Cover Image: The Castaways

The Castaways

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Member Reviews

The perfect bit of escapism and a page-turner of a thriller, I loved this book and was hooked right from the beginning. Sisters Lori and Erin head for the holiday of a lifetime but following an argument only one of them boards the plane to the luxury island.  When the plane disappears without a trace, Erin is left trying to find out what happened to her sister.

Cleverly and effectively told in dual timelines by the sisters - the present, as Erin continues to search for the truth two years after the crash, and the past, told by Lori as she is stranded on the island where the plane crashed. I loved Clarke's vivid descriptions - from the palpable tension prior to take off to life on the island, where all the survivors seem to have secrets they would prefer to keep.  The characterisation is equally goo with several thoroughly unlikeable but interesting characters and a fascinating relationship between the sisters. Add to that some unexpected twists and a clever ending and it had me on the edge of my seat.
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Sisters Lori and Erin have booked a holiday in Fiji & it starts off idyllically but just before they fly from the main island to a resort on one of the outlying islands, they have an argument. Erin storms off & doesn’t turn up at the airport so Lori boards the flight alone
The plane does not arrive at its destination, indeed it disappears without trace. Nothing will stop Erin finding out what happened to her sister. When the pilot of the plane turns up 2 years later, living under an assumed name in Fiji, Erin knows that this is her last chance to find out the truth so she returns to the place where she last saw her sister. 
The descriptions of the places and incidents are excellent. I quite liked the characters of Erin & Lori but there are other characters that come in along the way that I really disliked. 
The story is told in dual timelines “then” & “now” from both sisters perspectives and as the stories draw closer together, there are more secrets to be revealed. What exactly was the argument about? What happened on the plane? If the pilot survived, did anyone else?

Overall this is a story that unfurls slowly, but it does draw you in and you will not want to put it down until you know what actually happened … However it probably should come with a warning that this is NOT the book to read at the airport/on holiday as the parts describing what happened on board the plane are very well written & you will probably be gripping the arms of your chair & checking if your seatbelt is fastened! 

Disclosure: I received an advance copy of this book free from the publisher via NetGalley. Whilst thanks go to the publisher for the opportunity to read it, all opinions are my own.

#BookReview #NetGalley @ThePigeonHoleHQ
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‘The Castaways’ by Lucy Clarke is the story of two sisters; one lost after her plane to a small Fijian island disappears, the other on a quest to find her. Erin cannot let it go. When everyone else wants to move on, she becomes obsessed and makes it her goal in life to find out what happened. The chapters move between then and now, between each sister, giving us insight into their relationship as well as how they function as individuals. 

You will not be able to put it down. There’s a sense of foreboding, tension and suspense that never lets up. The writing is wonderfully descriptive, and takes the reader inside the minds of the characters and to far off places. The twists in the tale were astounding and did not come out as I expected. I was gripped from start to finish. 

I was given this ARC to review.
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I was immediately attracted to the beautiful exotic cover and intriguing short blurb of this book. I had never read anything by this author before, so I couldn't wait to 'dip' myself into the story.

Two very close sisters, Lori and Erin, decide to go on a holiday to Fiji, on one of its many beautiful islands. But tragedy strikes before they even make it to their final destination and the sisters are separated. Two years pass and after a startling news on the media, Erin returns to Fiji desperate to try and dig deep again into what happened to the plane that disappeared with Lori on board. Where has the plane crashed? Where is Lori?

The story is divided into two main timelines on alternate chapters. We have Lori at the time of the crash, literally trying to survive one day at a time on a deserted islet along with some other enigmatic passengers, faced by a desperate situation, a million difficulties and hazards imposed by the inhospitable land. And then we have Erin in the present day, two years later, back in Fiji, asking questions, wondering, trying just one more time to find out something that may lead her to her sister's whereabouts. It's as if the plane and its human cargo have simply disappeared from the face of the earth. The plane wreck has never been located and no word has ever reached Erin about her sister. But will she find what she's looking for here this time? Will she finally be able to put the two-year-old puzzle together at last? Why do the Fijian authorities seem reluctant to reopen the investigation? Was it really an accident? Or something more sinister? Is Lori still alive? Or has she been dead for two years?

