The Burning Island by Hester Young

The Burning Island

Hester Young

After her work on a high-profile case brings unwanted fame, journalist Charlie Cates flees to Hawaii. But her hopes for a peaceful vacation are soon dashed by haunting dreams of a local girl who went missing six weeks earlier.

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The newest haunting mystery from the beloved author of The Gates of Evangeline, featuring Charlie Cates, a headstrong heroine who must confront her unwanted supernatural gift and bring dark secrets to light if she ever wants to leave the Big Island . . .

Journalist Charlie Cates has always believed in facts, in what can be proved--her career depends on it. Which is why she has never truly accepted the supernatural visions that guide her to children in danger. After her work on a high-profile missing-child case brings unwanted fame, she reluctantly flees to the lush Big Island of Hawaii with her best friend, Rae. Determined to avoid her disturbing visions, Charlie begins writing what seems to be a harmless interview of a prominent volcanologist, Victor Nakagawa. But her hopes for a peaceful vacation are soon dashed by haunting dreams of a local girl who went missing six weeks earlier.

In the small and sleepy town of Kalo Valley, Charlie and Rae come to realize that even paradise has its ugly secrets, and the Nakagawa family is no exception. In order to find the missing teenager and stop a dangerous predator from striking again, Charlie is forced to embrace the gift she has always tried to conceal. Meanwhile, someone is watching her every move, and the closer Charlie gets to the truth, the more distant her chances of ever leaving the island alive.

With a deliciously eerie and fast-paced story told in vivid prose, all with an overlay of supernatural suspense, The Burning Island is a pulse-pounding mystery perfect for fans of Jennifer McMahon and Kate Atkinson.

Advance Galley Reviews

A fast paced read that won't disappoint. Charlie is a journalist with a psychic gift - one she doesn't necessarily want. Her dreams reveal children in trouble, situations she's unable to ignore. After having found a missing boy her psychic secret is exploited in the media. Looking to escape the frenzy she and her best friend take a "girls' week" in Hawaii where a missing young girl is immediately revealed in her dream. Charlie has no choice but to become involved. The characters are interesting and the plot varied and entirely unpredictable. I couldn't guess the ending and was compelled to keep reading to discover what would be revealed next. This appears to be a series or the start of one and I look forward to reading more. I received a free pre-publication copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Thank you to Penguin First to Read for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This was my first book I've read by Hester Young and I liked that I didn't have to read the first two books in the series to know what was going on in this one. I was never confused about who the characters were and it never referenced back to something that happened in a previous novel so that was definitely a bonus for me. When occasional clairvoyant Charlie finds a missing boy, she instantly becomes a hero and everyone wants to know how she did it. When reporters start digging into her past they find out this isn't the first time she's done it and news of her "psychic" abilities spreads like wildfire. Wanting to get away from the reporters and her publicist Charlie and her best friend Rae decide to go on a girls week to Hawaii and forget everything that's happening at home. As Charlie is a journalist she decides to turn the trip into an article for a magazine and turns to Victor, an Ironman competitor and someone who knows a lot about the volcanoes in Hawaii. After having a dream about a girl in danger, Charlie finds out that Victor's daughter has been missing for over 2 months and realizes the dream she had was about her. Charlie must decide if she wants to continue using her "gift" even when the locals are trying their hardest to scare her off. I actually found myself really enjoying this book. I liked the amount of supernatural it had in it, not too much to where I would consider this a sci-fi book but just enough to where it intrigued me enough to keep reading. The level of suspense was great especially at the end and I couldn't believe my eyes when I was reading certain parts of the book. The whole time you're thinking so-and-so committed the crime and then you get thrown for a huge loop. Hester Young's writing is clear and her story telling is great. I hope to read more of her work and I hope it's as good as this one was!

Thank you to Penguin First to Read for access to this book. While I loved Hester Young's first novel, The Gates of Evangeline, I wasn't as excited about the second, The Shimmering Road. Her writing remains clear, readable and propulsive but, for me, the purported supernatural gift of protagonist Charlie Cates gets in the way. Third time's the charm? In The Burning Island Charlie's gift kicks in on a trip to the Big Island of Hawaii, where Charlie is haunted by dreams of a local girl who went missing 6 weeks before. While Young's prose remains terrific and the book fast-paced and exciting, for me, the supernatural element is just too distracting.

