“The fight against sand is futile. Everyone native to the island knows it, which is what make it so easy to spot an outsider.”
New wave, book one of The Islands of Anarchy Series by Jennifer Ann Shore is a kind of book which will grab your attention from the very first page, it’s a really strong debut from the author.
This story starts with the seventeen-year-old Mol, who lives in Island Seven with her brother, we find them in anguish for their friend Julian who has been transmitted for his placement to some other island, which they don’t know about. Luca and Julian are the only people in her life, her parents died a while ago; her life seems really simple yet complicated.
We follow her through a typical day on Island Seven where we quickly learn the hurdles of her life, about the awful conditions of her homeland and different aspects of the Authority. In Mol’s world, you don’t get to decide your future it has always been decided by the Authorities. Luca was placed for an engineer in the Island Seven to there relieve. Luca has always been the smart geek type of a guy.
“I am a dreamer, and he’s a doer.”
Mol has her different views about the system. She dislikes the way their lives are.
“Its funny how you go along with life’s rules, unquestioningly, until you discover that they should be dragged to the dirt and tossed in a garbage pile.”
Even their weekly rations are provided by the Authorities, they are not even allowed to use fruits or anything else from their own garden. Mol has been starting to notice that the ration provided by Authorities are not enough for them to last even a week due to that she sold many of her parent’s belonging to an underground illegal market, while her recent plan to sell her mother’s necklace she got caught and woke up in the prison in a cruise where she had to serve the Authorities.
“Some sort of reassurance would have been nice, but sometimes you need to be your own source of optimism.”
“I believe what I was doing shouldn’t be illegal, anyway. The authority shouldn’t have a say in where I go or what I do. You just want me to play by your rules. To be under your control.”
She met a red head women named Hope, to whom Mol often referred to her as her Punisher, who keeps all the detail about the people in every island.
“I think that we can agree that i know everything there is to know about you.”
Hope told her that she fought all the five guards, which Mol was trained by Julian back at Island Seven. Hope puts her in special assignment. She had to work as an Elite, women who serves the Authorities.
“You will be put on a special assignment, which will seek to remind you off your place here.”
Mol is accompanied by guards due to her irrational behaviour. She is under the watch by a Guard, Nico, who takes her to meet Julian, who has been placed on a cruise for guard duties. She learned that Luca and Julian have been in contact which makes Mol angry, she demands answer, in reply Julian ask her to trust him and stay low. During her time with the Elite she becomes friends with Nico.
Few days later she was assigned for a big dinner event with some other Elites. We were introduced with some new characters like the General who is in charge for most Authority and the Guards she immediately dislikes him. And then there is the Commander, at first glance she became mesmerised by his personality. She was drawn to him. She felt an urgency to be near him.
“He wasn’t just attractive; he was mesmerising – and much younger than I imagined.”
He seems bored throughout the dinner. While surveying the people his gaze fall on her, after the intimate gazing he turns and speaks to the Punisher who looks over her and her eyes twinkled with approvals.
“The thread that pulled at me snapped to attention shooting between the two of us. The room melted away, and the furniture, the people, the chatter and the dishes disappeared. I saw a flash in the commanders’ eyes and wondered if he felt it too.”
After this event she was pushed into more of the Commander’s events where she heard the bits and pieces about the current development in engineering departments in Island Seven.
We also got some of the flashbacks about her parents arguing about the situations around them. Her mother wanted to take chances against the Authorities.
“Were all stuck in the endless cycle until people are brave enough to break it.”
Following day, at the dinner which was a small dinner but an important one, she was assigned with two of her fellow Elite. The Commander, General, Julian, Punisher and Felix were discussing plans with two guest about establishing route through some of inhabitant islands. During there dinner general barked at one of her fellow Elite, Emilia, to clean her mess, and yanked her by her hair and she loses her balance and falls into the broken glass, pieces sliced in her skin, without any hesitation Mol put a knife on Generals throat and threaten him, everyone becomes so shocked, Julian become paled. The guard slammed her on the wall and was about to take her in the brig until when Commander ordered Julian to send her in his personal quarter. This event changes everything on the cruise.
