Island Of Bones: Gaby Triana
Reviewed By Jamie Goecker
ISLAND OF BONES is a great story that blends mystery and suspense with elements of the supernatural. I was hooked on this one from the intro, which gave a glimpse into the protagonist’s family history, and set the stage for the engaging story that followed.
I spoke in another recent review about setting as a character, and I certainly felt that with this novel. This story is mainly set in Key West, Florida, and this adds to the whole vibe of the novel, as you can practically feel the surroundings along with the main character, Ellie. The isolation of the island setting adds to the mounting feelings of anxiety and dread that go along with her journey. Speaking of characters, I definitely clicked with the main character and also enjoyed learning more about her grandmother’s journey. It’s not hard to dislike the main antagonist, but it’s also easy to have some empathy for her situation as well at certain points in the story.
There’s a lot of history woven into this story, and while this can sometimes overwhelm me as a reader, that was not the case in this book. The author did an excellent job sharing the history of both the location and the protagonist’s family. This is done mostly through flashbacks or visions experienced by Ellie, as well as her encounters with ghostly visitors and her discovery of artifacts. At certain times she is able to see through the eyes of the spirits, and I loved how vivid these experiences were.
The pacing is also very well done. There’s an impending hurricane upon Ellie’s arrival to the island, and the physical storm builds along with the tension in the story, leading up to an unforgettable and memorable climax.
I enjoyed Ellie’s character and seeing her go through a transformation of sorts throughout the story. Ellie and her grandma are standouts as strong female characters, and there are strong themes of family, ancestral ties, and homecoming mixed into this story. A connection with the characters and feeling the heart of the story are both important to me. I found those aspects of the writing to be strong throughout this novel, and I’ve already added the other two books from the author’s Haunted Florida series to my TBR list. If you’re looking for a well-paced thriller with intrigue and a hint of magic, I’d recommend adding this to your shelf.
Island Of Bones
A haunted Key West resort. Ghosts of a secretive family past. A deadly hurricane.
When Ellie Whitaker leaves her dead-end job behind to spread her grandmother’s ashes in tropical paradise, the last thing she expected was to face more ghosts. But darkness lurks inside her nana’s ancestral home. Ellie’s presence stirs up its energies. And as a hurricane creeps closer to the island, she must hurry to discover long-buried truths.
About her treasure-hunting grandfather’s death in 1951. About the curse her grandmother left behind. About the innkeeper next door with an evil secret. And the spectral visions she keeps having. Some there to help her. Some to make sure Ellie becomes a ghostly resident of haunted Key West forever.
Jamie Goecker is a lifelong night owl and horror lover from Michigan. Her love of spooky things began as a child, when she first noticed that other kids were scared of the movies she treasured. Films such as Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, and Return to Oz fascinated her and sparked her imagination. Then came the Goosebumps and Fear Street book series by R.L. Stine, which ignited her love of horror fiction. Outside of her day job, she devotes as much time as possible to reading, reviewing, and her other love—listening to music. When she’s not engaged in those activities, she’s likely cooking, hunting for vintage paperbacks, daydreaming, or exploring the gorgeous local scenery (while also taking photos of books).