I didn't hate it. Somehow, the author went a predictable route but somehow still managed to catch me completely off guard. I'm not even sure how it happened. At the end the characters appeared to be so focused on one thing that I didn't see the plot twist coming! I recommend Nil to fans of survival themes with a heavy dose of romance. Even if YA isn't your thing, you should definitely give Nil a shot. :D