The short, cryptic blurb succeeded in spiking my curiosity more than usual to find out what happens in the book. It filled my mind with a lot of questions before I have even began to read. I was drawn into this story from the beginning thanks to the author's beautiful, crisp writing and by the setting of the story. I really enjoyed the vivid descriptions of the island and of Fiji. It was as if I could close my eyes and find myself there, in that desolate paradise, feeling the sand under my bare toes and the sun beating down on my back. Looking out at the horizon at the endless sea and sky. But I could also feel the desperation of the survivors. My heart went out to them, I was afraid for Lori and Sonny's well-being as I could feel something dark and sinister lurking on the island and I just knew that something terrible was about to happen. The other characters are all quite mysterious and it's as if they all have a hidden agenda. This story reminded me of 'The Lord of the Flies'. Away from society and its elements for an extended period of time, humans change into entirely different beings. How can they ever survive this harsh environment? Will help ever come before it's too late?

Apart from one aspect which I thought was a bit far-fetched, I think this book is brilliant and I highly recommend it. With huge thanks to HarperCollins for the opportunity to read an ARC of this book through Netgalley.
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Thank you to Netgalley for the chance to read in exchange for an honest review. I loved this book I stayed up late and read it over 3 nights. The story follows 2 sister Lori and Erin. They lost their mum when they were young and Lori, as the older sister was a mother figure for Erin. They have always been close but one day on holiday they fall out and Erin doesn't turn up for the flight and sadly the plan crashes with Lori onboard.

Two years after the plane goes missing Erin a journalist is still looking for answers. She finds out that Mike the pilot has been found alive but we was dying in hospital and even when asked he tells her Lori died but she finds a map in his possessions and heads to the island.

The story alternates between the past Lori and the present Erin as we discover what happened the day the plane crashed.

This book was great the only thing I hated was the ending. **SPOILER Erin decided not to have much to do with Lori after discovering she was alive. This seemed heartless and out of character I really felt for Lori and she did what she did to keep Sonny and for Erin to just dismiss her and swan off with a bloke she just met to start a life elsewhere seemed far to fickle, after all Lori helped her so much over the years since their parents died. This being said I would still recommend this book.
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What a book this was. If like me you mainly read in bed at night, then be prepared to kiss your sleep goodbye. This was an amazing read, the characters were well written, some very likable characters that you will care about and some very unpleasant ones. I really had no idea what was going to happen next. The story totally sucked me in and wrapped me up, and I was almost holding my breath in places, it was amazing. No spoilers all I can say is I really couldn't predict what was going to happen next, and I loved it .One of the best books I have read so far this year, and so good that I might well feel the same at the end of the the year. If you are looking for a book that you will really enjoy and that will keep you guessing this is the one. I loved it, wish I could give it more than 5 stars.
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Breathtaking. One of the best books I've read this year. I loved the locked room scenario and paradoxical  setting with a group of disturbed and disturbing characters stranded on a paradise island in a hellish situation.  Fabulous build up of tension and distrust. The dual timeline and dynamic between the two sisters was also expertly done, and the ending was exactly what I was hoping for.
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Fantastic! A powerfully written novel that had me up during the night to finish reading it. It is exciting, full of tension and a fantastic storyline with a completely unexpected ending.
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Absolutely fantastic. 
Dual timeline, seriously gripping plot where I was thinking about it even when not reading it, and great characters. 
I have LOVED reading this and thinking through all the theories and clues along the way, wonderful to experience life on an island. 
The writing was wonderful, extremely descriptive writing that made me feel like I was there living through it too. So many times I gasped or held my breath in anticipation!
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I've noticed when writing this review that the blurb doesn't give a lot away and this just adds to the tension that you find within the novel. The Castaways is written in a dual time frame - "then" and "now." The "then" is narrated by Lori and the "now" by Erin and the alternation of the chapters allows Clarke to build in cliffhangers and leave readers wondering what we may be about to discover. There are lots of twists and turns along the way and I really wanted to know what would happen next at every stage.

