Nil by Lynne Matson

Posted 3 February, 2014 by Danny in Blog, Danny, Danny's Book Review / 6 Comments

Nil by Lynne MatsonNil by Lynne Matson
Published by Henry Holt and Co., Macmillan on 2014-03-04
Genres: Action & Adventure, General, Love & Romance, Sci-Fi, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
5 Stars

On the mysterious island of Nil, the rules are set. You have exactly 365 days to escape—or you die.Seventeen-year-old Charley doesn’t know the rules. She doesn’t even know where she is. The last thing she remembers is blacking out, and when she wakes up, she’s naked in an empty rock field.Lost and alone, Charley finds no sign of other people until she meets Thad, the gorgeous leader of a clan of teenage refugees. Soon Charley learns that leaving the island is harder than she thought . . . and so is falling in love. With Thad’s time running out, Charley realizes that she has to find a way to beat the clock, and quickly, in this thrilling debut novel by Lynne Matson.

With the promise of an exciting adventure, NIL holds a great allure to readers who are seeking something outstanding and unique!

Adventurous story full of mystery with a “LOST” Feeling!

Charley suddenly wakes up on a strange island – naked and utterly alone. Lost. That is how the story begins and we jump right ahead in a mystery that holds a tons of questions. When Charley meeds Thad (Oh swoon) he begins explaining the rules of the island they all call NIL. You have 365 days to get of the island, otherwise you die. There are portals that spawn and your only chance of the island is through one of these. You just need to find and catch one…

The story is part mystery and part survival story mixed with a beautiful romance.  The setting reminded me a lot of LOST and I loved the mystery and secrets of NIL!

Staying Alive!

As beautiful as the island is, there are dangers and just by relying on each other the kids can try their best to survive.   The beauty of the island was something Lynne Matson remarkably described and made it was to envision the scenery, and in contrast to its beauty are the dangers that might kill you even before your 365 days.

Thad takes Charley into the “village” where all kids try their best to form a team to survive. Another weird aspect about Nil is that only Tenagers ever come there.

What I found most admirable was the tight community these kids formed even with them being struck on this inland, no doubt full of panic. Each of them took on a task, according to their talents to help survive. Remarkable Friendships made under such dire circumstances made this terrifying island to a place where people care for each other. I adored the set striking characters that fought for each other.

Marvellous Romance and Spectacular Characters

We get two POV’s Thad’s and Charley and I loved that we get both instead of wondering about the other side of the story. It worked very well for this tale and I’d even say it was necessary as just one part wouldn’t have been enough. The romance between these two was so wonderful, moving and touching and brought all the crazy butterflies in my stomach. They formed an instant bond with each other, and it took them a whole to register this bond to be something more, something beyond friendship. I loved to see how the fell in love and realised they now had not only to fight for themselves but had someone else to fight for too.

Thad and Charley are incredibly strong characters that were just made for each other. I feel head over heels for Thad who appears like a sunny  surfer boy, but has strong leader qualities that made him leader of his group with everyone respecting him. Even though he might not have want this responsibility, he took it, which shows again the strength of his character.

Now, they need both to get from this island alive if they want to hold on to their love which makes the stakes even higher, and … we feel it!

Mystery uncovered?

The mystery surrounding NIL was incredibly played and kept us on edge, flipping pages even faster. Yet, I strongly believe that exactly this will be up for people feeling hot or cold about this book. Many questions are left unanswered, even if I’d have truly loved to hear it. So why do I give it still a full out 5* rating? Because it worked! It worked even without knowing all the details, the story was told, the mystery and allure still there but when I closed the book I was Ok with what I got!

The heart pounding Ending

A few words about the last part of the book without revealing anything, I promise! The ending was incredible!!! I was crying for the last 50 pages and couldn’t stop until I reached the very end. The end was perfectly played and was electrifying and breathtaking! Well done Mrs Matson!

Bewitched Rating

Bottom Line

Nil by Lynne Matson was a thrilling mysterious tale about surviving friendship and love, set against the backdrop of a puzzling island full of danger and secrets. The main characters were wonderfully and remarkably crafted and made us cheer for them to survive and make it out of the island and live a happily ever after. Nil is an exceptional, unique debut and I’m eager to read more from Lynne Matson



Additional Info


About Lynne Matson

Lynne Matson grew up in Georgia in a house full of books and a backyard full of gnarly pines. She attended the University of Florida, where she met and married her husband, the cutest boy she’s ever seen. Now, Lynne is mother to four amazing boys. A former attorney, she is thrilled to be making a new career in YA

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6 Responses to “Nil by Lynne Matson”

  1. OK. I’m sad that I didn’t request this book. It sounds perfect for me with the mystery, the romance and the adventure. For some reason I thought this would have multiple POVs, which rarely works for me, so that’s why I didn’t request it.
    I’m already in love with the romance, Danny! You always make me want to swoon over the guys just from your review.
    Lovely review! 😀
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  2. Yes!! This one totally had a LOST vibe for me too and I absolutely loved that I was so interested in the mystery of the island. I thought the reveal was going to be cheesy or too overdone but it was so perfect.
    Charley and Thad were great characters too! They both felt so genuine.
    Admittedly I was a tiny bit hesitant about this one but totally ended up loving it too!
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