Thanks to Penguin for this ARC. The Burning Island follows Charlie, a journalist, who also has pyschic abilities which enable her to find lost children. The tititular island is Big Island, Hawaii, where Charlie escapes to for a girls’ weekend following a case, although she finds herself entangled in another case before too long. The narrative is suspenseful straight from the first chapter and keeps you turning the pages. The author has managed to evoke a rich sense of atmosphere - I almost felt like I was right there on the island at times. A great read!

I liked The Burning Island, I like the mix of "supernatural" (not too much) with the suspense, and the internal fight Charlie has accepting her gift. The book is an easy read, it presents a different vision of the islands, not the fancy hotels, touristy areas, but the remote, less known, poorer areas. The characters are interesting in their relationships and Hester Young, presents some interesting social conflicts. I like the use of native mythology that it is interwoven in the story. Good book to read.

I read the first three chapters of The Burning Island and had no desire to read anymore. The concept os finding children in trouble through the lead characters physic powers is a good one but the writing is not good enough to hook the reader. The characters are not sympathetic, even though they should be. I think this author needs more experience.

Thank you First to Read for the opportunity to read The Burning Island. As the book begins, so does the action. Charlotte Cates has psychic abilities where she becomes involved in crime cases basically against her will. The media learn of her special gift and begin hounding her. Her best friend Rae contacts her about their annual Girls Weekend. Charlotte is very excited to go and get away from all of her attention. Rae and Charlie decide to go to the Big Island. Once there, Charlie begins having dreams and visions and she knows she has to figure out what's going on. Hester Young keeps up the fast pace of the book and keeps you guessing as to who is the villain. I was surprised at the very end of the book!

Charlie Cates, journalist for "Outdoor Adventures", rescues a missing boy in an unconventional way. She doesn't want the attention or fame that would come with her psychic gift if it got out. Unfortunately, that's exactly what happens. So, Charlie takes a vacation with her best friend Rae to get away from prying reporters. They head to the Hawaiian islands where paradise doesn't hide the ugly just below the surface. Charlie had been having dreams of a watcher. She could see through his eyes, and she fears that a young girl has met a terrible fate. When she arrives on the Island in the small town of Kalo Valley, she discovers that a young girl has been missing for several weeks. Charlie wants to stay out of it and enjoy her vacation away from reporters and prying neighbors, but her dreams won't let her drop it. And the missing girl just happens to be the daughter of the man she's supposed to write an article on for "Outdoor Adventures". Someone closely watches Charlie. Someone who won't let her leave the island alive if she strays too close to the truth. "The Burning Island" is a mixture of the paranormal, mystery, and suspense. Though the story lagged in some places, there were plenty of other places that kept me alert and feeling a good amount of uneasiness. I couldn't figure this one out. A few characters could have been the villain, but they didn't exactly fit perfectly for the crime. I even suspected the bed and breakfast owners at one point. When the plot was revealed, I totally did not expect it. The ending was well-worth hanging in there through the slow spots in the novel. An enjoyable, creepy read that will definitely make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck in a few places!

Charlie Cates wants to escape reporters who have recently learned about her supernatural visions so she meets her friend, Rae Shapiro, for a Girls' Week on the Big Island of Hawaii. Unfortunately the vacation turns into something else when Charlie finds herself searching for a missing teen girl. The author uses the tropical setting for the 50th state to create a wild background for the uncovering of many family secrets and adds the right amount of thrill to this read. (It also had me thinking if this imagined setting would have been impacted by the volcanic eruption from earlier this year.) Thanks to First to Read- Penguin Books USA for the free copy of this book.

This was an engaging, fast-paced read. I enjoyed learning about the different facets of the narrator's life, and how they all fit together to make up who she was as a character. The story kept me guessing, and it was interesting trying to figure out who the baddie was. I was completely wrong, by the way, until I got nearly to the end, and that was gratifying. It would have been nice if the writer had spent a bit more time on the aftermath, explaining a bit more about what happened to the baddie, and I wanted more growth from the main character, in terms of her relationship with her best friend. But mysteries don't always fill in all the blanks, or tie up the loose ends the way we want them too, and that's what's great about mysteries. To that end, I see a sequel coming.

I just finished reading a free advance copy of the book, The Burning Island by Hester Young through If you like fast-paced mysteries, like I do you will love this book! If you liked the tv show, Medium, that was on a few years ago, you will also like this book as well as the main character in this story also has psychic abilities that help her to solve a crime!


More to Explore

  • The Gates of Evangeline
  • The Shimmering Road

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