Thursday, May 07, 2015

Review: Nil Unlocked by Lynne Matson

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I received this book for free from Henry Holt and Co. in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Nil Unlocked by Lynne MatsonNil Unlocked by Lynne Matson
Series: Nil #2
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on May 12th 2015
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, YA
Source: Henry Holt and Co.
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On the island of Nil, the rules are set. You have exactly 365 days to escape—or you die. Rives is now the undisputed Leader of Nil City, but keeping the City united is tougher than ever.

Raiders have grown bolder, supplies are dwindling, and non-human inhabitants have taken a turn toward the deadly. New arrivals cause rifts within the City, putting the Search system at risk, and calling everything Rives knows into question. Desperate for answers, he teams up with the only other person searching for them: Skye, a new arrival with a mysterious past of her own. Soon the duo find themselves locked in a desperate race to save all the residents of Nil—and possibly destroy the island forever. But at what cost? And who will pay the price?

I really enjoyed the first book in this series, so I was really looking forward to the second book. I really enjoyed this one. Maybe a bit more than the first, though I can’t really remember my reading experience with the first one. In this one things are more complicated. Many secrets are discovered, and the stakes are higher. Not only are they on a ticking clock the moment they arrive, but there are other threats in Nil. The island seems more restless. It was nice to see some old characters, and to get to know new ones. I really liked the cast in this. This was an exciting read that is full of suspense and of course adventure. I loved discovering more of the island secrets along with everyone else. And this is told in alternating POV’s between Rives and Skye which I adored. I am a sucker for dual POV books!

Skye was great. She is tough, and trained for the worst. Trained for Nil. Her father is obsessed with Nil. He has been since his brother died only a year after coming back from the mysterious island. He is the only one who believed his brother thanks to a journal that he had written. A journal that helps Skye when she ventures to Nil. Now the thing about Skye is that she didn’t just get sucked in a random gate. She followed a boy into a gate that in her heart she knew led to Nil. That girl is one total badass. Not that she isn’t without fear, she just felt that it was something she had to do. She needed to discover the secrets of Nil and try to save all the innocent victims of the island. Her smarts and training are very helpful, but still nothing that could prepare her for really being there. It’s not the dangers of the island that threaten to break her, but Rives and the fact that she is falling for him. And she’s not sure if she will be able to save him.

Rives is in a broken state. He wants to believe that Thad made it home safely. He is ruined from the deaths on the island. He is weary from being leader. He is determined to be the best leader he can and to save everyone. Sometimes he is stupid and cares so much about others safety and pain that he doesn’t think things through that he does to himself. Not sleeping for days besides naps here and there, and trying to make a sleep tea and trying it out on himself when it could easily kill him. I loved how complex his character was, and I loved seeing him heal and change as he falls for Skye. He was a great leader, and a great person. I really enjoyed reading his POV’s a lot.

Now we move onto the romance. I am pretty sure that I said a similar thing in my review for the first book, but even though it was fast, it was believable. On Nil time is a lot different. Yes, the days and nights are the same, but you have one year to either catch a gate home, or perish on the island. It makes sense that Rives and Skye formed a connection quickly and that it would be intense. They do take it slow for Nil standards and it felt like they really did get to know each other well. I felt that their romance was natural and genuine and I enjoyed every second of them falling for each other.

This is just as intense as the first book with the time ticking away at everyone’s life. Especially Rives who has already been there for some time. We also get the added element of knowing that there is a way to get off of the island besides going on search and catching a wild gate. There are mysterious other islanders who do not belong to the city and they know much more about the history of the island. Only they see the island completely differently and they go to the island on purpose. A family thing passed down through generations. I was never bored reading this, even in the slower parts. There was so much going on  that it was hard to make myself put this down for the night and wait to pick it up again the next day. This was a great read with fantastic imagery and a great plot. I loved how things all came together in the end. I am not totally sure if this the last book in this series, but whatever this author writes next I will be excited to read!


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I'm no good at this, but I'm a mom of one little girl who really thinks she is a princess. I love reading all sorts of books (horror being a favorite genre of mine), love meeting new people, drinking lots of coffee, and eating chocolate. If you want to know anything else about me, just ask.
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3 Responses to “Review: Nil Unlocked by Lynne Matson”

    • Amy

      This is a really cool series, and after writing this review and not being sure if it was the last in the series, the author tweeted to me that there would be a 3rd one!! That makes me excited after the way this ended. It does have a good ending and could have been left after this, but it was open enough to continue too.

      The characters are great and the story is so amazingly weaved and filled with mystery about what is really happening. This is one of the more enjoyable series I have come across.

  1. S.Huston

    Hold the cucumber!! How the heck did I not know this was a thing?? I absolutely LOVED Nil!! While I’m a tad bit sad at the fact that it’s focused on new characters I’m beyond overjoyed at returning to the island and learning more of it’s dark secrets! I’m so glad I came across your review!