Hope Island

Hope Island by Tim Major

Published by Titan Books, June 2020

Workaholic TV news producer Nina Scaife is determined to fight for her daughter, Laurie, after her partner Rob walks out on her. She takes Laurie to visit Rob’s parents on the beautiful but remote Hope Island, to prove to her that they are still a family. But Rob’s parents are wary of Nina, and the islanders are acting strangely. And as Nina struggles to reconnect with Laurie, the silent island children begin to lure her daughter away.

Meanwhile, Nina tries to resist the scoop as she is drawn to a local artists’ commune, the recently unearthed archaeological site on their land, and the dead body on the beach…


Praise for Hope Island

Hope Island is a masterfully tense tale, building a looming sense of dread and growing uncertainty. Disturbing and original, surprising and shocking, it’s an excellent novel from a unique voice in the genre.” – Tim Lebbon, author of Eden and The Silence

“Artfully written and brilliantly controlled from the first page, Hope Island explores unsettling territory through well-drawn characters, landscape and a powerful use of sound. But it’s the central mother-daughter relationship that gives the book real heart – there’s honesty, pain and beauty in here.” – M.T. Hill, author of Zero Bomb and The Breach

Hope Island is a deliciously creepy mystery. Tim Major knows how to wield the weird and the effect is an original novel that’s unsettling and compelling at every turn. The silent children who stalk the island are a disturbing threat outside, and the threat within the family offers a richly-realised emotional disquiet. Prepare to be unnerved.” – D. K. Fields, author of Widow’s Welcome

“Tense and compelling, the taut and tangled mysteries of eerie Hope Island conspire to create a roiling fever dream of a novel in which nothing is certain, and in which even one’s own senses cannot truly be trusted. Beneath an authentic and empathetic portrait of a family falling apart lies a deeply intuitive, atmospheric enquiry into those truths which underpin all human relationships: the way we speak and listen, the things we say and the things we hide. Hope Island is a strange and brilliantly original novel which cements Tim Major’s rightful reputation as a top class writer of fantastical fiction.” – Laura Mauro, author of Sing Your Sadness Deep

“I tore through Hope Island, unnerved by its escalating tension and its keen sense of isolation – I genuinely didn’t know what to expect whenever I turned the page.” – G. V. Anderson, award-winning author


“Tim Major is not yet a 21st-century Alan Garner but he’s getting close, creating an unusual mystery centered on the island’s soundscape, a thing of whispers, screams, susurrations, keenings and — thanks to the presence of the artists’ community — doppler and volume effects and binaural wizardry. Hope Island is arty, arch, chilling, and utterly cock-sure of itself. It is also the only novel I have ever read that made my ears tingle.” The Times

“There’s a dash of John Wyndham and a soupcon of The Wicker Man in the richly atmospheric latest novel from Tim Major… Hope Island is a gritty and compelling page-turner” Starburst

“This horror-sci-fi hybrid unpicks the sonic mysteries of a small island in the Gulf of Maine. It is a spine-tingling tale of screams and susurration and all manner of sinister audio wizardry” New Scientist

“Intelligent and with a warm, beating heart at its core, Hope Island is that breed of novel that transcends genre definition… The portrayal of Nina’s emotional pain is soaringly honest and had me hooked from the get-go. In truth, I could have written this review using one word only – brilliant – and it would be enough. Hope Island is a claustrophobic, paranoid and exhilarating read.” Sublime Horror

Hope Island is a multi-layered, extremely engaging and entertaining, thought-provoking novel with a gripping plot and interesting themes. It makes great use of classic horror tropes and takes them somewhere new and original. I loved it.” STORGY

Hope Island brings a new perspective to familiar tropes with a novel built around Major’s strong narrative voice. This is both a lyrical and commanding novel. It will reward your investment in it.” British Science Fiction Association

“This page-turner of a slow burn horror novel features one of the most original — and in hindsight, one of the most ubiquitous, after a fashion — villains I’ve ever read… It’s an excellent addition to his oeuvre, and just a really good, original horror novel.” The Frumious Consortium

“[A] psychological sci-fi number that’s refreshingly out of the ordinary” Sunday Sport

Hope Island is as much a psychological exploration of Nina as it is a story about the strange events on the island. I loved this book and would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys slow-burn horror.” The Fantasy Hive

“This is very Wyndham-esque. There are also echoes of Daphne DuMaurier… Hope Island is the perfect blend of horror, folk horror with a dash of science fiction thrown in… This is breath-taking. I need to read more by this author.” The Book Lover’s Boudoir

“The atmosphere and denouement are delightfully reminiscent of 1970s Doctor Who and Major has a special skill of weaving his characters’ inner turmoils into the perils they face in the plot.” Morning Star

“There are definitely shades of The Midwich Cuckoos here, but there are also echoes of Nigel Kneale’s oeuvre – The Stone Tape feels like an obvious touchpoint … if ever there was an appropriate time for a story about people driving one another mad in isolation, 2020 has to be it.” SFX

“A powerful, potent and claustrophobic novel… Hope Island is a highly original take on the evil child trope.” Ginger Nuts of Horror ​​

“You should definitely check out this novel if your idea of horror is the psychological type, where the eeriness creeps upon you slowly but surely” To the Ends of the Words

“Major balances the spooky elements with hints of gaslighting. Is what Nina is seeing real or just figments of her imagination as she worries about her life falling apart around her? … a book for horror readers who like a slow burn” SFBook

“Hope Island is a wonderful slow burn story that will catch you out when you least expect it and a great follow up to Snakeskins” Paperbacks and Pinot

“Major cleverly explores the impact of aural disturbance on body and mind through a sinister thriller that unveils deliciously slowly through to its climax.” British Fantasy Society

“I loved this book and would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys slow-burn horror.  Shona Kinsella

“A slow building and strange horror that’s sure to stick out from the crowd.” Trans-scribe

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