Monster Island

Fiction - Fantasy - General
170 Pages
Reviewed on 11/19/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I've been writing since I was six -- my first book, "Aliens In My Backyard!", was a household "bestseller" -- and have always been a dinosaur-head and monster fanatic, from the classic Harryhausen matinees (which directly inspired "DREAMSHORES", of course), to the slick realism of "Jurassic Park" to the dopey knock-offs of current SyFy Saturday nights.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Susan Sewell for Readers' Favorite

A group of young adults finds themselves shipwrecked on an island inhabited by nightmarish creatures in the horror-filled fantasy novel Dreamshores (Monster Island) by Mike Robinson. Sierra Nevada Smith has been fascinated with monster books and movies since she was very young. Intrigued by the work of a great artist in the film industry, Sierra studies every aspect of his genius, intending to follow in his footsteps. However, after giving him one of her videos and never hearing anything from the celebrity, Sierra considers quitting. While working on a yacht in the South Pacific, an eerie fog encompassing the boat transports Sierra and her fellow travelers to another dimension that alters their reality. An immense sea creature sinks their ship and everyone who survives the attack races to safety on the shores of an unknown island. But are they saved? Creatures suggestive of the monster films that Sierra is obsessed with stalk them the moment one of them sets foot on the sand. Could Sierra be the cause of their horrifying predicament? Will anyone make it off the island alive?

With a hint of the paranormal, Dreamshores (Monster Island) by Mike Robinson is a riveting fantasy novel filled with monsters. With its eldritch fog, bizarre beasts, and altered reality, this exciting and spine-tingling book captures the essence of an Alfred Hitchcock thriller or an episode of The Twilight Zone. It is a creative and brilliantly written novel with compelling characters and extraordinary circumstances unfolding within a dynamic, action-filled plot. From start to finish, it is impossible to put the book down. I recommend it to everyone who relishes eerie monster-filled fantasies.

Vincent Dublado

Dreamshores: Monster Island by Mike Robinson is a high sci-fi adventure that delves into the story of Sierra Nevada beginning when she was only ten. While other girls her age might be typically into cuddly stuffed toys, Sierra is into monsters. Whether reading a book about them or hunting them, they are as real as she imagines them to be. Stop-motion animator Russell Boylan, famous for his monster films, is her hero. The story then jumps ten years into the future. Boylan’s untimely passing from a plane crash has made her lose the excitement of pursuing a stop-motion animation career. But while at sea, close to the coordinates of Boylan’s plane crash, the ship, Wanderer, where Sierra is aboard, is pulled into an encroaching fog, and they stumble upon an island where her childhood fascination is about to come alive.

Dreamshores: Monster Island is King Kong, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and Jurassic Park rolled into one. Mike Robinson takes you on an adventure that you might think is clichéd, but the way he delivers his plot and twists makes this story a highly original adventure into the unknown. This book goes straight into the heart of the action and becomes a story that you cannot put down. As a pervasive character, Boylan as an iconic deceased filmmaker leaps out of the pages by merely perusing the titles of his film credits. It makes you feel that he deserves to join the canon of real classic horror filmmakers like James Whale and Terence Fisher. I can see this book as a potential movie adaptation, so read it first because a book is often better than the film.

Peggy Jo Wipf

Dreamshores: Monster Island by Mike Robinson features one of my favorite genres: prehistoric creatures. Sierra Nevada Smith has a very active imagination. At ten, she and her best friend KB (Jake) searched the darkened woods behind her house for the mysterious “Dale Devil”. This local ghost story was the launch of Sierra’s obsession with animated horror films. Her passion centered on everything dinosaur and the famous Russell Boylan. Ten years later Sierra is covered with tattoos of Russell Boylan’s creations, searching for the fervor and drive that was once hers. When a storm brings the yacht she is aboard into the vicinity of where Russell Boylan’s plane went down, peculiar things happen. They lose electricity on their boat, all the compasses go haywire, and when the fog clears, they are being pulled to a strange island. Could this be a land so lost that only prehistoric animals know of its existence?