Lori and Erin are sisters and it's clear throughout the novel that there are secrets between them and questions about them to which we need to find the answers. They are really well developed and I am pleased that Clarke took some time to give readers some insight into their history. I didn't find either of the sisters particularly likeable, but I could see how close they were and this is what made me want them to succeed. The other passengers on the island also have interesting back stories and I enjoyed learning how they came to be there too.

The description of the island is wonderful and whilst I definitely wouldn't want to be stranded there, it seems beautiful and I enjoyed being transported there by Clarke's writing.

The ending of The Castaways is not what I expected but in hindsight, I'm not sure that it could have been done differently and now I have finished the novel I am still thinking about the characters.
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I enjoyed this suspenseful read which reminded me a bit of the tv series Lost but without the confusion.
Switching back and forth between the two main characters, Lori and Erin was a good touch, keeping me interested and intrigued to find out what happened.
The island setting whilst beautiful was tense and isolated, it would’ve been very unsettling for the survivors.
The characters were well written and I enjoyed learning about their back stories.
Erin was steadfast and by far the most interesting character, she never stopped looking for her sister, even against all the odds, she needed to discover what had happened.
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A fabulously written book.  I loved the characters and it was a gripping page turner.  It also transported me to Fiji which has always been on my bucket list.  I loved this book.
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Thank you to Netgalley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review,

Wow, what a fabulous book, brilliant from start to end. Well-written, great plot, setting, and characters. I cannot recommend it enough.
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My thanks to NetGalley and publisher HarperCollins UK for the electronic copy.

This is just such an absorbing read.  Wonderfully atmospheric and emotional, well-written with good dialogue, the story completely held my attention.

Two sisters, Lori and Erin are heading to Fiji on a spur-of-the-moment holiday.  They have an argument on the eve of their departure to one of the smaller islands and Lori is the only sister who boards the small aeroplane, and she doesn't come back.
Two years later Erin still ponders over the newspaper cuttings of the story of Lori's missing plane which paper the walls of Lori's old bedroom, until, one day..................................................

What actually happened is told from "Then" from Lori's point of view and "Now" from Erin's.  To say more would risk spoilers - you really need to read it.   Beautifully written and well-plotted.
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Lori and Erin are sisters who are there way to Fiji for a dream holiday,but they argue and only Lori makes the flight which crashes on a remote island,Erin is devastated and spends the next two years wondering just what happened to her sister.The story is told In alternate chapters back and forth from Lori and Erin as we  find out what happened on the island to Lori.It is a good thriller which is well written and with a good ending on top,the book never blew me away but i would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys this genre.A good four star read.
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I chose this book because I read in another review that it was like the series 'Lost' but in book form. I was in the mood for some twists, turns and moody island relationships and The Castaways by Lucy Clarke certainly delivered. 

Two sisters are due to take a flight together. Only one of them gets on and disastrously, the plane crashes on a secluded island, with few survivors. The author explores the way this event affects the two sisters lives beautifully and one of my favourite things about the book was the truthful 'angry love' between them; I've seen so many sisters display this, including my own daughters! I felt like I liked and understood both of them and how much they needed each other. 

The pace continued to build throughout the book (short chapters, one of my favourite things!) and I really struggled to put it down at the end. Between the tropical setting, sincere characters and exploration of relationships under intense duress, it makes an amazing book and would also make an incredible movie.

Thank you to Netgalley and HarperCollins for the ARC!
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Sisters Erin and Lori plan the holiday of a lifetime but things don’t go according to plan.  What occurs is a nightmare for one of them and the other is left to pick up the pieces.  I can’t say much more for fear of spoilers.  I will say that this was an excellent read that will have you totally gripped.  The book was well written and the descriptions of what was happening were very real and I could really visualise what was occurring. My only quibble was a few things that happened just seemed to contrived.  That however didn’t take away from my enjoyment of this suspenseful read
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This is the first book I have read by this author, it had me hooked from the anxiety inducing beginning and I will definitely be checking out more books by Lucy Clarke.

