While driving through Boston on their way to summer vacation, the Masters family takes a wrong turn into the Ted Williams Tunnel and shoots through a portal to a place called Turtle Island.
Turtle Island is an alternative version of America which diverged from our history before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. Some 400 years later, the Masters family — Mom, Dad, 16 year old Max, and 10 year old Tessa — from West Maple, Mass., were brought through the tunnel to Turtle Island by the leader of a rival nation, Augustine, for a very specific reason. They are Equivalents, people who have the exact same lineage in both Turtle Island and America, thus they look the same in both worlds.
The Masters family just so happens to be the Equivalents of the ruthless dictator of Turtle Island, President Donald T. Masters and his family. A plan by Augustine leader Sheila Saxon to conduct a silent coup by kidnapping President Masters and his family and replacing them with their Equivalents, the unassuming Masters’ from West Maple, goes awry. The Masters family is forced to participate in the Survival Games, a brutal competition where criminals compete for their freedom. Their fate, and the fate of Turtle Island, rests on whether or not they survive the Survival Games.
Rating: 5/5 Stars
“Everyone loved the Survival Games, except those that actually had to compete in them.”
When the Masters’ family misses their exit on their way to their annual summer vacation and travels through a tunnel to get back on track, they find themselves at one of the top five astral planes to retire to, abducted into an alternate universe known as Turtle Island– a land of equivalents including a tyrannical family who looks identical to them. The Masters’ family is to take their place on this realm. The worst part? Tomorrow is the 20th annual Survival Games, and the people of Turtle Island have had it with their evil leader, forcing him and his family to compete in the very games the patriarch has created; A game where only one person has ever survived. Now, it’s up to the Masters’ family to win or die, and for sixteen-year-old Max to save the world from tyranny.
What is so great about this sci-fi novella is the theme of the portal fantasy, and our hero, sixteen-year-old Max, who has his coming of age moment. Henry’s story is told with a comedic narrative, that often had me laughing, or at least smirking. One of my favorite lines was about the helicopter parents, (who literally followed their child around in an actual helicopter). The celebrity equivalents on Turtle Island were a nice touch too. I particular liked Mayim Bialik’s brief appearance.
About the Author
Dave Henry has been a writer, reporter, and editor for more than 25 years and has won several awards. He has written for newspapers, magazines and a variety of other outlets, covering news, sports, as well as various trades and industries. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife and two sons. Dave is an avid sports fan. He is also a big fan of both science fiction and comedy – two passions that have come together in Turtle Island, his second novel.