Cover Image: Shipwreck Island

Shipwreck Island

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Member Reviews

Shipwreck Island is the second book in a series of two. The first one was Orphans of the Tide which introduced me to the characters and is definitely worth reading.

This book is about the same girl, Ellie Stonewall, and her friend, Seth, who is actually a god. They have sailed away from the Inquisitor's Island and reached and strange island where nearly everybody praises and loves the queen. Then Ellie meets Kate, and her friendship with Seth starts to fall apart. But strange things are happening and you don't know who you can trust......

I loved this book because it was so full of twists and turns. As soon as you think you can trust someone, something happens that contradicts everything you thought you knew about that character!

The end suggests there'll be a third book, which I am looking forward to reading.

(Reviewer age: 10)
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I had high expectations after reading Orphans of a Tide but I needn’t have been worried, Orphans of a Tide Shipwreck Island didn’t disappoint! The element which made this book stand out for me was you could ever quite trust a character fully as you never knew who was going to be a vessel. I shall be recommending this book to my year 6 children in class.
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This is the second instalment in the Orphans of the Tide series.

Orphans, Ellie and Seth, have left the city in which they met behind, for adventures at sea and on another land. Everything about their new environments is new to them, and they become different people, themselves, in the act of discovering them. Ellie can only hope they aren't growing apart as they grow-up, whilst Seth seems entirely unaware and dismissive of her concerns and of her person.

Despite focusing on a series of fantastical problems and action-packed issues, just like the first instalment, this also felt like a far more emotional read. Much of this is initially focused on Ellie's feelings of displacement in their new setting, which only became heightened when Seth's character altered soon after they arrived there. This featured a more fantastical conclusion to these problems, but I can imagine many younger readers experiencing the same emotions that Ellie was working through, for much of this book. This, therefore, proved as instructive and relatable as it did magical and whimsical. I have, so far, whole-heartedly loved adventuring to other worlds in this series!
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A brilliant sequel to an amazing book, this was a thrill to read!

Catching up with Ellie and Seth as they finally arrive at this 'other island', we watch as they slowly come to understand that all is not as perfect as it seems there. Seth is quickly accepted by the people of Shipwreck Island but Ellie is left feeling lonely and useless when she can't seem to find a place for herself and her inventions, feelings of which the weakened Enemy tries to take advantage. She quickly gets mixed up in a power struggle between the Queen of the island and the charismatic nobleman Loren, however, and must make some difficult choices as she tries to protect everyone from the consequences of their actions, and from the Enemy itself.

You can really feel that Ellie and Seth have developed a close bond over the course of the first book and then the however many months of drifting at sea, This, and their well developped and reintroduced character flaws make the problems their friendship encounters over the course of this book feel very genuine. The new cast of characters is also interesting and colourful, and I look forward to seeing if they will reappear in the rest of the series.

I can't wait for the conclusion!
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I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and Puffin in exchange for an honest review.

Orphans of the Tide was one of my favourite books of last year, so I highly anticipated the release of its sequel. Even knowing a bit more of what I was getting myself into this time, this book still managed to surprise and delight me in so many ways that more than met all of my expectations.

I really don't want to say much about the plot as I believe these books are best if you go into them knowing nothing and just enjoy the ride and theorising along the way. What I will say about the plot is that it is masterfully created. The weaving of information from the present with events of the past is very cleverly done. When reveals come, it is fascinating to look back at the clues that have been left for you and the misdirects hidden throughout. I am also a big fan of the 'answer one question, leave you with two more' style of storytelling. I love YA and adult fantasy books where the complexity of the world building and plot encourage theories and discussion between fans and it's so great to have a middle grade series which I can do that with as well.

The plot is not the only brilliant part of these books. The characters are also well fleshed out, intriguing and (where they're supposed to be) likeable. You want to know what happens, because you want to solve the mystery, but you also want things to work out well for the main characters. They're relationship with each other was handled well and it was good to see their disagreements as well as their triumphs when working together as having both of these brought an authenticity to their friendship. I also enjoyed getting to see them spend time with other characters. Molworth is an absolutely fantastic character creation and I loved every scene with him in.

I am very eager for the next instalment, but I am also grateful for the gap in between books as it gives us time to discuss and speculate about what will come next! I would recommend this series to readers aged 10+ who are looking for a fantasy/adventure story with lots to sink your teeth into.
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Oh, My, God! The best sequel I ever read EVER. I am so excited just writing this review and telling to the future readers how good this book is. You obviously have to start with Orphans of Tide, otherwise, you will miss it all!
And now about the second one, it is as incredibly good as the first one and it’s been a very long time since I’ve enjoyed a book and most of all, THE SECOND ONE TOO.
The world-building is incredible. Murray thought of everything. All the stories are linked, all the secrets are well kept until they have to be discovered and the God's universe is absolutly Fantastic. I mean, starting in the first book with a boy coming out from a whale thanks to a girl who cut open the gut because she knew that a dead whale could explode! What a beginning!! Now they both are in Shipwreck Island and just when you think that the author already told you everything, he managed to take your breath away till the last chapter. I am soooo thrilled and I wish I could stay in this world forever. I can’t imagine how a child, boy or girl, will be so entertained by all these world-building details and mysteries. It is a real work of art, Murray is an amazing storyteller and I am recommending this book to the younger and older because it is very good.
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A superb sequel to 'Orphans of the Tide' leaving things set up wonderfully for a third. 

