Cover Image: The Castaways

The Castaways

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I just loved this book. Best book I've read for ages. I just couldn't put it down and it was so good I didn't want it to end!
It was so realistic, gripping and scary in places, emotional in others. The ordeal on the island was well portrayed.  The story kept me interested through out.   I thoroughly recommend this book!
Was this review helpful?
This was a sandwich and a half.  The first 25% and the final 25% were both atmospheric and full of tension. Unfortunately I felt that the filling was dull. It was a cycle of Erin roaming around wishing she could see her sister and Lori having weird encounters on the island with her fellow survivors. It was repetitive and lacked tension for both narrative voices. I grew bored.

Yet the start and end were 4 star for me, I was racing through both of those sections as quick as my thumbs could tap to the next page. 

I just wish the whole book had upheld that level of tension.
Was this review helpful?
Lori and Erin have always been close, their sisterly bond the only consistent thing in either of their lives. And here they are, about to head off on the holiday of a lifetime to a remote Fijian island. However the night before their flight, they are torn apart by a vicious argument, and Lori boards her flight alone. But the plane never lands, and two years later Erin is still desperately searching for the truth of what really happened to her sister...


This is a tricky one to review, especially without giving away any spoilers. There’s a lot of tension initially as you wait to find out what happened on the day of the crash, with the truth slowly being revealed in chapters alternating between the POV of Lori on the day of the crash, and Erin now, two years later. However as the book develops, some of that tension is lost, and at times it becomes more of a family drama than a thriller. That is in no way a criticism, as to me I felt it only made it a better book by giving such insight into the two women’s relationship, but if you are after a full blown thriller this may not be the book for you. Although it definitely returns to being more of an all out thriller towards the end! But all in all, I found it to be a very unique and enjoyable read based on a great concept. 



Disclaimer - I was fortunate enough to be provided with an advance reading copy of this book by NetGalley. This has not affected my review in any way, and all opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
This book is a breath of fresh air.  If you only read one book on your holiday, then make it this one!  I was hooked from the first chapter. I liked the alternate chapters of the two sisters points of view and of Erin’s current life and how she has never given up on finding out what happened to her sister.  This is a very well written but accessible book with engaging characters with whom you get involved very quickly.  A well deserved five stars
Was this review helpful?
A clever and gripping thriller.

Lori and Erin are sisters who have always had each others backs. But on a holiday to Fiji they argue. Next day one heads off in a small plane to their next destination, the other doesn't. The plane never makes it destination, disappearing into the unknown. Now several years on it seems there could be a chance to find out. But will the truth be too hard to bear?

Oh my giddy aunt this stressed me out! The plane crash left me reaching for a G&T (any excuse). It reminded me of the crash from Lost,  very scary. I've read less frightening horrors. But then the aftermath. Oh lawd! Because of the title it's not majorly spoilerish to say there's two stories here. One of searching, the other of survival. I had to stay up late into the night to find out what happened. Unfortunately for him indoors there he was kept awake by gasps of "oh no" and some tears as well. To say what provoked these would be spoilerish though. But I will say it was an emotional read!

My favourite book of the year so far.
Was this review helpful?
The book follows two sisters, Lori and Erin who are so close but battling their own demons and now one of them is searching for the other.

This is a very dark and chilling thriller but what makes it more disturbing is that it is set against the backdrop of a beautiful remote island, where the blue sparkling sea meets the hot golden sands. It looks so idyllic, but the inhabitants are survivors of a plane crash, just waiting to be rescued.

As time goes on and secrets begin to emerge the story takes on a much more twisted and sinister tone. I was never quite sure whose story to believe and I also very much feared that no one would get off the island alive. 

