On the day of X Isle's release in the USA, I've received this great review from Kirkus.
Kirkus is highly regarded within the publishing industry, but its reviewers are not known for pulling their punches, so I was holding my breath rather on this one. As it turns out, I could hardly have hoped for better.
Author: Augarde, Steve
In a devastated future world, two boys struggle to survive a brutal, bizarre existence on X-Isle. Two years after the “floods came and washed the world away,” Baz leaves his Dad on the mainland when he wins a coveted place as a laborer on X-Isle, a mysterious salvage operation isolated on high ground.
En route, Baz is drawn to Ray, a small, smart and steely boy. Both expect to work hard in exchange for food, shelter and clothing. Neither is prepared for the abusive climate they encounter as captives of Preacher John, a religious fanatic convinced the floods are a punishment demanding biblical sacrifice. Treated like dogs, the boys eventually band together with fellow captives, devise an ingenious bomb and are forced to make life-or-death decisions.
In this dangerous, dicey and displaced world tainted by evil men and base instincts, the surviving boys of X-Isle foster hope in a surprising conclusion. A powerful, disturbing story laced with quirky, memorable characters and fast-paced masculine action and interaction—perfect for male teens. (Science fiction. 12 & up)