The story picks up with Ellie and Seth, straight after their escape from the City, as they are travelling across the sea. Eventually, they discover 'Shipwreck Island' and its inhabitants - initially very suspicious of the new arrivals. Seth fits in immediately with his superb "fishing skills" but Ellie finds it a little trickier.

Over the story, we see Ellie struggle with seeing Seth become popular, struggle to find purpose on the new island and struggle to build friendships. Until she meets Loren and Kate. From there, the story takes a series of twists and turns, as we see Ellie unravel the truth behind 'Shipwreck Island'.

This is a superb book and a must for those who enjoyed 'Orphans of the Tide'.
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Struan Murray does not disappoint with this sequel to his brilliant debut novel, Orphans of the Tide. Full of twists, turns, suspense, drama, dilemma and humour, readers are left wanting more and more with this page turning tale of Ellie, an Inventor, and her friend (who is also a sea god) Seth. Both lighter and darker than it’s predecessor, Shipwreck Island is the creme de la creme of MG fantasy writing. I cannot wait to read the third!
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I had wanted to read Orphans of the Tide last year, but hadn't had time (so many books!), so when this popped up for request whilst I was furloughed from work, I thought I would try it, even though I knew it is a sequel.  The fact that I had not read the first book did not spoil my enjoyment at all.  I could not put this down.  The characters and plotting are wonderful.  There is a lot of action, but also some funny moments too, mostly featuring the 12 year old innkeeper Molworth.  Action packed and with an ending that makes you wish the third book was out already, I cannot recommend this highly enough.  (I immediately bought and read the first book upon finishing this.  Equally magnificent!!)
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I preferred it to the first book, I do wonder if you might be very confused if you had never read the first book, so I would suggest reading the first before starting this.

It continues where book 1 ends, we end up on a new Island with a different history. I love how the story is revealed chapter by chapter with twists and turns everywhere. Very much "unputdownable"!
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I was a big fan of the atmospheric, moody vibes that were woven throughout Orphans of the Tide. This second instalment was recommended to me as even darker and more enjoyable than the first. I agree that the ending lives up to that description, and the twist in friendship and power at the end does make me curious about how the story will carry on in the next volume. 

However, I missed the sea-soaked, atmospheric vibes and clear direction of the first book. The objectives and direction of the characters felt discombobulated (as perhaps is realistic considering their huge change of circumstance) and lower stakes throughout this story. I'd consider picking up the next in the series when it arrives, but in the meantime, I felt mostly disappointed for the characters I'd come to love from Orphans of the Tide. 

Would I recommend reading it? Yeah, I would. But so far, my big ups remain with volume one and the world-building established there.
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Having discovered Orphans of the Tide during lockdown last year, and absolutely loved it, there was no way that a sequel could live up to the original. I was wrong. Shipwreck Island is a fantastic book which continues Struan Murray's masterpiece.

The setting of Shipwreck Island, building on the mention of Arks from Peter and Claude's manuscript in the first book, is a gorgeous backdrop for this story. It is lovely to take Seth and Ellie to a nicer setting; however, the sunshine and calm waters don't at all lessen the evil that lurks around every corner.

Without posting any spoilers, the twists and turns in Shipwreck Island gave me the same feeling as (what I can only describe as) "that moment" in the first book. Be prepared to second-guess every character you meet - just like in the first one - and be prepared to change the way you see events from the original story.

Struan continues to manage to close almost every chapter with a devastating final line. This is a book which needs to be read aloud.

What a book! What an ending! The sequel cannot come soon enough: I need some kind of closure.
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I have NOTHING to say but oh my goodness. This is absolutely phenomenal. Just let me pick my jaw up off the floor good. THAT ENDING. Seth! Ellie! The new friends! The sea! So many unanswered questions; so much I need to know. This is jam-packed brilliance. So many twists and turns. So many new friends and old nemeses coming to join the party. I totally didn’t see this going the way it did. There’s very much a ‘two sides of coin’ going on here and I loved every second of it. I do NOT want to have to wait for book 3!
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This was a really good sequel, it was action packed all the way through and while I love the characters we already know the new ones were also very interesting. I especially liked Viola, she was fun and took no rubbish. Kate, the Queen and the palace politics were really interesting.

