Monday, May 10, 2021

Five top SFF books with island settings

Makiia Lucier grew up on the Pacific island of Guam and has degrees in journalism and library science from the University of Oregon and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Her books have appeared on many notable lists, including the Kids’ Indie Next, the American Booksellers Association’s ‘Best Books for Children,’ and the American Library Association’s ‘Best Fiction for Young Adults.’ A Death-Struck Year, her debut novel, is set in Portland, Oregon during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918. The world of St. John del Mar, in which Isle of Blood and Stone and Song of the Abyss take place, was inspired by a childhood love of the Indiana Jones movies, as well as a lifelong fascination with old, old maps.

Lucier's forthcoming YA fantasy, Year Of The Reaper, hits bookstores on November 9, 2021.

At Lucier tagged five favorite SFF books with island settings, including:
The Islands at the End of the World by Austin Aslan

Sixteen-year-old Leilani lives on the Big Island of Hawaii with her parents and younger brother. The seizures brought on by epilepsy have changed the way she lives, forcing her to give up gymnastics and limiting the time she can spend on her beloved surfboard, out in the open sea. When Lei and her father travel to Oahu to begin clinical trials of a new epilepsy drug, a global disaster strikes. The cellphones stop working, then the Internet, then the power grid. Hawaii is cut off from the outside world. Lei and her dad must find their way home, traveling across islands where lawlessness abounds and food is scarce. Through it all, Lei’s seizures grow stronger, and carry with them the voice of a mysterious being, one whose identity may hold the key to saving her island. I love disaster fiction, and this book, written by an author with a degree in tropical conservation from the University of Hawaii at Hilo, comes with a beautifully rendered setting. The second book in the duology is called The Girl at the Center of the World.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue