Lost In Kakadu - Kendall Talbot Alright, how interesting.
Lost in Kakadu intrigued me. It made me feel a little awkward and it made me ponder the abilities of debut authors. It also is important to note that this is completely Australian - all characters are supposedly Aussie, either from Brisbane or Sydney, it was never really revealed, and its set in Kakadu. Right in the middle of Australia. Ish. Actually very north near Darwin.
But it didn't feel genuine. I think the biggest thing was that the landed in the 'jungle'. There is no jungle in Australia - well, there is, but it's never called 'jungle'. It's almost always called bush or maybe a forest. Rarely. Thick trees and low bushy plants and wild landscape - that's called scrub.

Anyway, so Lost in Kakadu would interest the reader of On The Island. That's the reason I bought it because the whole survival, romance thing is definitely very interesting. But while OIS is a testament to awesome, Lost in Kakadu needed work. A lot of work. I found the lack of research a little disconcerting. Plus! At one point they ate witchetty grubs. Now, I have eaten witchetty grubs myself and they don't taste like chicken, they taste like peanuts or maybe almonds. I don't count that as lack of research though, because I'm sure they taste differently to other people. Crazy, huh?

However, the most annoying thing was the character of Abi. I understand she's supposed to be a prissy bitch but my god I wish I could have just ripped her throat out in the first third of the book. I'm surprised Mackenzie didn't clock her himself.

But what the author does well is change her Abi into someone who is brave and understanding and realises she has been wrong for most of her life. This is good. And Mackenzie is a very likeable character. Strong, lovely and smart. His cooking skills are also fabulous.
Here's another survival thing. A few times, Mackenzie will see a berry or a mushroom and be like, 'Oh, that might be good to eat.' Fair enough. They're hungry and berries and mushroom would be good to add to their meagre diet. However, he usually just eats it, throwing caution to the wind. He may die, he may not. That's where his survival skills fail. I don't really know anything about testing foods for poison but I'm pretty sure you don't just eat a few of them and wait.
I think you test on skin, and try a tiny bit on your tongue,wait a while for a reaction, then maybe eat it.
So, the lack of research in that area as well as the changes in their body, sun damage and especially Abi's pregnancy!! (so random and such a bad plot point was really unimpressive and drew the rating of this book down a bit. The other thing was the timeline and the amount of details that were skipped towards the end. I get the feeling the author grew tired of writing and just sort of slammed out the last few chapters. The writing made me so confused that I had to re-read parts of just to work out what was happening. The ending, while satisfying didn't really make me want to immediately flip to the start and read again.

So, in total, this is a good read. Easy and with good messages and interesting setting. But it is evident that is the author's first work. So, with a bit of encouragement maybe the author will learn a bit more about research and writing finesse perhaps.