That cliffhanger ending was such a killer though! Book 3 cannot come fast enough.
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Struan Murray's Shipwreck Island is a fantastic second instalment in this epic middle grade adventure. 

Ellie and Seth have escaped the city, but that doesn't mean they have escaped the dangers it contains, or the Enemy himself. Their journey to a new island brings a new divinity and new challenges to overcome. 

On Shipwreck Island they find hunger, unrest and a goddess with the power to spark life, and perhaps destroy the Enemy for good, in the body of a young queen. Ellie and Seth make new friends and new enemies, but there are also old secrets to be uncovered. Secrets which may change the face of their world forever. 

There is a lot of tension in this novel - plenty of edge-of-your-seat moments as you wonder whether Ellie will give into the Enemy's persuasions. It is fast-paced and packed full of action. 

I love Seth and Ellie's friendship. It has its ups and downs, but they are always there for each other. Woven throughout the action and adventure of Shipwreck Island is a story of what friendship means and how you can support those you care about. 

As in book one, Manuel Šumberac's illustrations are unforgettable and help bring some of the most magical moments in this novel to life. 

I was provided with an advanced copy of Shipwreck Island for review on NetGalley.
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The challenge for a sequel with such an outstanding predecessor, is undoubtedly whether it can live up to people’s expectations. Orphans of the Tide is one of my favourite books of 2020 and I can firmly say that Shipwreck Island does not disappoint. Struan Murray has once again crafted a magnificent adventure, encompassing themes of trust, relationships, guilt and power. 

The story begins as Ellie and Seth have escaped the city, hoping to find freedom and peace. After 3 months of travelling across the ocean on a raft, they arrive at Shipwreck Island. The two are in fear of revealing their past and desperately want to fit in amongst the islanders, to escape the city’s Inquisitors and the demons who threaten their existence and everything they care about. 

The island is ruled by a beloved, mysterious, Queen and Ellie is determined to get close to Her and uncover the secrets within the palace walls. Whilst there is darkness, there is also humour brought to the story in the form of the character Molworth, a 12 year old pub landlord! 

So enthralling is the development and depth of the characters. As in Orphans of the Tide, diary chapters are woven into the book, whereby more is learnt about the past and in turn a greater understanding of the present. Vivid descriptions of the settings form colourful images bringing the reader even deeper into the story.

Shipwreck Island is gripping, with wonderful twists and turns to the tale. Struan Murray has created a plot rich in layers, intrigue and suspense. A must-read and one that will leave readers on the edge of their seat, eager to know what happens next!

Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Random House Children’s UK for the opportunity to read Shipwreck Island by Struan Murray in advance of its publication.
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My almost 11 yr old son snatched my kindle and raced off to read this. He absolutely LOVED it. He re-read it 4 times in a week and is still raving about it. He hadn’t read book 1 [Orphans of the Tide] so we bought that and he read the two books over the weekend. 
Still raving. About this books and the author Struan Murray

I let the son's opinion stand as a full review, with no spoilers, just joy at a fabulous read! 
Thanks very much to #NetGalley for the opportunity to read this ahead of publication in exchange for an honest review
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A fabulous middle-grade adventure! Ellie and Seth’s story carries on from where ‘Orphans of the Tide’ finishes, however it could be read as a stand-alone.  Lots of plot twists and turns to keep you reading to the last page.
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Having read Orphans of the Tide and knowing what a totally unpredictable twist occurred in that, I was ready this time!  Ready for the twist that was so sure to come in this sequel….BUT…I was not!!!  Not ready for that one at all!  Struan Murray, you have done it again!  What an awesome and inspiring author you are!  I can’t wait for book three!

Ellie and Seth finally arrive on a tropical island after crossing a vast ocean. Escaping from the city after feigning her own death, Ellie Lancaster is now Ellie Stonwall.  Upon arrival, Seth and Ellie meet Janssen (local fisherman) and his daughter, Viola (sailor – the same age as Ellie).  Seth is the one getting all the attention, which makes Ellie a little jealous. 

Shipwreck Island introduces some new characters – Molworth (12-year-old, grumpy, cynical owner of the pub known as The Vile Oak) is my favourite.  We also meet the Queen and Loren (I will let you find out about him for yourselves!), and then there is Altimus Ashenholme!!!!!  Leila, and her diary, take you back to the time when the Ark crashed onto the island.  Other familiar characters from the first book such as the brutal Inquisitor, Hargrath, also make an appearance.

A truly exceptional book from a truly exceptional author!
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From Good Reads:
An equally great sequel to Orphans of the Tide.
Ellie and Seth find themselves a new home on an island ruled by a mysterious queen.
Our heroes quickly get involved in trying to save the island from starvation with absolutely loads of adventures along the way.
Some familiar characters and some cracking new ones (Molworth, the boy innkeeper, is inspired)
Light, dark, good, evil, jealousy, friendship, heartache, joy - all there to get our teeth into.
More please - quickly!
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