Isle of Beasts by Angela Hobbs

There’s a tropical paradise in the middle of the Meridian Sea that sits quarantined from the rest of the modern world. Ankira is an island devastated, with villages that resemble ghost towns and natives who are soon to become as extinct as the dinosaurs. A black magic sorceress from a rival island has cursed every Ankiran child. Under the curse, at the precise moment Ankiran youth reach the age of twenty, they undergo a gruesome, physical transformation into beasts that roam free and terrorize the land. 

Like every other child he’s known, nineteen-year-old Raphael Solomon has spent his short life coming to terms with his own inevitable transformation. With his twentieth birthday just hours away, however, an uncovered secret rocks the entire island and leaves Raphael in a state he never imagined – alive on the other side of twenty. Raphael’s salvation incites the entire island to wonder, have Ankira’s children escaped a decades old curse? 

An unexpected outcome sends Raphael right back into turmoil and places the future of the island teetering on his inexperienced shoulders. Allies turn into foes who challenge Raphael’s skill and courage in the face of danger. Ankira’s dark past thrusts Raphael on a path that leads him through betrayal, a shocking discovery, and right into the fatal clutches of the beasts. 

Isle of Beasts thrills in this fast paced journey that stretches the imagination and questions our own will to survive under pressure. A visit to paradise has never been so intense.

Isle of Beasts by Angela Hobbs

Excerpt from Chapter 1 

A receding sun painted the atmosphere in hues of vivid orange and yellow, setting thick rolls of clouds on fire. All traces of the day disappeared below into the Meridian Sea. The water glistened like a jewel and rolled on forever in every direction, but the outline of Ulaka Island protruded out of it in the distance. Ulaka loomed in the sea, large, silent and still, like a predator in anticipation of its kill.

Several miles north, on the neighboring island of Ankira, guards kept watch over a somber crowd huddled together on the beach. Each uniformed man bore a rifle, under the command to kill if necessary. They lined themselves along a dock made from wooden planks and beams that jutted out into the sea. A rusted ferry swayed at the end of the dock where more guards waited, none the less vigilant. Amongst the chorus of moans and weeping from the crowd, the guards’ eyes stayed fixed on the prisoner in their midst. 

The scent of salt water rode a breeze along the sand and wafted between the mourners. They clung to each other as if letting go would result in the wind whisking them away. Like the guards, their attention stayed riveted on the ten by six foot cage on the dock that contained the prisoner. The guards wouldn’t allow them to approach the caged man, so they observed from a short distance away on the sand.

Raphael Solomon stood on the outskirts of the gathering with his hands shoved in the pockets of his cargo shorts. One sneakered foot burrowed a crater in the sand. Whenever his eyes lingered on the mourning family too long they’d bounce to Asa, the young man in the cage. From there, he’d hurry to focus on the canopy of palms towering over the outskirts of the beach, the massive rock cliffs that extended into the sea, and any other place that didn’t make his heart palpitate any faster than it already did. He stood with the family to pay his last respect to someone he’d known all his life. Raphael and Asa grew up together on Ankira. They shared a childhood filled with games of street cricket, diving in the Meridian, and hustling their wares to locals at Ankira’s street market. They’d eaten at each other’s dinner table with their respective families. Asa’s mother had been their elementary teacher years ago. 

Now, Raphael stood with the woman and watched her son, whom the guards had locked away like a criminal. A spotlight on the ferry illuminated the scene before him. Asa cried and shoved his hands through the bars, reaching out to his family in vain. He paced the tight space inside like an agitated animal. Tears, sweat and mucous stained his face. As the minutes ticked closer, he lost all self-control. He pummeled his body against the bars and mumbled incoherently. Long, coarse dreads swung in a halo around his head as he flailed about. The guards watched him with tense expressions, but they didn’t move from their positions. A cry escaped Asa’s mother’s lips before she fainted into the arms of his father. Raphael shut his eyes and rocked from one foot to the other. A part of him wished Asa would hit his head against the cage with all that thrashing around and knock himself out. He didn’t know what was worse – the anticipation or the actual event that would take place. 

A shrill sound rang out and hushed the crowd. One of the guards silenced his wristwatch alarm and called out the time right as movement within the cage came to an abrupt stop. A woman in the family huddle spun around without warning and tore across the sand to the road beyond the palm trees. Raphael watched her retreat and repressed an urge to follow her lead.


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Intimate Conversation with Angela Hobbs

Angela Hobbs is a 2004 journalism graduate from Columbia College Chicago and the former editor of retired teen e-zine “Young City.”  A native of Chicago's South Side, she enjoys reading and writing horror, fantasy, mystery, sci-fi and thrillers. Angela resides with her husband and three children. The 2013 published "Isle of Beasts" is her debut novel.

