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  • Writer's pictureMilton Davis

Book Review: Dread Isle by Edward Austin Hall

I've known Ed Hall almost as long as I've been writing. We met, if I recall correctly, at a panel for the Decatur Book Festival. That was when I discovered he was THAT Ed Hall, former game editor for White Wolf Games, where he had worked on some of their most popular games at the time. Ed is also a virtual walking science fiction encyclopedia and a fantastic editor, poet and short story author. The one thing that I hadn't seen from Ed, the one thing I asked him frequently about, was a novel. In December of 2020, Ed answered that question with the release of Dread Isle.

Dread Isle's official description is as follows: Uninvited visitors descend on the remote oceanic research outpost that Tim, Pal, and the boys’ teacher, Chu, call home. Surrounded by threats of ominous origin, the three of them must determine who can be trusted, how to survive these multiple dangers, and what their choices mean for the world. The results lead them on a postmodern odyssey into the unknown.

Dread Isle begins with these main characters and sparks a host of questions including; who are these people and why are they here? No sooner do these questions pop in your head that Ed begins to answer them, taking his time to reveal the information in a way that keeps you reading in pace with the action. Yes, this is as much an action tale as it is a mystery. It's a story of secrets within secrets, with each answer exposing another mystery. Between the precise prose and interesting interludes, the tale of Dread Isle unfolds with quite a few twists and turns along the way. Ed's style is, as I mentioned earlier, precise. Each word has a specific purpose and none are wasted, which I enjoy. It's also very visual. I could see each movement of the characters as if watching a movie. Ed keeps you on the hook until the very last page of the novel, which is a good thing. And even then, there are a still a few unanswered questions, but nothing that keeps the novel from a satisfying conclusion.

So do I recommend you read Dread Isle? Yes I do. It's a well paced intriguing story and a worth edition to Ed's bibliography. You can get Dread Isle from Amazon and anywhere books are sold.

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