The Lost Island | Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child | Fiction, Adventure | 2014
The Lost Island is a fiction novel starring Gideon Crew, a quick-witted, middle-aged man, and his mysterious new partner, Amy, as they adventure the Caribbean in search of a treasure that could change the world. As a veteran fine arts thief for the secretive EES company, Gideon is no stranger to the dangers that come with pursuing priceless items; however, this time his usual solo act is interrupted by the introduction of his new undercover ‘wife’, Amy. The two encounter an array of challenges including treasure hunters, being shipwrecked at sea, communicating with an indigenous tribe, and facing a creature straight from ancient Greek lore. Gideon, whose death looms closer and closer due to a terminal illness, finds himself fighting to extend the time he has left, especially because the treasure he’s hunting may have the power to save his life.
The Lost Island was a fun, easy read with consistent flow and an engaging, albeit somewhat predictable, plot. The short chapters divided the story nicely and I liked having a few different character perspectives so that I, as the reader, always had access to the newest revelations. Whilst reading, I was reminded somewhat of classic adventure stories like Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park, with traces of King Kong and the story of Atlantis.
Unfortunately, I did not like the main character, Gideon, so much. He was meant to be likable as he’s portrayed as handsome, intelligent, and quick-thinking, but it seemed to me he had a bit of a large mouth that would give out too much information while jeopardizing his position. At times, Gideon had a very simplistic thought process that belied the idea that he was supposed to be a brilliant super thief. I assume Preston and Child created Gideon with noticeable flaws to make him appear more human, however, the character flaws they chose ended up being contradictory.
In comparison, I enjoyed Amy’s character and witnessed a lot of growth in her as the story unfolded. Initially she’s made out to be this tough, reserved, skilled fighter with a mysterious past and unbreakable will, but as she and Gideon get closer to discovering the treasure they seek, we see new colors of her personality emerge. As Amy gradually creates an emotional connection to their mission and undergoes a change of heart after some unexpected and complicated circumstances, I found myself cheering for her more than Gideon, whose actions seemed confusing.
Is it for you?
Although I enjoyed reading The Lost Island, it did not make a significant impact on me, nor did it stand out as something unique or unprecedented. Apparently there are a few books about Gideon’s adventures and indeed, this one sets up for a sequel. I have not read any of the other books in the series and at this point, they are not far up on my ‘to read’ list. If you’re looking for something fun to get into when you’re bored, give this book a try. If you’re looking to be blown away or have something else on your list, don’t let The Lost Island slow you down.