The Daily Monocle

Critical book reviews from a literary skeptic.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Floating Islands by Rachel Neumeier

Posted by J. P. Wickwire

Trei has lost his family and everything he's known. Now he has to go join his relatives on the Floating Islands, away from everything he's ever known. There he meets his cousin Araene, a girl about his age who frequently travels in the guise of a boy in order to circumvent the strict laws and boundaries set for the females of the country.


The Floating Islands are unique for their kajurai—the people who ride great, winged gliders through the sky. And only natives of the island can be flyers… or can they? With his cousin constantly breaking the rules, Trei finds the courage to follow his dreams and the legacy left for him in his mixed heritage.

The Floating Islands by Rachel Neumeier is supposedly for ages 12 and up. However, both the writing and the story itself seem aimed at a much younger audience. Girls dressing up as boys, and the "underdog" story presented for Trei are highly predictable by the age of 12.

I read 100 pages of this book, and nothing had really happened. The slow pace, combined with the aim at a younger audience, really just seemed to weigh the story down. If, perhaps, the story had been more complicated, or if the characters had been more engaging, this would have been an age-appropriate book for 12 year olds… but definitely no older. The Floating Islands isn't a bad book at all—it's just aimed at the wrong audience.

The Floating Islands hits shelves in early February

Author's WebsiteBuy it on Amazon

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