Lucy Clark has very cleverly mapped out her story. She left nothing to chance and there was no way I could have foreseen the ending which left me covered in goosebumps! Superb!
Was this review helpful?
Two sisters plan a trip to a Fijian island. However, for some reason one of them doesn’t make the flight. The plane disappears without a trace during said flight.
After the pilot turns up alive many years later, the surviving sister sets about trying to solve the mystery of what happened that day and whether or not anyone else survived.
This was a very good book and I liked the way it switched from modern day to what happened immediately following the crash. The story kept me interested all the way through the book with clever twists along the way, especially at the end. I will certainly look for more books written by Lucy Clarke.
Was this review helpful?
Fascinating story about he problems occurring when stranded on an island with title chance of rescue. Definitely recommended to those readers who enjoy reading this type of book.
Was this review helpful?
A very well written story, I really liked the interwoven timelines and character stories. Quite a few twists and turns too which kept this book interesting.

Thanks for letting me review this book
Was this review helpful?
This is the first novel I've read by Lucy Clarke and it won't be the last one. This was such a surprising, unique thriller. In a world where genuinely  new plots are a rare find - this counts as one of them. Sisters Erin and  Lori are on a holiday of a lifetime in Fiji. Over diner one evening they row and Erin storms off. She doesn't return home and the following morning Lori ends up catching a flight to a remote Fijian island without her. En route the flight crashes. The narrative is a simple one: we learn what happened to Lori and the other survivors (I don't think this is a spoiler given the title of the book!) and this is interwoven with Erin two years later who has discovered that the pilot of the plane has been found. Erin has questions for him and, thnkas to her job as a writer, gets to fly to Fiji to try and talk to him. What happened to The Castaways and why were their lives so interwoven?  This is a powerful, thought provoking read. I highly recommend.
Was this review helpful?
Sisters Lori and Erin travel to Fiji on a dream holiday, but after an argument, Erin storms off, leaving Erin to catch the small island hopper plane alone. When the plane disappears without trace, Erin is left with the guilt and despair of life without her sister. Then, two years later, the pilot is found living under an assumed name, and the questions begin again. Can Erin discover the truth about flight FJ209?

The Castaways is an interesting story, flitting between Lori’s experiences ‘then’ and Erin’s ‘now’. It soon becomes clear that Lori survived the crash and that there’s far more to it than a simple plane crash and so it proves as the book progresses. At times, I found it difficult to keep up with all that was happening, especially to the survivors, but overall it’s a good read. The ending especially makes a change from the predictable finishes of many novels.
Was this review helpful?
It is quite hard to formulate a review for this book without giving too much away. Essentially Lori and Erin, two sisters are are going on holiday to Fiji together. Lori has just split up from her husband, leaving her childless – her biggest desire in life is to be a mother. Her ex has sired a child with the new woman in his life to add insult to injury. The two sisters support each other through thick and thin, particularly after the death of their father in their later teen years.

At heart they have a good relationship but when they arrive in Nadi airport in Fiji, the evening before their transfer flight to LImaji, they have quite an argument. Erin storms off and the next day Lori boards the tiny plane to their final destination alone. The plane crashes.

Two years later and Erin is of course still in shock that she survived and she is still as desperate as ever to find out what happened to the plane and the passengers. No wreckage was found, no trace at all. In the intervening couple of years, Erin has been busy collecting all the pieces of information she can, from all possible sources, and Lori’s room is now like a police investigation room, a shrine to her sister and the missing passengers. Erin is a journalist and after a pivotal discovery she is sent back to Fiji to see if she can collect any further information.

Lucy Clarke is great at keeping the tension flowing – with masterful twists and turns she guides her reader through the different threads of the story. I was certainly really keen to find out how the narrative would end. Having said that I felt the storyline had too many incidences, used to drive the story forward, that felt really implausible. As an example, a book and some clothes (spattered with blood, which would have attracted insects to gnaw and nibble at the drop of a hat) are discovered 2 years after the crash, on a tropical island where humidity is high (as a random sample of the humidity levels today, there is 94% humidity in Fiji, compared to, say, London at 66%). Articles containing cellulose do not do well in high humidity, so it is so very unlikely that the book and clothes (which both contain cellulose) would have survived in the extreme temperatures/humidity. The discovery of a mobile, after two years, that just needed a quick recharge to offer up some clues, really stretches credibility. There were other aspects which compounded the distortion of reality which I won’t mention here as they would be spoilers.

