Dr. Franklin's Island

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Random House Children's Books, 2003 - Juvenile Fiction - 272 pages
189 Reviews
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.

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When added together, the ups and downs of this book result in a greater number of ups, I'd say. Ann Halam does a rather interesting job of combining two types of stories: which is to say Castaway Survival and Torture by Mad Scientist.
The latter is the better part of the book, and an intriguing one at that: genetic experiments on people. I'm surprised that more authors haven't taken advantage of this plot device, rather instead opting to use the less general "In a world where people are genetically modified" and not elaborating on how.
And while this and the characters are all very well designed, Dr. Franklin himself suffers bond-villain syndrome, which is to say he's a genius, and knows what he ought to do, right up until the protagonists make their escape attempt (hey though, it's a middle-school level book so it has to be a Disney ending) where he makes a few dumb decisions.
Overall though, I'd recommend this book. I'd give it 4.5 stars, but Google won't allow that.
P.S. This book is nothing Like The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells. Moreau is in effect a plastic surgeon whereas Franklin is a geneticist. Also, their aims are reversed, Moreau is trying to get humans form animals, while Franklin is trying to get animals from humans.

Review: Dr. Franklin's Island

User Review  - Audrey - Goodreads

This book provides interesting food for thought wrt to ethical genetic research. As long as you maintain a willingness to engage and don't mind a dark/bleak premise, it is a worthwhile read. Read full review

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About the author (2003)

In addition to writing children’s books, Ann Halam writes adult science fiction and fantasy books under the name
Gwyneth Jones.

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