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NIL Unlocked by Lynne Matson ARC {4 Stars}

NIL Unlocked by Lynne Matson is the sequel to NIL, but features a different couple and is quite easy to jump into with having read the previous book. You don’t even really need to worry about spoilers below since the two books are nearly companion novels. If, like me, you weren’t 100% on board with the romantic focus and lack of island-reveals of the first book, you should definitely consider giving NIL Unlocked a try because it was everything that I wanted the first book to be (ie YA Lost!).

Note: I received an advanced copy of NIL Unlocked from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

NIL Unlocked by Lynne Matson ARC {4 Stars}

NIL Unlocked by Lynne Matson (Nil #2)
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on May 12th, 2015
Genres: Sci-fi, YA
Page Length: 432 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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On the island of Nil, the rules are set. You have exactly 365 days to escape—or you die. Rives is now the undisputed Leader of Nil City, but keeping the City united is tougher than ever.

Raiders have grown bolder, supplies are dwindling, and non-human inhabitants have taken a turn toward the deadly. New arrivals cause rifts within the City, putting the Search system at risk, and calling everything Rives knows into question. Desperate for answers, he teams up with the only other person searching for them: Skye, a new arrival with a mysterious past of her own. Soon the duo find themselves locked in a desperate race to save all the residents of Nil—and possibly destroy the island forever. But at what cost? And who will pay the price?

4 Stars


  • I am of the opinion that any book that takes place on an island that you are mysteriously transported to should definitely focus on what the heck is going on with this island! NIL Unlocked does actually delve into the mystery of the island itself and why all these strange things are happening on it.
  • One of my main issues with the previous book (that almost made me DNF) was the amount of girl-hate Charley had on encountering a girl on the island that happened to have a larger chest. I’m very happy to report that Skye is a main character I was much happier with and there was no girl-hate!
  • There is a romance in NIL Unlocked, but it was slow burn and quite sweet without taking over the storyline.
  • I really wasn’t expecting the explanations for how the island works to make so much sense! I’m seriously impressed with the thought that Matson put into how the island could have come about and how it actually works and was very delighted that we get to find it all out instead of hand-waving it away.
  • Skye and Rives both make a lot of friends in NIL Unlocked and those friendships are important for the plot. Yey friendships saving the day instead of love!


  • A fair amount of the explanation about the island comes from certain islanders simply saying it all in a few info dumps disguised as dialogue. Why couldn’t our heroes logic some of it out instead??
  • I’m not sure if there is hope for a third book or what, but the ending did not convey the sense of closure that I prefer for a potentially final book and just came off as a little odd. I hate loose ends!


NIL Unlocked is a delightful sequel that easily surpasses the first book and can also be read simply as a standalone if you don’t like your island adventures focused on romance. If you’re a reader who was excited about the idea of a young adult version of Lost, NIL Unlocked is the book for you!

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya


 NIL Unlocked by Lynne Matson

© 2015, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. haha Lost killed me with islands that make no sense, so I’m glad this island kind of does make sense! I’m also a fan of slow-burn romances and friendships being just as special as love. I will keep an eye out for this series!
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    • I warn you that it makes only a little more sense than Lost but is at least internally consistent ;-)

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