BPM: What motivated you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?
I’ve always written short stories but my goal was to finish a novel. The urge to finally accomplish that got overwhelming to where I decided to get over any self-doubt and just do it. I stopped holding myself back from all these imaginary reasons I’d come up with as to why right now wasn’t a good time to write a book.

BPM: Does your upbringing or life experiences inspire your writing?
Definitely, and I didn’t realize how true that was until reading the first draft and recognizing some of my characters as people I knew in real life. Isle of Beasts is a fiction novel but a lot of the characters’ lingo, spiritual beliefs, and even the over-the-top situations they find themselves in were inspired by my real life.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven? 
Some of the best advice I’ve received is to “write what you enjoy”. So with Isle of Beasts, I knew I wanted a mix of thrills, adventure, and horror without all the gore. I like to infuse social messages into my work but the most important thing for me is to be entertained. When I read a good fiction novel, I’m looking to escape reality and become enthralled in this new world and in these new characters I’m about to meet. I’m all about action, so while I definitely focus on character development, I’d say Isle of Beasts and all my other stories are more plot driven.

BPM: Introduce us to your current work. What genre do you consider your book? Is this book available in digital forms like Nook and Kindle?
Isle of Beasts is a fantasy novel. The content would also make it appropriate for a young adult audience. It’s the story of an island where all the native children are cursed to transform into beasts on their 20th birthday. The curse has devastated the island to the point where they’ve been quarantined from the rest of the world and the inhabitants are on the verge of extinction. Along comes the protagonist, 19-year-old Raphael Solomon, and like his peers, he’s had to mentally prepare himself all of his short life for the inevitable transformation he’s about to face. 

Drama ensues when a long, hidden secret surfaces and threatens not only the island, but Raphael’s immediate future, as well. With most hidden things, there’s an entity that’s desperate to protect the secret at any cost and it manifests as an overwhelming obstacle for Raphael. The island’s salvation depends on whether Raphael can survive his adversaries. Isle of Beasts is available in paperback from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It can be digitally downloaded to the Kindle.

BPM: Give us an insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special? 
My main character, Raphael, is a young man who’s had to accept his mortality from the moment he was old enough to learn about the curse on his island. He would give anything to see the other side of twenty years old and then unexpectedly, he gets that opportunity. Ironically, instead of it being a dream come true, Raphael is thrust into a living nightmare where he’s responsible for an entire island’s survival. Throughout the novel’s drama, we see Raphael cope with fear, frustration, heartbreak, and a host of other emotions that drive his maturation from a boy to a man. 

I think all readers will be able to relate to Raphael and be able to recall whatever defining event in their lives that took them from a child to an adult. Lastly, Raphael was inspired by my middle child, both in temperament and physical traits, so he’s a very special character to me. Then, there’s the villain of the novel, Commander Wilkes. In movies and books, I always find myself secretly rooting for the bad guy to not necessarily win, but to at least put up a good fight. Villains bring the flavor to the story and I admit that I enjoyed creating Cmdr. Wilkes. Some of his antics and commentary are highly entertaining.

BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? 
Isle of Beasts focuses a lot on faith. I know that’s probably not a topic one would expect from a fantasy/thriller novel but it’s what makes Isle of Beasts a unique read. The islands’ inhabitants rely on their faith despite this devastating curse. Then Raphael has to rely on his faith to survive one dangerous situation after another. Isle of Beasts will challenge its readers to determine their level of faith and their will to survive in the most unpredictable circumstances. Writing this novel has been like holding a mirror up to myself in that it’s shown me my own priorities in life and how much a woman of faith I actually am.

BPM: What defines success for you? What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Success is actually finishing the novel and having it published. Knowing that I’ve finished what I’ve started and I’ve created this body of work that will live on after I’m gone. Creating something that I’m proud of and can see my name on, is my version of success. My ambition is to continue to write according to my own standards. 

BPM: What are your expectations for this book? What would you like for readers to do after reading this book? 
My main expectation is to entertain and get the reader to step out of their comfort zone and enjoy a storyline they may not typically gravitate towards. After reading Isle of Beasts, I want the reader to simply remember Raphael, the people of the island, and the turmoil I put them through. Seeing these characters and their story on the silver screen is definitely a huge dream of mine. 

BPM: Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included? How can readers discover more about you and your work?
I have a Facebook page at: where readers can follow any updates concerning Isle of Beasts and any of my future works. I also have an author page at: 

Angela Hobbs Books:

Connect with Angela on FB: 

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Isle of Beasts by Angela Hobbs




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