What a fun post! I love this, because obviously, the heart of the Nil series is an island. A crazy, mysterious, gorgeous, AND dangerous island . . . where I had a blast making my characters struggle with their surroundings. As Paulo says in NIL UNLOCKED, “A prison is still a prison, even if the walls are beautiful.”
For me, islands offer the perfect mix of paradise and doom. The ocean provides a clear and ever-present barrier to escape, but at the same time, beaches embody natural beauty, right? The idea of being trapped in paradise gave me heaps of material to work with as I created the world of NIL . . . especially the idea of a dangerous paradise, one with cracks in the facade. The one-year-to-escape-or-die rule is the first clue that Nil isn’t exactly as it appears. By the time readers get to NIL ON FIRE, the cracks in Nil’s beautiful mask have become cruel valleys. Nil’s true nature is showing, and leaving isn’t enough. Escaping isn’t enough. In NIL ON FIRE, the characters are determined to end Nil once and for all.
So, I’m not going to add Nil to my list of islands where I’d like to be stranded! I’m ruling it out (although hanging out with Thad, Rives, Charley, and Skye wouldn’t be too terrible.)
Here are my top ten islands where I wouldn’t mind being stranded (especially if my husband is with me!):
An island and province in Indonesia, Bali is positively stunning. I’ve always wanted to go to Bali…and this picture is one of about 100 I drooled over as I wrote this post. I wouldn’t mind be stranded there for a while…not one bit.:)
An island off the coast of Greece in the Aegean Sea, I’ve always been in love with the blue roofs of Santorini. I also envision it to be full of yummy food and cute boys (my husband is Greek) and obviously, gorgeous beaches.
8. The Cook Islands
I did TONS of research into islands when I wrote the Nil series, and I’m fascinated by the Cook Islands. Located in the South Pacific near French Polynesia and Samoa, they’re near the location that plays a huge role in the Nil series. Gorgeous!
7. The Seychelles
Near Kenya, the Seychelles are breathtaking. Look at that water! But it was this cool rock formation that had me hooked. Oh, and speaking of hooks—word is that fishing in the Seychelles is pretty amazing. Yum!
It’s part of Hawaii! Since the entire story of Nil was inspired during a trip to Hawaii (you can check out yesterday’s NIL ON FIRE blog tour stop for more scoop on how Hawaii inspired the Nil series!), it seemed seriously wrong to not include at least one Hawaiian island, so…Kaua`i.:)
Mid-post aside: Here is the one island I absolutely DO NOT want to be stranded on, EVER: Isla de las Munecas (Island of the Dolls) in Mexico.
HOW CREEPY IS THIS PLACE? (Answer: beyond creepy. DOLLS. AN ISLAND OF THEM. *shudders*)
After that nightmare, let’s go back to gorgeous, shall we?:)
5. Bora Bora
Located in French Polynesia, Bora Bora’s lagoon—and French cuisine—is world-renowned. I’m in! But, honestly, I think this picture says it all. That water, that hut. Talk about a paradise vacay! (I’m assuming that hut is stocked with ALL TAHE BOOKS.)
4. Johnny Depp’s island (aka Little Hall’s Pond Cay):
Because Johnny Depp no doubt picked a cool island spot. He IS the consummate pirate of the Caribbean, right? :) That huge bay in the middle looks divine! And did I mention Johnny Depp?;)
Palawan is tucked away in the Philippines, like a secret gem. Look at those emerald waters. With all those limestone peaks, it’s like a paradise of another world. LOVE IT.
Located in Italy, just—stunning. I need to go. Right now.
1. The Maldives
Made of of 26 atolls, the Maldives are world-renowned for their beauty. The ocean’s crystal clear aquamarine waters are stunning. I hope one day I get to see them, because their very existence is threatened by global warming—they’re the world’s lowest nation, rising only 3 meters above sea level. I picture the Maldives as a perfect antidote to daily craziness and stress…with clear water, fresh seafood, and of course, a huts FULL of books.:)
Bonus! The Abacos
The Abacos is the Bahamian answer to paradise, We’ve been there twice, and my husband was actually born in the Bahamas! (In Freeport). The Abacos are lovely and chill and super relaxing. Not a bad place to be stranded.:) Here are two of my favorite island pictures from our family vacay to the Abacos last summer:
Are y’all as ready for a vacation as I am?:) Summer is close, but until then…there’s no better time to escape into the world of Nil. Take a break on the tropical island, where the Crystal Cove and beaches of the North Shore beckon…but remember, you only have one year. To stay alive…and to escape or die. I’ll be rooting for you!
Thanks again to my lovely hosts for this leg of the NIL ON FIRE blog tour! I can’t thank you enough for your support of the NIL series! You make the #NILtribe GREAT!!!!
by Lynne Matson
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (May 31, 2016)
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Despite Rives and Skye's attempt to destroy Nil, the island remains. And back in this world, Nil won't let Skye go. Haunted by a darkness she can't ignore, Skye wrestles with Nil nightmares that worsen by the day and threaten to tear her apart. As the island grows in power, Skye fights to keep her mind intact. Soon Skye realizes that to break free of Nil, she must end Nil's vicious cycle once and for all--and she can't do it alone.
Who are Nil's new arrivals? Who will return to the island? And who will survive in the end? In this thrilling final installment of the Nil series, the stakes have never been higher.
Losing isn't an option, but winning will cost Skye everything.
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