Five Union prisoners escape from the siege of Richmond in a balloon, are blown off course and crash on an uncharted island. They must learn to rebuild a society for themselves while awaiting rescue. (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)
What is so great about Verne’s books are that he seems to almost never run out of natural phenomena to explore. Although I find it hard to believe that Smith’s crew has exactly the skills required to survive and even flourish in such a landscape, it does make it a fantastic story. (Then again folks were much more resourceful than their modern counterparts these days.) The mystery of the island is incredibly subtle and I love how it slowly unravels throughout the book until culminating in the last few chapters.
I think this is a book that you could read and re-read many times over and still find something new to observe of understand. Much like “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” you have to enjoy the book for challenges that the characters work through in of themselves rather than rushing towards the ending of the book. If you’re one who wants a quick-fix, this won’t be an enjoyable read.
Rating: 5 stars!
Who should read it? Fans of adventure, slow build and an adventure for adventure’s sake.