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Reviewed by Alma Boucher for Readers' Favorite
Mark Gulino is the author of the novella Upon the Pale Isle of Gloam. A woman awakes on a beach, and man-made and natural debris are abundant on the beach. The woman could not recall much about her past or how she got there - only her name, Rue. When Rue stumbled upon a handmade cabin in the forest, she found Lyssa hiding in the cabin. Lyssa and Rue decided to return to the village Lyssa passed by on her way to search for a means of leaving the island. Rue and Lyssa located four other people who were similarly unable to recall much of their past, and they discussed their experiences together. They all agreed to travel together to everyone's destination after learning where each individual should go to discover their truth and have their memories restored.
The characters in Upon the Pale Isle of Gloam were like a family, and I joined them on their journey to restore their memories. Mark Gulino created a dark and interesting world and characters who each had a unique background story. The various creatures were unnerving, and the atmosphere was creepy and mysterious. I was hooked from the start until the end. The gripping plot kept me on edge the entire time by evoking a sense of dread and uncertainty at every turn. I had no idea what would happen next and was guessing until the end. The story was brilliantly written with a great ending, and I enjoyed reading it. It was so much more than I expected.