Book Review: Influencer Island by Kyle Rutkin

Posted 07/20/2022 by Charli in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from NetGalley to facilitate my review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Influencer Island by Kyle RutkinInfluencer Island by Kyle Rutkin
Series: Died Famous #2
Published by Greater Path LLC on 06/15/2022
Genres: Crime, Horror, Mystery, Thrillers
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley
Buy on: Amazon CA

Fyre Festival meets Hunger Games in this speculative thriller about a social media competition in paradise that turns deadly.Welcome to Influencer Island, an art installation created by infamous street artist Wyatt James. An experience for eleven competitors to travel to paradise and compete for social media glory. Overnight, millions of users send off their submission videos, hoping for the chance to party with the biggest influencers and celebrities in the world.Or so they thought?By the time the contest went offline, over a dozen influencers were declared dead or missing. No winner was announced. The only hope for a conclusion lies in an unaired podcast produced by twenty-seven-year-old Cal Everett, a reporter with his own mysterious connection to the contest creator.With the world waiting, Cal recounts his investigation into Wyatt James, and how an aspiring influencer from Orange County named Carrie Andrews became the key to unlocking the contest's secrets.As listeners will soon find out, Wyatt James designed the competition to be more than a battle of social media wits. If the contestants hope to survive, they will have to answer the question at the very heart of the competition: How far would you be willing to go for fame?The Influencer is a psychological thriller that uses fictitious interviews and audio clips to tell the tragic story of Influencer Island. The novel's structure is comparable to Daisy Jones & The Six with an eerie tone and feel comparabletoLimetown or World War Z. This is a standalone book from the Died Famous universe.Read less

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Trigger Warnings: Murder, Gore, Sexual Assault, Drugs

The premise of this book had me wanting to read it and so when I was granted an eARC I was thrilled. However, the book simply didn’t live up to expectations.

First, none of the characters are in any way memorable. The only things I really remember about them are their names – Cal, Carrie, Tuck, Kiana, Bella, Nicki Mo, Trevor, etc.. But who they are, what they stand for? Not much to tell you because they just weren’t memorable to me. We didn’t get a decent enough background for any character to make them pop.

Second, the POV just bounced around too much. Never knowing which point of view you’d get next or what they’d be talking about now didn’t set well with me. I like to have an idea of when point of view changes are coming and what’s going on. It made it a bit hard to keep track of.

Third, the format. I’m not a fan of books that mimic scripts. While this isn’t a script, it is written in a transcript format for a podcast. One chapter = one episode of the podcast. The problem was, the episodes weren’t planned out well. They all seemed to just go with the flow, whatever the characters wanted to discuss at the time. The action scenes were woefully lacking, almost as if they were an afterthought.

The book is OK and it’s a fairly quick read, but I can’t say I’d want to read it a second time. It has potential, but it needs some work to make it a better story.


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