The story is told from two different points of view of sisters, Lori and Erin, and from the past to the present day. It is a suspenseful intriguing read with secrets and lies, some unlikeable characters and a remote location in the South Pacific.

I would not recommend this to nervous flyers, but to everyone else - go for it, you won't regret it!
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Two years ago, sisters Lori and Erin were heading for the holiday of a lifetime in an exclusive Fijian resort, when an argument the night before the final flight to the resort led to Erin not turning up at the airport. Lori chose to go alone, on a plane with only a handful of passengers – a plane that disappeared without trace.
Erin has been obsessed with finding out what happened to her sister’s flight ever since – there had been no contact, no messages, no hint of anything, until a man appears in Fiji, a man who holds the secret of what happened. Somehow, someway, the pilot of the plane has reappeared – but what happened to the remainder of the flight? Is there any possibility that there are other survivors?
So, that’s two books in a row with people being abandoned on an island, but there’s a world of difference between this and Body On The Island.
This is, structurally, a fairly typical modern thriller – sorry, Amazon, that’s “the most gripping, twisty crime thriller”. A dual narrative – Lori in the past on the island that the plane crashes on and Erin in the present investigating where the pilot came from – one in the first person, one in the third (what is it with that narrative structure, it seems to be everywhere these days?). The stories dovetail to the conclusion, with parallel beats in the plot as discoveries in the present occur with the relevant events in the past.
It’s a really well-written tale, with the stories of both women having depth to them – both characters feel real and as the stories unwind, I found myself invested in what happened to them. But – and I know that authors have little say in how Amazon markets their titles – but “the most gripping, twisty crime thriller” is considerably overstating things. Yes, there’s some crime involved, but it’s not really a whodunit (or if it is, it’s a very obvious one) and I can’t help feeling that the ending was rather inevitable rather than particularly surprising.
All in all, it’s a good book that I enjoyed, but I think fans of the classic mystery genre should look elsewhere. If you like modern personal thrillers though, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy this.
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The best parts of the book take place right at the beginning. What follows is a slow paced story were nothing much happens.

Erin and Lori are sisters. They lost their parents early in their life and all they have is each other. They have a strong but also complicated bond. When Lori’s husband left her for someone else she books a holiday for her and Erin to Fiji as a tread. When they arrive there they have a massive fall-out on their first evening. The next day they are supposed to fly to another small Island but Erin fails to how up. Lori gets on the small plane on her own with only seven other people on board plus a pilot and an attendant. But the plane never reaches the Island and nobody knows what happened. Erin is devastated and still trying to find out what went wrong on that flight. Then suddenly after two years the pilot turns up alive. He lived under a different name hidden in remote place on Fiji. Erin takes the next flight and is adamant to find finally out what happened to her sister.

The story is told in two timelines. In the present we see Erin going to Fiji and trying to speak to the pilot. In the past there is Lori and we see what happened on that flight and afterwards. The beginning of the book is intriguing but soon the story slows down and nothing much is happening in both timelines. I found Erin to be a weird character. She is devastated by the loss of Lori but she is blind to the fact that the family members of the other passengers are going through the same suffering. She is secretive and hides important information even to the police. I found that highly irritating. She behaves quite irresponsible throughout the book. I will not say too much because of possible spoilers. I also could not connect to Lori’s story. It was also very slow and repetitive. The ending is almost as I expected but quite weird. 

I expected the book to be something else. I expected it to be more of Erin looking into what happened. I did not expect that Lori and what she went through also would be a huge part of the book. I found the book to be an ok read but I did not over-enjoy it very much. It was too slow, a bit boring and quite unrealistic. I settle for 3 stars because it was a fast and easy read.
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