At first, I felt Dreamshores: Monster Island had a Jurassic Park vibe, but as the secrets of the island unfolded, I realized this novel had a deeper plot with a unique twist. Mike Robinson is an animated storyteller that brings his tale to life. I would love to see this book made into a movie, but the depth of the characters may be too complex, as many can only communicate through thought. Overall, this novel is wonderfully written with vividly descriptive action. Robinson unites a well-crafted plot and captivating characters that hold your attention. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book as the phrase “Feed them your dreams” came alive in a haunting way.

Lesley Jones

In Dreamshores by Mike Robinson, with the introduction of the digital age, Russell Boylan's career as an innovative creator of horror movies is dwindling. However, for 10-year-old Sierra Nevada Smith, Boylan's movies were perfection as they were filled with all the monsters she chased in her imagination. Her dreams of meeting her hero finally come true when she meets Boylan at a convention and their souls are instantly tied together. Years later, Sierra finds herself at a crossroads; Boylan has died in a plane crash and she struggles to discover her purpose in life. She finds herself in the Pacific ocean, working on a yacht and wondering if she will ever realize her dream of becoming an animator. As she falls asleep one night, the yacht is attacked by a strange creature, causing it to capsize. Sierra and her friends manage to swim ashore to a mysterious island. They soon discover they are not alone and one by one the monsters appear. Sierra is shocked to discover the creatures are replicas from Boylan's movies. Is this a dream or are they trapped inside one of Boylan's films? As they battle to survive, Sierra realizes that the creatures are being controlled by a powerful force. She must track down whatever is controlling them and somehow escape from the island.

Dreamshores by Mike Robinson is a gripping story filled with action and excitement from the outset. The entire storyline will take you back to your childhood when anything and everything was possible inside your imagination. The descriptiveness of the island and the emotions felt by the characters was exceptional and sparked every one of my senses. Sierra, for me, was the perfect heroine. She was not only fearless and extremely protective of her friends but also confident and self-aware. I loved her relationship with KB - they had a rare bond that was enviable. The monsters and creatures on the island were incredible and the battle scenes between them so exciting, although when the Stegosaurus was injured, I did shed a tear. The obstacles and tension on the island, as Sierra and her friends tried to overcome their enemy, had me literally on the edge of my seat. When Boylan passed away, the explanation into the next life gave me goosebumps. To believe that we can create our own unique life in the next world was really comforting, as was the explanation of the presence of ghosts. I will not divulge the ending but it did involve an extremely emotional scene with Sierra as she finally discovers her mission in life. The last line was perfect and tied everything together: “I leave room for the dream,” she says of her process. “For mine. For yours.”

Pikasho Deka

Dreamshores: Monster Island is a horror adventure fantasy novel by Mike Robinson. Sierra Nevada Smith is a tenacious young girl with a wild imagination who grows up influenced by Hollywood effects supervisor Russell Boylan's monster movies. Nicknamed Monster Girl by her friend KB, Sierra starts making a low budget indie movie of her own a decade later. While on a voyage on the ship named The Wanderer, Sierra and her friends get trapped in a seemingly never-ending fog. Days later, they are attacked by a monstrous sea creature forcing them to become shipwrecked on an unknown island. But Sierra soon finds out that it is no ordinary island as it's teeming with monsters from her favorite movies. Will Sierra be able to save herself and her friends?

Dreamshores: Monster Island is a novel that forces you to reminiscence on your childhood and makes you wonder what would have happened if all your dreams and nightmares had come true. Mike Robinson's narrative has nostalgia for the bygone era of Hollywood monster movies and a reverence for the creators behind those films. I think fans of monster movies and books would love this one. The characters are well written, although I wish KB got a bit more page time and a POV. Robinson paints Sierra's dreamlike sequences in rich colors and their impact on real life is described in vivid detail. Robinson also doesn't shy away from showcasing the horrors and absolute brutality of violence. Overall, I enjoyed letting my mind drift away to the world of fictional monsters.