Cover Image: The Castaways

The Castaways

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Member Reviews

This is a vividly written tense thriller with a psychological edge that drew me in from the very beginning, one of those books that keeps you reading into the night!  The story is narrated in turn by two sisters who have a close but somewhat fragile relationship caused by their own personal problems. I found it a real page turner with unexpected twists and turns and has great characters and settings.
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As the title suggests, this book is about the survivors of a plane crash which happens on an extremely remote Fijian island. What should have been the holiday of a lifetime for sisters Erin and Lori turns into their worst nightmare. Having lost both their parents, leaving them with just each other and promising that they will always be there for each other they end up having a big argument on the first stage of their holiday. Erin misses the connecting flight to their resort, having chosen to spend the previous evening downing drinks with a stranger in a bar. More reliable Lori gets the flight - but ends up wishing she hadn't. 

The story is told from the points of view of each sister, in the time frames of the immediate aftermath of the crash and two years later as Erin continues her search for the truth. In some ways the story is quite predictable in that each of the survivors react in certain ways to the predicament they find themselves in, yet there are still some shocking twists and turns to keep the reader engaged.

The feeling of suspense as to whether Erin will get to the bottom of what happened on that flight keeps you wanting just one more chapter before you put the book down to get some sleep. Will anyone escape the clutches of the remote island? What really caused the plane to veer off course and crash? And is it just a sense of duty to her sister that makes Erin keep up the search or is there a sense of guilt that keeps her going?

I very much enjoyed this book and would have loved to have had the opportunity to immerse myself in the plot in one sitting. Another hit from Lucy Clarke for me, whose previous book 'The Blue' had me seeking out her entire backlist to read. 4.5 stars rounded up to 5.
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A fast paced and twisty mystery - I read it in one sitting. It's hard not to compare it to 'Lost', but probably only because I have no other references at hand for a modern "what happened to the passengers of flight X" scenario. The sisterly bond and all its imperfections and strengths is the heart of the book, combined together with the alternating timeline and dual perspectives it builds to an emotive, thrilling conclusion.
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Loved the plot, it was very thrilling. Good set up and plot! Would definitely read from the author again.
Thanks a lot to NG and the publisher for this copy.
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The Castaways by Lucy Clarke

I'll start with the positives. Firstly, the 'Surviving on a Desert Island' genre is endlessly fascinating. I could happily read anything on the subject as it raises so many 'What would I do?' questions which you'd rather not find out for yourself!
So the premise of The Castaways couldn't fail to pique my interest.
I liked the clearly marked 'Then' and 'Now' sections which made the book such an easy read. And being an 'easy read' is not a criticism – it's sometimes just what you need for total relaxation. 
I was totally immersed for the first half of the book, but then, unfortunately, the repetition and often cliched writing started to grate and I found myself rolling my eyes too many times.
I couldn't connect at all with any of the characters. They just didn't seem fully fleshed out. Neither of the sisters came across as sensitive or even particularly likeable and despite the book's main backbone being about the bond between siblings – I just didn't feel it.
The 'baddie' of the piece, Daniel, was a very by-the-numbers, archetypal self-centred, egotist – I'm sure he's appeared in a large number of psychological thrillers that I've read in the past few years. Maybe the old adage of 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' shouldn't apply to thrillers – formulas are often better with some tweaking.
For me, the book started as a five-star read, and towards the middle, slipped down to four stars. But unfortunately, the ending cemented The Castaways as an average three star read. It felt unsatisfying and unbelievable. But worse still there was a glaring mistake regarding one of the 'clues' which I couldn't shake off once I'd spotted it.

* Thanks to Harper Collins UK and Netgalley for the ARC.
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Lori and Erin were always close; the best of friends as well as sisters. A dream trip to Fiji should have been a taste of paradise, but it turns into a nightmare that they’ll never forget. When Erin doesn’t show for her flight, Lori is nervous – forcing herself to board, furious with her sister for abandoning her even though she’s a nervous flyer. Erin is wracked with guilt when she hears that the plane crashed, committing to spending the rest of her life hunting for answers. What happened to her sister? Why did the plane crash? Will she ever find out the truth behind the holiday that changed her life forever?

Talk about a juicy, action packed story! From beginning to end, you’re on the edge of your seat wanting to know what happens next, as invested to finding answers as much as Erin is! With each chapter, there’s a bit more mystery, with little nuggets of intrigue being dropped behind each character and situation that’s introduced. I love that it switched between both sisters point of views – each of them balancing eachother out and filling in the blanks until the hugely shocking conclusion at the end.

Lucy Clarke is a really great author. You can tell a lot of thought went into the writing because no stone was left unturned, there were no unanswered questions at the end and each chapter left you craving more. I really liked the characters of both Lori & Erin; their insights were so descriptive that you almost felt like you’d flown out to Fiji with them! I also really liked that even the side characters had little backstories and a moment in the spotlight as well, it added to the realism and completed the story as a whole.

I highly recommend this book to any mystery lovers – it ticks all the boxes and doesn’t disappoint. The only piece of advice I’d give to anyone wanting to read this exciting, action-packed mystery this summer? Don’t bring it on holiday and DEFINITELY don’t read it on the plane!

Thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins for my advanced reader copy! 💕
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Wow, this has to be one of my best reads so far this year.  This book is filled with so much tension and action and is a real page turner.  A fantastic Read!
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Many thanks to Netgalley, Lucy Clarke and HarperCollins UK for my copy.
I loved this book; it was a great, very edgy psychological thriller, with brilliant characters who I could clearly visualise. The portrayal of the crash and the island were also excellent. Very good book.
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I chose to read and review a free eARC of The Castaways but that has in no way influenced my review.

