Nil by Lynne Matson is a suspenseful book that blends adventure, romance, and the challenge of survival. I’m a big fan of books that open with someone being dropped into a strange environment and being forced to adapt to this strange new place and learn its rules in order to survive. That’s why I would recommend this book to any readers who enjoyed House of Stairs by William Sleator or The Maze Runner by James Dashner.
Charley went to Target to return a couple of skirts she’d bought the day before. She parked her car in the lot, got out, and started walking towards the store. But then she suddenly saw the air start shimmering in front of her. It was like a wall of wavy glass, and that shimmering wall was moving towards her. Suddenly Charley felt a blinding, burning heat all over her body. She tried to scream, but it was so hot that she couldn’t get enough air into her lungs. Within seconds, she felt hot, and then she felt cold, and then she felt nothing.
Charley woke up somewhere, but she had no idea where she was. She was lying in a huge field that was filled with red rocks as far as she could see. The sun was shining down overhead, strong and hot. Target was gone, the parking lot was gone, her car was gone … and her clothes were gone. Charley was naked and alone, and she had no idea where she was or how she got there.
Charley is going to learn that she’s on an island called Nil, and it’s a place that doesn’t appear on normal maps. She’s going to learn that there’s food and water on the island, so she’s not going to die … at least, not right away. She’s going to learn that she’s not alone on the island, but that being around other people won’t always mean she’s safe. She’s also going to learn that there are rules on this island, and one of those rules is that she has 365 days to escape, or else she’ll die.
The clock has already started ticking … but Charley just can’t hear it yet.