Having said that, I worked on suspending my disbelief, and got on and enjoyed listening to this novel as an audiobook, I did find it quite addictive. And whatever your thoughts, the novel will certainly transport you to an exotic location if you are stuck in the Northern hemisphere and yearning to read about a tropical island that is hot and dripping in dark and luscious foliage.
Was this review helpful?
Sisters Lori and Erin came to Fiji together for a relaxing getaway but only Lori makes the connecting flight to a remote stretch off the mainland. That plane ends up disappearing and Erin flies back to London devastated to have lost her sister. Two years later, the pilot of the plane turns up alive in hospital and it appears that what actually happened on that missing flight is about to be revealed. This very chilling novel felt so realistic and I think that’s why it affected me as much as it did. The beautiful setting of Fiji against such a horrific plot provided the perfect juxtaposition. As well as being a story of sisterhood, The Castaways is suspenseful thriller that keeps twisting and turning towards an unpredictable but satisfying end.
Was this review helpful?
The best book I've read this year so far! 
A plane crashes on its way to a Fijian island with no survivors.  
One passenger's sister will do anything to get to the truth of how the crash happened. 
The book moves from present day storyline for the sister to the past storyline of the crash. 
An unexpected event happens in the present which makes the past seems more unreal! 
I couldn't put this book down and would highly recommend to any reader.
Was this review helpful?
I love Lucy Clarke’s writing and have enjoyed all of her previous novel so I had very high hopes for this one and I’m so pleased to say that it more than lived up to them! This novel follows sisters Lori and Erin. They went on holiday together and one night had a row which led to Lori getting on a plane and Erin walking away. The plane disappears and Erin is left full of regret and a desperate need to know what happened to her sister. The novel follows Erin in the present and Lori a couple of years earlier and I loved this way of telling the story. It meant the reader was privy to more knowledge than the characters but it was still twisty and gripping. I had my suspicions about what had happened to Lori and while I was partly right there was so much more to this novel than I ever could have seen! I love the fierceness of Erin’s determination to find out what happened, and the single-mindedness she showed in trying to find out. I was rooting for her the whole way through. The love that was there between the sisters shines off the pages in the novel and I found that incredibly moving. I loved that this is a twisty mystery novel with real heart and love at its centre. I highly recommend this one!
Was this review helpful?
Great read, full of twists and turns. Well written and I look forward to reading more of this author
Was this review helpful?
Wow this was a great book. The story follows two sisters, Lori and Erin who are on holiday in Fiji. They are due to fly out to a small island together but after an arguament Erin doesn't show up for the flight and so Lori goes alone. Mid flight the plane goes missing and neither the plane nor survivors are found. Erin spends the next few years obsessively trying to find out what has happened and starts to uncover some very sinister secrets. I loved how the story is told from Erin's current perspective of her investigation and Lori's past perspective of the lead up to the crash and what happened. The book just felt like it was constantly building and building to a big climax which kept me reading. I found myself really looking forward to diving back in to the story each time I'd had to stop to do life stuff and would have happily binged it all in one go if possible. I thought that Erin and Lori were both really relatable and likeable characters. 
From the cover I expected a thriller but this is definitely a mystery book and by the mid point I had many, many questions and theories. It was such a fantastic experience to see each question answered and each mini mystery wrapped up as the book drew to a close. I will definitely be reading more of Lucy Clarke's books after this!
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this book.  I got really invested in the characters and there were lots of twists and turns that kept me guessing.  Definitely worth a read.
Was this review helpful?
Well written  This story is about two people who become life long friends.  Proving that opposites can and do attract  Another gentle and well written story from this author.  I cant wait for the next one
Was this review helpful?
An excellent, suspenseful, thriller. Two sisters on a holiday of a lifetime. How does one end up on a small aircraft and the other doesn't? The story is told by both sisters - one in the present day and one from the day of the crash. A really gripping story finding out what happened and if there were any surivvors. Great twists and turns!
Was this review helpful?