5 stars · fiction · science fiction · young adult

Dr. Franklin’s Island by Ann Halam

Dr. Franklin’s Island

Author: Ann Halam

Pages [paperback]: 272

Favorite Characters: Semi & Miranda


Semi, Miranda, and Arnie are part of a group of 50 British Young Conservationists on their way to a wildlife conservation station deep in the rain forests of Ecuador. After a terrifying mid-air disaster and subsequent crash, these three are the sole survivors, stranded together on a deserted tropical island. Or so they think. Semi, Miranda, and Arnie stumble into the hands of Dr. Franklin, a mad scientist who’s been waiting for them, eager to use them as specimens for his experiments in genetic engineering.


I read this book a long time ago, and recently picked it up again at the library because I remembered it was a great science fiction read and I was looking for something in that genre to satisfy the craving I’ve been having for that sort of book. DrFranklin’s Island was just as great as the first time around, reeling me in and dragging me along for the ride.

Of course, the book also freaked me out, in major ways. It took basically everything I fear (being trapped with no escape, having no one know that I’m alive) and throw it at me in literary form. It even succeeded in making me feel claustrophobic, just be reading it. While this is certainly a good thing, and I applaud the author for having the ability to do this, it certainly made for some interesting dreams the last few days. And definitely amounted to a whole lot of paranoia.

Personal fears aside, the novel was amazing. Focusing both on physical and psychological chances, while I have no idea if the events portrayed could actually happen (probably not, but I’ll leave the possibility open), the book made me think. And as I’ve said before, any work that can make me do that is automatically fantastic in my opinion. It explored the relationships between friends separated by horrific barriers, how at times inhumane activity and science can be mixed, and what it takes to remain truly human, among countless other things.

Filled with sinister villains and experiments, heartbreaking moments and pulse-pounding action scenes, Dr. Franklin’s Island is a great science fiction novel that I highly recommend, even to those who don’t usually read this genre. I don’t, and I ended up loving it. I give it 5/5 stars.


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