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

I enjoyed this book. I have not read the others in the series,but I will be looking for them. I thought the book had twists and turns a plenty. The book did have a place where the plot seemed to drag a little. But overall i would recommend.

I give The Burning Island a 4.5 out of 5 stars. I really enjoyed it. I did not realize it was part of a series. It did not leave me too confused and read well as a stand alone. I really enjoyed Young's writing style. I was pulled in from the start and riveted til the end. The book did seem a little long. Charlie is a clairvoyant of sorts and her sight helps her to see kids that are in trouble and hopefully help them in time. After her gift goes public she and her friend Rae disappear to Hawaii for some much needed girl time in order to dodge the press. Little does she know, her gift is needed on the islands. I recommend this book for anyone who loves a good mystery. It will keep you guessing until the end.

As a huge fan of the first two books in the Charlie Cates series, I was thrilled to get this through Penguin First to Read for an honest review. The book starts with Charlie and fiancé, Noah, out in the Arizona desert searching for a young boy that disappeared a few days ago. Charlie had a vision and is determined to find him regardless of this part of the desert being closed due to recent cougar attacks. After she finds him, she and Noah are taken to the police station to find out how Charlie knew where to look. Noah, being the honest man he is, finally spills about Charlie being a psychic in the area of children. After returning home, Charlie becomes the biggest story around. She and Rae, her best friend who has no idea of Charlie’s visions, are due for their annual girls only week. Hawaii has always been there dream go to, and after a tip from her editor about an article she can write for Outdoor Adventures while there, off to Hawaii they head. The object of the article is one Victor Nakagawa, a volcanologist and iron man winner. Already Charlie is having visions of a young girl and finds out it is of Victor’s daughter, Lise, that disappeared 6 weeks ago. Victor is very clinical and never discusses his daughter and believes she has run away as she has in the past. In the meantime, Rae has discovered Charlie’s psychic secret and is thrilled to be along and help Charlie investigate the disappearance of Lise. Most people are convinced her boyfriend, Elijah, has killed her. Elijah comes from a very odd family that live on the Wakea Ranch that abuts the Bed and Breakfast they are staying at. Will Charlie and Rae be able to find Lise before it’s too late or have the visions of a stalker in the woods showing her Lise’s last moments? Again I was so excited to see another book in this series come out. It’s been quite a few years since the second book came out. However this book just felt too forced and did not live up to the first two. I felt there were too many scenes that added nothing to the story itself and was quite disappointed. I did finish and by the end of the book felt a bit better about it but it almost felt like a totally different writer than the first two. By the ending, it seems to allude we will be reading more of Charlie and I will be reading it if in fact there is another book. I’m giving this book 3 stars compared to the other two books I believe I rated as 5 stars each. Again towards the end it picked up so maybe the author got her groove back but this book was a disappointment compared to the first two.

This is the third book in the Charlie Cates series. I have not read the predecessors. You do not have to read the previous two to appreciate and follow this novel. Although I enjoyed the overall mystery, the setting, and the plot twists of The Burning Island, I did predict a few of the pot twists and I felt a lot of the characters’ discussions were heavy with exposition, which got a little tedious. I did enjoy this book and felt the plot was riveting enough to keep the reader guessing.

I truly loved this book. It was an amazing mystery in an exotic location. The characters were realistic ,funny , and flawed , so I enjoyed every minute of them. Charlie and Rae made for a perfect crime solving team and represented a strong and beautiful friendship. I could read 20 more from this series and never get bored because each deal with different locations and cases.

Great read! Very fun twists and turns. I want to go back and read the others in the series. Works well as a stand alone, but definitely sparks my interest in the first two.

I loved this book! There were so many twists and turns that I didn't see coming were great! I didn't realize this was the third book in a series and I hadn't read the other two but this book functioned fine as a stand alone novel. I'm planning on getting the other two books in the series now!

I loved this book but haven't been able to finish it yet bc of the holiday hustle and bustle. Highly recommended!

The third in a series(which I didn't realize when I requested) that worked fine as a standalone.Lots of twists and turns and very well written engaging characters. I plan to read the first two book and look forward to more from this author.

So good!

This book was incredible. It had twists and turns that I didn't see coming but it was believable all throughout. I learned a lot about islands and volcanoes, was completely immersed in the characters and couldn't put it down at the end. I keep thinking about this story even though I finished it well over a week ago. It was suspenseful but fun and a great read! The voice was lovely and the characters well developed. It wasn't difficult to keep all of the people straight. The story talks about family, personal skills, and the trials and tribulations of life and is believable. No character was perfect but they all had their qualities.

