The Black Isle by Sandi Tan

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 6 Critic Reviews



There are ghosts on the Black Isle.
Ghosts that no one can see.
No one...except Cassandra.

Uprooted from Shanghai with her father and twin brother, young Cassandra finds the Black Isle's bustling, immigrant-filled seaport, swampy jungle, and grand rubber plantations a sharp contrast to the city of her childhood. And she soon makes another discovery: the Black Isle is swarming with ghosts.

Haunted and lonely, Cassandra at first tries to ignore her ability to see the restless apparitions that drift down the street and crouch in cold corners at school. Yet despite her struggles with these spirits, Cassandra comes to love her troubled new home. And soon, she attracts the notice of a dangerously charismatic man.

Even as she becomes a fearless young woman, the Isle's dark forces won't let her go. War is looming, and Cassandra wonders if her unique gift might be her beloved island's only chance for salvation . . .

Taking readers from the 1920s, through the Japanese occupation during WWII, to the Isle's radical transformation into a gleaming cosmopolitan city, THE BLACK ISLE is a sweeping epic--a deeply imagined, fiercely original tale from a vibrant new voice in fiction.

About Sandi Tan

See more books from this Author
Sandi Tan was born in Singapore and has an MFA in screenwriting from Columbia University. Her short films have been shown around the world at venues such as the New York Film Festival, Clermont-Ferrand, MoMA, and on European television. She lives in Pasadena, California, with her husband, the critic John Powers, and their bossy Siamese, Nico. You can visit her website at THE BLACK ISLE is her debut novel.
Published July 3, 2012 by Grand Central Publishing. 480 pages
Genres: History, Horror, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Black Isle

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

He proves inept, so for three years Li and Ling run the operation, engaging in a little incest along the way, until the spirits of the dead rise up in an act of violence.

Aug 01 2012 | Read Full Review of The Black Isle

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Tan’s ambitious debut is a gripping historical novel set on an exotic island in Southeast Asia during a 60-year span that encompasses the island’s primitive condition as a British colony, the WWII Jap

May 21 2012 | Read Full Review of The Black Isle

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Her stark, knife-sharp images of horror-inducing events—a woman in sexual congress with an octopus, a schoolgirl’s body dangling from a ceiling fan, forced sex in public as entertainment for Japanese army officers, occult rites in a cemetery, prisoners forced to harvest fleas from bodies to m...

May 21 2012 | Read Full Review of The Black Isle


The 'Black Isle', a historical supernatural novel by Sandi Tan, explores how one woman, despite all her attempts to cling to love and light, descends into darkness, becoming an outsider with an abiding hate for one man.

Nov 26 2012 | Read Full Review of The Black Isle

Chicks Dig Books

( Log Out / Change ).

Aug 02 2012 | Read Full Review of The Black Isle

- Publishers Weekly .

Oct 05 2014 | Read Full Review of The Black Isle

Reader Rating for The Black Isle

An aggregated and normalized score based on 68 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review