Moristoun by Kevin McAllion – Book Review
Moristoun by Kevin McAllion – Reviewed by Jodie K
Publisher – Austin Macauley Publishing
Pages – 368
Release Date – 29th March 2016
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
McSorely has had enough. His life has spiralled out of control and nothing has gone his way. There seems to be only one option open to him, one last thing he can do to take control of his fate. All hope is lost.
But far away on the mysterious island of Moristoun, Buchan is charged with the task of dissuading McSorely from this drastic course of action. Moristoun is where people like McSorely might end up, having exchanged one kind of hopelessness for another.
A glimpse of the ‘life’ he might be heading for might change McSorely’s opinion of his own existence, but a glimpse of the entrancing Gail behind the bar in the pub and a hint about Moristoun’s true nature could render all of Buchan’s efforts to rehabilitate the despairing McSorely equally hopeless.
At first glance, I wasn’t sure whether or not I was going to enjoy reading Moristoun, but I was so intrigued by the blurb that I thought I’d give it a go. An island where people are banished after committing suicide? I had to know more!
A little about me: I’m a firm believer in fate – I think everything happens for a reason, and our destiny is predetermined, and that no matter what path in life you take you’ll get to where you’re meant to be. I’d like to think there is some kind of afterlife, else death seems very dark, depressing and scary, however I don’t believe we’re ‘reborn’ or anything of the like. Moristoun thus questioned my own ideologies, meaning the book stays with you long after closing the back cover.
Moristoun follows the storyline of two key characters – McSorely, a mortal human like you and I, and Buchan, who is a member of civilisation on Moristoun soil after committing suicide himself. As you progress through the book, you learn more about the island itself – how and why a mysterious entity called ‘The Council’ lay down the law on the island, how ‘The Book’ holds the secrets to a happy, fulfilled life and how the residents are, essentially, prisoners of their own minds. What first may appear as a utopia for a mortal in great distress, is soon unveiled to truly be the opposite – a dystopian land for those trapped within.
At first, I found the book a slightly difficult read in comparison to the ‘chick-lits’ I normally read, and therefore only read one or two chapters at a time. However, as I became more invested in unveiling Moristoun’s secrets and the developing relationships between McSorely and the residents of Moristoun, I found the book difficult to put down. My 30 minute daily commute flew by!
What I loved the most about the book is the depth of it – what initially seems like a rather flat, fictional storyline, soon develops into the complete opposite. I particularly enjoyed the contrast in the dialect used between different characters, as it was interesting to see just how much the English language has evolved over centuries.
I would rate this a solid 4.5/5 – I think Kevin McAllion is a genius with this storyline. The book is so well written that you almost forget it is a work of fiction! I would highly recommend this book, particularly to anyone interested in philosophy or even those who are a little low within themselves – the book is very inspiring!
Reviewed by Jodie K
I was born in Dundee but now live in Glasgow with my wife Thanyalak and daughter Jennifer. I have worked as sports journalist since 1997, when I started out writing football match reports for The Sunday Mail newspaper while still a journalism student.
Since then I’ve written and edited for a wide range of publications, including the Scottish Daily Express, The Big Issue in Scotland, The Herald, The Scottish Standard and The Scottish Daily Mail. I now work full-time as a sub-editor for the Daily Record and Sunday Mail.
When not at work I relax at home with my family and survey my simian empire, rhesuspark.com, which is probably the world’s only spoof monkey park.