Monday, April 14, 2014

Review: NIL by Lynne Matson

Title: NIL
Author: Lynne Matson
Release: March 4th, 2014
Genre: YA thriller/sci-fi
Pages: 384
POV: 1st, dual, alternating
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co. BYR
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publicist
Rating: The Royal Library, Middle Shelf

On the mysterious island of Nil, the rules are set. You have exactly 365 days to escape—or you die.

Seventeen-year-old Charley doesn’t know the rules. She doesn’t even know where she is. The last thing she remembers is blacking out, and when she wakes up, she’s naked in an empty rock field.

Lost and alone, Charley finds no sign of other people until she meets Thad, the gorgeous leader of a clan of teenage refugees. Soon Charley learns that leaving the island is harder than she thought . . . and so is falling in love. With Thad’s time running out, Charley realizes that she has to find a way to beat the clock, and quickly.

Nil begins with a bang as Charley is swept away by a strange shimmer and lands on an even stranger island. That excitement and tension never ceases. Instead, it builds and evolves, keeping the reader hooked and curious. Matson teases her readers with the dangers and curiosities of the mysterious island Nil, and uses her two protagonists to ground her story in reality. The narration switches between Charley1 and Thad2, giving readers two different perspectives as both try to unravel Nil's mysteries and find a way home. As the days tick by, the danger and excitement levels increase, until the novel's surprising conclusion. An action-packed survival-romance story, Nil is a thrilling debut. 

Highlights: The best compliment I can give to Nil is that I never wanted to set this story aside. Nil is a thrilling adventure and mystery from start to finish. This is one of those books where you'll find yourself turning the pages, hours after promising yourself you'd stop at such-and-such chapter. The characters are fresh and easy to differentiate from one another. Nil's wildlife provided plenty of excitement and tension. Descriptions of the island were intriguing, and Nil was undeniably my favorite aspect of the novel - it was almost a character in its own right. 

Lowlights: The romance, while sweet, did seem a little insta-lovey. I do also think it's strange that only Charley was able to find a pattern when it came to Nil's curiosities. Initially, I felt like the dialogue seemed a bit forced (especially when it came to specific accents / dialects). 

Rating: The Royal Library, Bottom Shelf (4 out of 5).

1 Charley: a gorgeous Southern girl, with legs for days, who is quite determined to make it off this island, and is very resourceful. I liked her instantly, she has a strong personality.
2 Thad: leader of Nil city, Canadian, has a body like a Greek god, and a sweet disposition. It took a little time, but he grew on me. 


  1. Great review :D I'm glad you enjoyed this book. <3 I didn't even finish it :\ but hoping to give it another try someday :) It makes me happy that you liked it. Thank you for sharing. <3

  2. This sounds awesome! I will definitely have to get a copy.

    1. It was a good book! If you read NIL, I hope you like it :)

  3. Ooh! This is moving up on my list (as in I'm requesting it from the library right now.) Every time I open a book I'm looking for that never want to put it down feeling. Glad to hear this had that magical X factor ;) I love when non-living things become almost like a character. I read a thriller like that once where the house was the same way. Great review!

    1. It's an easy book to get caught up in for a few hours! I hope you like it :)

  4. This sounds great, I remember reading about it a few months back and then completely forgotting about it so I am glad you have refreshed my memory!

    1. Glad to have reminded you! It's easy to forget about books :)