Monday 6 June 2016

REVIEW: Russell James - Q Island

Genre: Horror / Apocalyptic
Publisher: Samhain Publishing Limited
Publication Date: 7th July 2015
Pages: 391


A copy of Q Island was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author, Russell James, in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by Samhain Publishing.

This review is an interesting one. This comes as a sort of a challenge from Mr James to me. You see I read his book, Dark Inspiration and reviewed it a while back. I enjoyed it. I mentioned in my review that I thought it could have been scarier, for me anyway. It was a sort of a negative review but I like to think of my reviews as more constructive than negative. Instead of calling me names or giving me one fingered salutes, Russell James contacted me and thanked me for the review and said try my book Q Island. I think you will like it more.

I love it when an author does this. To me this is a sign of a great strength that says, hey you didn’t get this one, but try this one instead. I really like that happening.

So did I like Q Island as predicted by Mr James?

Long Island is in turmoil. A virus that has lain dormant for thousands of years has been released into the general public. There seems to be no cure. The virus itself isn’t the killer. It’s what it turns the infected into that ultimately kills them.

There are pockets of survivors though. Among them is Melanie and her son Aiden. Aiden is autistic and seems to be immune to the virus. Could he be the saviour everyone is looking for? Jimmy Wade has the virus. He is convinced if he finds Aiden and kills him, he will become all powerful and rule the new world.

Time is running out for everyone.

So, straight into it with the characters. There are quite a few main ones so I won’t spend too much time on them. Melanie and Aiden are the obvious big ones. She is so devoted to her son that she deserves a medal and every accolade that goes with it. She doesn’t have an easy life. Aiden is troubled by many different things. He doesn’t speak. He doesn’t like to be touched. He really lives in his own secure world but this is only facilitated by the love from Melanie.

On their side we have an old man called Eddie that has nothing to prove to anyone but still tries. Tamara is a nurse and friend of Melanie. She proves to be one hell of a strong lady that lets nothing get her down and will fight to the death. Samuel Bradshaw is a doctor tasked with finding the cure to the virus. He is a genuinely good man but is battling against more evil than he even knows.

On the horrible side we have Jimmy Wade. A small time crook with extraordinary powers due to the virus and he is hell bent on taking over the world with his band of renegades. One other despicable person is Paul. I won’t give anything away about him but believe me, you will hate him.

The plot? The synopsis says it all. A virus is released through innocent circumstances which puts the whole of Long Island in danger. People battle to survive on the island while the medical people and the military battle to find the cure. Or do they? That’s all you are getting.

So what did I think of this one compared to Dark Inspiration? I’m sorry but there is no comparison. I’m also not sorry to say it but you were right Mr James. You were very right. I absolutely loved this book. From the very first page to the very last.

This is a story that has been done. Let’s face it, there are not very many original plots in the horror game. Bits of stories have always been done before. They can all be very similar. I think that’s why we ultimately love the genre so much.

Q Island, however, is the same plot but very different. Confused? Don’t be. This is one of the easiest books you will read in years. The flow is fantastic. The pace is top gear the whole way. You very rarely get a chance to draw breath and even when you do it’s because you’re holding it. That’s a good tip for reading this book – remember to breathe. There are so many twists and turns in this story that you have no idea what is going to happen next and where the next pile of trouble is going to come from. This book is one of the most unpredictable I have read of a normally predictable plot.

Russell James is not scared to go in for the kill. Just as you get comfortable with a certain character, BAM, they are gone and you are left thinking what the hell just happened there? I love that. You always have in your mind that the main people are invincible and will survive anything. Not in this they don’t. Now I’m not going to tell you who lives and who dies but you will never guess.

Was it scarier? Yes, it absolutely was. This is written in such a way that you start to feel the fear making every hair on your body stand on end. It’s so tense at times you will hold your breath. There are little bits that will make you squeal like a little girl. There are bits that will have you cheering and punching the air in support of the character on that particular page. There is also a scene that will bring a tear to your eye. It did with me.

This book is a fantastic all-rounder. It’s full of entertainment and tension and scares and despair and hope and tears and fear. You will not want to put this one down, I guarantee it.

To summarise: I think after reading the above you should just go get it. You won’t regret it one bit. What’s the next challenge you have for me Mr James?

General rating:

★★★★★ OK so you were right Mr James!

Horror rating:

★★★★★ OK you were right again!

If you would like to help support Confessions of a Reviewer, then please consider using the links below to buy Q Island or any other books from Russell. This not only supports me but also lets me know how many people actually like to buy books after reading my reviews.


Book Synopsis:


An ancient virus has surfaced on Long Island, NY, turning its victims into black-veined, infectious, psychopathic killers. Chaos and madness rule.

In desperation, the military quarantines the island, trapping Melanie Bailey and her autistic son, Aiden. Somehow Aiden survives infection. He could be the key to a cure…if Melanie can get him to the mainland.

Gang leader Jimmy Wade also survives the virus, but he’s acquired a hunger for human flesh. Believing consuming Aiden will make him all-powerful, he and his gang hunt the boy. Melanie and Aiden must evade both Wade’s tightening grip and the growing army of the infected in an impossible escape from what all call Q Island.

You can read my review of Dark Inspiration, here.

Russell R. James was raised on Long Island, New York and spent too much time watching Chiller, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, and Dark Shadows, despite his parents' warnings. Bookshelves full of Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe didn't make things better. He graduated from Cornell University and the University of Central Florida.

After a tour flying helicopters with the U.S. Army, he now spins twisted tales best read in daylight. He has written the paranormal thrillers "Dark Inspiration", "Sacrifice", "Black Magic", "Dark Vengeance", the collections "Tales from Beyond", "Deeper into Darkness", "Outer Rim" and "Out of Time". His novels "Dreamwalker" and "Q Island" both release in 2015.

His wife reads what he writes, rolls her eyes, and says "There is something seriously wrong with you."

And for more about Russell, visit his site or find him on social media:

Website – Facebook – Twitter – Goodreads – Amazon Page

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