I loved this novel! Gloriously lost in it from the first sentence to the last, the characters breathe life and its very much as though you know them on a personal level! I have read all of Hester Young's novels and have been invested in the life of Charlie Cates from book 1. With the thrills, mystery, and suspense of a thriller, and a slight air of paranormal just for good measure...its impossible not to have your nose buried in this title until the end! Hester Young added a fresh slant to this one by having the mystery take place in Hawaii and her research and knowledge of the island are definately hefty, admirable, and on point. I loved learning about Hawaii's terrain, geography, tourist hotspots, local life, island lure, and its super interesting, tragic, creepy, beautiful- legends &mythology! I am praying Charlie Cates has more dreams of more people to save and that she keeps on encountering mysteries! Wink wink Hester Young! ;) Although these books: The Gates of Evangeline, The Shimmering Road, and now the shiney new- The Burning Island, are savvy enough to stand alone...do yourself a favor and read them all because they are amazing! Filled with imagery, real-life very human characters, and the stuff dreams are made of (quite literally, when it comes to the main character), you will find yourself addicted and wanting more at the turn of every page and at the end of each book! I'm not even typically a series type of person, but after stumbling onto Young's lovely writing style...well...I couldnt help wanting to devour everything and anything she wrote, and The Burning Island certainly follows suite!So Hester...whats the next one and when is the release date?!keep em' comin ...please! I can't believe my good fortune of recieving an advanced galley of this title from Penguin First to Read! In return I have written a review which contains my unbiased, personal, thoughts and feelings.

This book was full of twists! The characters were interesting and well developed. I enjoyed reading about the adventures Charlie and Rae had in Hawaii. I was definitely kept on my toes throughout with all of the twists and events. I'm definitely going to be looking for more by this author! Entertaining read! Thanks to Penguin's First to Read program for an advanced copy of this book.

As previous reviewers noted, this is the third book in a series, which I didn't know! This did not affect the story but I would like to also read the first two books by Hester Young. This was a quick read and enjoyable.

This is the first book I've read through First to Read and I enjoyed The Burning Island very much. We enjoy visiting Hawaii and the book accurately portrayed it. The supernatural suspense was a nice addition to the story. I look forward to reading the first two books in this series although this book stood well on it's own.

This is the first novel I’ve read from Hester Young. I liked the way the heroine of the novel was described - as a facts first person who was somewhat uncomfortable with her supernatural gift. The plot line kept my interest and it was an enjoyable quick read. I will look for previous novels written by this author.

Hester Young is beloved by me. The plot twist: I didn't see it coming. But that's the beauty of The Burning Island. You feel you're there. You get wrapped up in the story like a warm blanket. I especially like the nautral hair best friend Rae. Charlie Cates is truly an original. I look forward to its release and the next book

When I requested this book, I had no idea it was the third in a series or trilogy. Having said that, it worked fine as a stand alone. I had no problem following or enjoying this mystery/suspenseful story. Charlotte "Charlie" Cates is a journalist with two daughters and engaged to Noah. She has a gift where she dreams about children who are in trouble. Some are already dead and she is able to locate their bodies, but sometimes they are alive and she is able to save them. When she finds a young boy missing in the canyon, the media gets wind of her abilities and has a field day with her. To get out of the limelight, she and her best friend Rae, plan their annual girl's getaway in Hawaii. The two women go to the big Island of Hawaii where Charlie will be able to have a working vacation. The magazine she writes for has asked her to interview the prominent volcanologist, Victor Nakagawa, who is also an accomplished triathlete. While on the island, Charlie learns that Mr. Nakagawa's daughter, Lise went missing six weeks earlier and that was why her agent pitched this interview to her magazine. Almost instantly Charlie is drawn to the case and she and her friend, Rae, decide to take matters into their own hands and attempt to learn the fate of the missing teen. Having travelled to Hawaii for my retirement trip, it was fun to read about some of the places I had seen and visited. As the women experience Hawaii's natural beauty, it soon becomes apparent that such a beautiful place hides ugly secrets. This book has some twists and turns which move the story along at a nice pace. I read quickly as I wanted to find out what happened to Lise. There was a nice mix of characters in the story, some of which gave me the creeps, but were harmless. Hester Young dished out clues bit by bit with some red herrings that had me thinking one thing, then completely changing my mind. There were also a couple of side stories that also added to the story as a whole. Everything made sense, and was completely believable, even the visions and dreams. This was an enjoyable mystery with no graphic violence, although the feeling of dread throughout some of the night scenes in the forest and Volcano Park gave the book an atmospheric feel. I will probably go back and read the first two books in this series to read about other children that Charlie saved. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book to read through the First To Read Program. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.

This book made me go out and get the first two books. What an amazing story! Will definitely look for more by Hester Young!

The Burning Island by Hester Young was a very compelling book that drew me in! I wish I had read the first two books leading up to this one, but I am happy to share that the story was still interesting and understandable even without reading the others. I enjoyed the supernatural aspects of the story, and found it to be different than most other books I've recently read. The writing style & suspense really resonated with me, and I look forward to reading more from this author.