Well, this book delivered a whole lot more than I was expecting! I'm a bit of a weirdo in that I'm fascinated by air disasters and regular readers of damppebbles may have noticed an increase in books with a plane crash, hijack or disappearance as the theme featuring strongly over the last month or so. I think an abundance of Sunday lunchtime 'reality' shows in my youth taught me that if you're a castaway, you probably got to be one following the sinking of your boat (...or the producers dropped you and a number of other overly attractive 'survivors' off ). That is not the case in this gripping page-turner of a thriller, no siree. One uninhabited island and one small passenger plane en route to an exclusive Fijian resort make for a compelling tale which hooked me instantly.

The blurb doesn't give a lot away but this is a book about guilt, about the bond held between two sisters, it's about perseverance, about obsession and about falling in love. It also has a deliciously dark vein running through its pages. After all, this is not the intended trip to paradise the characters originally set out for. The need to survive against all odds, the threat strangers can bring, the lies we tell and the secrets we keep all contribute to a fascinating and engaging storyline. I thoroughly enjoyed The Castaways and discovering more about sisters, Lori and Erin.

Lori, following her recent separation from her husband, books a holiday for her and Erin at an exclusive island resort in Fiji. The night before their flight from the mainland to the resort, they argue. The following day, Lori goes to board the plane but Erin doesn't show. A nervous flyer, she boards anyway, casting a wary eye over her fellow travellers. Something doesn't feel right, one or two of the other passengers are making her nervous, and rightly so. Partway to the island, the flight disappears leaving Erin distraught and full of guilt. It should have been both of them on that plane. Whatever happened to Lori, she went through it alone. Erin, a journalist, becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to her sister. Guilt pushes her on. But the trail gradually goes cold. Until two years later, when a survivor is found...

The Castaways has a cast of skilfully written characters and an atmospheric setting which I thoroughly enjoyed. I don't want to say too much about this book as I feel, because of the brief blurb, that anything I do say could unintentionally be a spoiler. So I'll keep the rest of this review short and sweet because I already feel as though what I've said could be bordering on spoiler territory (although the title of the book - The Castaways - does provide a little reassurance).

Would I recommend this book? I would, yes. The Castaways is a compelling story told with confidence. I really loved the ending, it wasn't at all what I was expecting but it felt strangely right following what had come before. All in all, a very readable, very entertaining tale which I recommend.

I chose to read and review a free eARC of The Castaways. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.
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Enjoyed reading, plane crashes and islands always seem to make an interesting albeit slightly terrifying mix - would recommend!
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Absolutely loved this. What a gripping and intriguing read.  Would highly recommend this book to anyone that loves a read full of twists.
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This book captivated me throughout every single page! It was amazing with so many twists and turns that will keep you guessing right until the end. I was disappointed with the ending (no spoilers) but it didn't detract from the enioyment of the majority of the book.
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Oh my!!! I absolutely loved this book and can't believe I've not read anything from this author before. I'm glad that I won't be getting on a plane anytime soon though! I was gripped throughout and desperate for answers. The insights into the survivors on the island was so intriguing.
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Thank you to Netgalley, Harper Collins and Lucy Clarke for this e-copy in return for my honest review. While I enjoyed this book, I found it to be a little too similar to other books such as The Guest List/Whisper Island. It is still a quick and enjoyable read albeit predictable. I preferred Lucy's previous book You Let Me In.
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This book fed my inner curiosity of what could have happened to the Malaysian airplane that disappeared years ago.

Erin and Lori were to go for a holiday to Fiji. But with a fight happening the night prior, only Lori boarded the plane and the plane crashed on an unknown island off track. What or who caused the crash?

Two years later, Erin was still trying to get to the truth when the pilot Mike surfaced after years of being lost and gave her a small clue. Before she could question him further, he died. Now it was up to Erin to get to the truth.

I haven’t read a single Lucy Clarke book before this, and I must change that. I loved this book. There was the brutality of a deserted island along with trying to survive, living with other survivors where the veneer of civility was gone. The author brought forth the desperation and pain of the situation and characters.

Added to the 4 survivors on the island was 4 month old baby. The book had a subtle throb of excitement in it where the inner need to know what happened to them battled with wanting to know every single detail, trying to correlate each scene to what could have happened on the Malaysian flight.

For me, it was a combination of suspense and thrill along with the shade of reality and supposition that kept me hooked to the author’s words. I had to take a deep sigh at the end of the book, my thoughts swirling on the maybe…

Did this happen with Malaysian Airlines, Flight 370?
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I really enjoyed this and couldn’t wait for the end of the story. I could almost feel the fear of being stranded and it was really good. Highly recommended.  The Castaways by Lucy Clarke. #NetGalley
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Even if I enjoyed it I found the plot a bit predictable and the characters flat. It's an easy and entertaining read but not my cup of tea.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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Oooo I quite liked this one! Cant say too much without giving away too much but I will say it’s a fast paced read with great characters, I liked the before and after shatters which were easy to navigate through and I really enjoyed the twist at the end!!! A gripping story which will have you hook line and sinker 😉
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It's a story about a plane crash that nobody survived. Until two years later when the pilot turns up. Erin and Lori are sisters who fought the night before the crash, and only one got on the plane. What happened after that haunted the survivor, so she never moved on. We get the story of what happened on the island, but mainly it is a story about two sisters
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I was instantly intrigued when I read the premise of this book, and it didn't disappoint! 3 stars is a solid rating for me, especially when it comes to thrillers/mysteries. 

I especially enjoyed the chapters set "Then" and was fully invested in that character and that storyline. The writing, setting and commentary of the "Then" chapter also captivated me, as well as the themes of survival. The story did drag for me a little in the middle, but the short choppy chapters kept my interest.

I'd definitely be interested in reading other books by this author.
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