Plot/Idea: What starts out as a familiar narrative slowly, and deceptively, grows into something far beyond what its initial premise could ever hope to impart. Whenever The Island Mother starts to sag under the waterlogged familiarity of its genre-origin, Cohn's calculated and colorful delivery of plot elements reinvigorates the work, and makes for a true page-turner.
Prose: Cohn leverages accessible, yet evocative prose that is sure to lure in readers and keep them along for the ride.
Originality: Cohn smashes genres together to form a colorful, zany, and ultimately refreshing take on a staid genre template.
Character Development/Execution: Cohn compiles an interesting and engaging cast, parceling out their backstories and motivations with deft attention, giving the readers something to look forward to as the narrative unfolds.
Date Submitted: July 08, 2022
"Without Spoilers: From the supernatural voices to death chasing her, the sense of horror and dread keep you reading!
An Epic Thrill Ride! I can't wait for more from Cohn!"
"I very much enjoyed reading this little horror book. It’s a super fast read that’s perfect for a vacation book because it’s set in Hawaii. The author clearly did his research and it shows. While it’s set in 2004 it still feels very relevant to today. It’s a slow tension build at first but the ending comes crashing at you so fast. I highly recommend if you’re looking for a fun horror story."
"Loved all the characters. The story was unique. Horror meets White Lotus."
"I really enjoyed my read of The Island Mother. The characters are unique and interesting, the plot builds tension well, and there are plenty of surprises! Worth the read for sure!"
"Leigh is the stereotypical troubled young lady who keeps getting caught up in relationships with bad boys. We join Leigh and Jesse - the latest bad boy - as they discuss and argue over, a meth deal Leigh is about to go on. Of course, it’s the bad boy’s drug deal, and Leigh is the willing participant.She tries to be firm and get the deal done quickly, but as soon as she gave them the slightest hint of the upper hand, she knew this could turn troublesome. It doesn't take long for the deal to go downhill, and Leigh finds herself fighting for what appears to be her life against a couple of methhead brothers.At the conclusion of this incident, Leigh freaks out and decides to do a runner. Turns out Leigh is no stranger to running away when problems, or rather, her decisions, make life turbulent. She reminisces about the ghosts of boyfriends and situations past. In which one of these past scenarios, Jesse saved her.She runs to Hawaii and reinvents herself as Lani Kouihu, working in a resort as a pool attendant. Jesse turns into Columbo and heads off in her trail, carrying out his own investigation into the not-so-mysterious yet still puzzling disappearance of Leigh. Jesse is a violent, scary dude. Will he catch up with her? Will he find out the truth about what happened?Each chapter begins from the perspective of one of our three lead characters. I like it when a story jumps back and forth from person to person. Not only that but the story is narrated in the first person. This is a format that always keeps me engaged and wanting to continue reading each time a chapter comes to an end.Now and again, the story hints at who The Island Mother is. After the first few spooky and strange goings-on, you may become sure who this person is. However, all may not be as it seems. Are the new people in Leigh's life really trustworthy?You can’t help but feel for Leigh. You can tell she’s been battle-hardened from years of dealing with the consequences of rough relationships and life struggles. She’s tough and can take care of herself, but part of you just wants her to find peace.On that note, a word of caution must go out that there could be potentially triggering material contained within for those who have experienced or are recovering from abusive relationships. Not that Leigh experiences any in the book, per se, but one of the themes of the story is that of the tragic past relationships, and the violent boyfriend.Having said that, The Island Mother will entertain. For the most part, it has somewhat of a familiar feeling to it. It feels like a movie you’ve seen before about the runaway girlfriend, chased by a concerned but psychopathic boyfriend.Don’t get too comfortable, though, because just when you think you know where this story is going, it takes a series of creepy, curious, and unexpected turns."