Thanks to Penguin's First to Read for a digital ARC of this book. This is the third in what I believe is to be a trilogy. Because I got this as an ARC with a limited timeframe to review, I didn't get a chance to read the first two in the series. I usually like to read series books in order because the character development is more nuanced and enjoyable. I wish I had read the others in this series--in fact, the first looks rather good--but this one does do well as a stand alone. There were things I liked about this. I liked the use of supernatural; it was very limited and added a unique component to the story. I also liked the setting and how the author established it; most books that take place in Hawaii do so in a way that shows the money and the wealth, the resorts and the beaches. This book took us off the beaten path and helped the reader understand the background of colonized Hawaii and what that means to the people who have lived there for many, many generations. In fact, I'd have liked to see more of this history. I also liked the mythology that followed the story, though that too was rather tangential. However, this book as a whole didn't work for me as well as I wanted it to. The almost moment-by-moment first person narration slogged down my reading. I was looking for more character development to help move the plot along. The best mystery or thriller books have subplots--usually character-driven ones--that give the reader more to focus on than just the mystery inquiry. Also, I didn't connect well with these characters and was often annoyed by them. All in all, I was ready for the main characters' week vacation to come to an end so the book could be finished and resolved. Having said all of that, I think I would have enjoyed this more with the benefit of having read the previous two books. And I also can see why people would enjoy this. It was just a book a bit outside of my usual comfort zone and the gamble didn't pay off for me.

I very much enjoyed this book. I was anticipating what would happen to Lise and Charlie througout the book. This is not the first book in the series, but it did act as a stand alone book. I am excited to go look for the previous books. This was a fast paced story with a great intertwined plot.

Not bad. Enjoyable read. Didn’t realize it was part of a series until he acknowledgements.

Well written, great story. Enough back story was given that I didn't feel lost not having read the previous books in the series. I'm now intrigued and will be searching for the previous 2 books

I found out after reading this that it is the third in a series, but I didn’t feel like I was missing any information while reading! The author did a nice job of filling in any backstory necessary for this book. I loved the character development and the suspense that kept me reading to find out what was going to happen to all of the characters! I felt so many feelings for so many of them - hopeful, sad, excited. I am normally not a huge fan of paranormal activities in books but thought this was so well done for anyone who enjoys a suspenseful mystery! Thank you to First to Read for the advanced copy.

This book was incredibly engaging -- it had me hooked from the first chapter! I really liked how the supernatural elements were just another part of the story -- it didn't feel like a mystery sci-fi crossover. The sense of place in this novel was incredibly atmospheric. The island of Hawaii was another character in this story with all of its rich history. I really liked how Hester Young created a tone and place for this novel that made me feel like I was there and wanted to keep turning the pages. The plot and dialogue were where this novel came up short. Given the incredible place and setup, the novel tried to do too much in terms of plot twists.

Home Run! The supernatural aspect is within the realm of possibility. The setting is vividly described. The plot moves forward at a brisk pace and you won't see the ending coming.

Just finished my preview read of the burning island. I enjoyed the characters of the book but they could have been better developed. The book was a little difficult to get started but once engaged it twisted and turned. I anticipate a series in the future with these characters. I would recommend this book if you have time to engage with it.

I absolutely loved this book. It was a fast suspenseful novel I couldn't wait to finish because I just had to know what happened to Lise and Charlie. I like how Hester Young has Charlie struggling with her abilities. Charlie seems to be struggling with who she is and is slowly finding her way. It is my understanding this is the last we will see of Charlie and that makes me sad. I want to read more about her abilities and how she grows. I hope Hester Young has more Charlie in her. I also liked that this book wasn't too disturbing. It was a lite, easy read I didn't want to put down. Thank you First To Read for my Advance Copy.

Thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyable! I jumped right into this not having any idea it was the latest in a series and was pleased to realize I didn't need to have any of that background information to easily slip right into the story and to find the characters instantly likable and relatable. This was a very fast read that really kept me turning pages and I found the mystery to be well done with enough twists to keep me interested and enough red herrings to keep me guessing through the entire read.

I stepped out of my reading comfort zone when I began reading Hester Young's The Burning Island. Why is this book out of my comfort zone? Because of the supernatural element that pervades the book. Does the heroine, Charlie Cates, have psychic powers? Will they help her find a missing teenager on the Big Island? The flirtation with the supernatural weaves its way throughout the book. I found, though, that this book had my interest despite the supernatural. The question of where is the missing teenager pervades the book. Just when you think you know what happened to her, another clue pops up and leads you in a different direction. All this misdirection does give you a chance to visit the Big Island through the eyes of Charlie and that proves to be an interesting journey. Of special interest to me was the visit to Valcanos National Park which was both fascinating and intimidating. The Burning Island interested me enough that I will look for more books by Hester Young, especially books featuring Charlie Cates. Thank you First to Read, for supplying me with this advance reader edition.

This is a very ok story. I didn't know it was part of a series when I first started, but it's clear that you need not have read the earlier books. What I enjoyed most was the writing about the Big Island and descriptions of the landscape. Beyond that the mystery is predictable and key moments telegraphed early enough on in the story that you are just anticipating their occurrence towards the end. Charlie and Rae, both supposedly educated and brilliant, take actions that are insultingly stupid to the point of being unbelievable because that's what the plot needs. And the supernatural elements, though minimal, play a too big part in the story.

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 firsttoread.com. 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

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