While in Commander’s quarters she denies his order to join him in sitting room, they have an interesting interaction and in which she tells commander about the current situations of the Islands. Sebastian, the Commander, asks her for dinner which she agrees. Next day she was provided her own quarter and she was free from her Elite duties. On their date they discusses situations about Islands, their life. She told him she is guilty and he assume for breaking the Authority rules which ends up in Mol getting angry and leaving Sebastian behind.
Next day to release her anger she destroys her room, Nico and Julian rushed in carrying their weapon and realising it was just Mol. Julian and Mol gets in a physical fight which was interrupted by Hope, Mol demands to talk to Luca for which Hope gives her a paper and ask her to write and invited her to eat breakfast with them.
Next day at the breakfast Felix comes with General’s delivery, a brutally beaten Luca in the act of revenge, for that general was sent to brig, Julian got promoted to be a General and also Luca got his placement on the cruise.
During the next few days we got to see more of Luca, Julian and Mol’s time. Mol’s relation development with Sebastian. Luca telling her to be careful and most of all the visit to a Island Seven on Mol’s request to show Sebastian and the authority the situation of the Island. On their visit, Mol and Sebastian shared a passionate moment which was interrupted by Nico. We also got to see Luca’s invention, a walkie talkie, basically to have contact between Islands and cruise.
Then there is General’s escape with Luca’s inventions with the help of the most trusted guard and a threatening message. The team learns about General’s plan via a walkie on the main event because on the other side no one knows how to control them, which ends up in a deal to talk and sort things out but once again they were ditched and attacked by General, he fired on the cruise. People on cruise tries to fight their best and Mol had an heroic moment by climbing to a weapon which helps them to stop the General and give them enough time to reach Island Fernandina.
General and his guards fights with them with a superior hold on Island Fernandina. Mol fights with her full strength with bravery, Julian and Sebastian were badly hurt. Julian was caught and Sebastian badly wounded by a knife. Giving Mol a choice between Julian or Sebastian.
Mol puts her gun down and guards release Julian and all of a sudden General aims at Sebastian, Mol throws her knife which causes his hand to be angled towards Julian and he gets shot. In the end, General escapes on a boat.
In the end we get a new character, a doctor from Island Two, Evrett. I have a feeling he’ll have a bigger role in part two as Mol’s second love interest, just a thought.
Hope introduced them to Refuge and their mission and their headquarter which has been abandoned for years, and is now their new shelter.
Hope and Mol have a brief chat, She gives her the box of her parents belonging and her mother’s necklace back. Her parents box contains a lots of secret which was not shared with us, just bits and pieces which leaves us with many, many questions.
I really enjoyed this book. Creatively inventive, “New Wave” is a great book for fans of alternative dystopian, science fiction, action, drama and romance. A solid plot structure. Mol’s universe is rich and detailed. She is a fascinating protagonist, She is strong and confident with both her wits and her combat skills and seeing the events of the novel unfold through her perspective is a treat and I found myself craving to know more about this world. I told my sister at first instinct that this book is giving me the vibes of The Hunger Games and Divergent series. I was also captivated by the characters, from the enigmatic Commander to the villainous General, they are complex and interesting.
I can’t wait for the next book, because there are things which left me wondering about a lot things. Mostly about her parents’ connection of her parents and the contents of that box, about Hope, she seems secretive to me and most of all the triangle developing with that new doctor.
Jennifer did a great job. I spent a good deal of time trying to piece together motives and connections and, like any good novel in a series, was left wanting to read the next one.
Can’t wait for the next one!!!
Jennifer Ann Shore made a playlist for New Wave on Spotify. It has lots of Indie and 80s/90s rock. I’d recommend you to listen to the songs, I mean who doesn’t love some 80s/90s music.