What do they call a Quarterpounder with cheese in France? A Cheeseburger Royale.
What do they call a good book about bootlegging? Isle Royale.
What? No Pulp Fiction fans in the house? Shameful!
Seriously though: John Hamilton’s action packed, bootlegging filled book, Isle Royale is really great! (AND it’s less fattening than a cheeseburger from McDonald’s.)
It’s the Roaring 20s and we all know what THAT means: Bootlegging! And the MacDougal family is caught up in the middle of Lebeck’s treachery as he uses their lighthouse on Lake Superior as his base of operations. Though, liquor isn’t the only thing on LeBeck’s mind; he is also after the heart of his former love, Colleen. He is determined to sweep her away from the island and her miserable life as the wife of Clarence, the lighthouse keeper.
Ian MacDougal is looking for some excitement in his life and his only friend on the island is Sally, the daughter of the assistant lighthouse keeper. Too bad we often never know what we’re truly asking for. Now, the two of them must figure out a way to save their families from the Lebeck’s thugs and get to the Coast Guard station during one of the worst storms in living memory.
The ghostly crew of the Chippewa might be their only hope for survival as Lebeck’s insanity grows and the storm threatens to tear everything apart.
Grammar/Spelling: No issues with grammar or spelling.
Character Development: Oddly enough, my favorite character was Jean Lebeck. This poor guy. He left his love to go fight a war for a country that he didn’t support and even though he survived to tell about it, it left him twisted and evil. Mr. Hamilton uses a series of letters written to Colleen to show the downward spiral from a sweet, ideological man into a shell-shocked, self-loathing person. Even at his most insane, he only wanted the love of Colleen to fill the void where his humanity had once been.
Writing Style: Isle Royale was chock full of maritime knowledge and boat information. Even though I’m ex-Air Force and as far-removed from the Navy as a person can be, I was still able to follow even the most in-depth information that Mr. Hamilton presented. Impressive – given that I can only name a handful of planes (like…um…4?) that I have done weather support for and now I’m pretty sure I could pick out a dinghy without much trouble. I’m so proud of me.
Continuity: No worries here either. (It’s like this guy’s got talent or something… Sheesh!)
Overall Rating: 4+
Isle Royale written by the extremely gifted John Hamilton was a sharp adventure story with just enough romance to balance out all of the explosions and such. This was another tale that had me glued to my computer screen. I didn’t realize that I had read it so quickly until I was done with it.
One thing to note: I’m not entirely sure it’s quite YA because of the language though… But, I may be a fuddy-duddy.
Overall, it was seriously a great read and I recommend it to just about anyone (the language thing being the only reason it’s not for everyone). Great job, Mr. Hamilton!