Mystery Islands – Discovering the Ancient Pacific
By Tom Koppel
University of the South Pacific Press,
Suva, Fiji Islands, 2012
345 pages, soft cover
Author, journalist, and educator Tom Koppel’s new book Mystery Islands is one man’s odyssey across a vast ocean to a region of islands that comprise Remote Oceania and Near Oceania. The region has more than 20,000 islands with only half of them inhabited. Seafaring people from this unique region of the world have explored and populated the South Pacific and beyond bringing with them a wide variety of cultures and skills including a keen ability to navigate.
While many of the islands are well known as a result of European exploration, an equal number quietly exist, their people and cultures remarkably intact.
It is through scholarly research, hands on inquiry, and archeology that Koppel endeavors to tell their stories in a book that is both entertaining and informative.
Through Koppel’s work we are introduced to these lesser-known islands, their history, challenges and an insight into the people that inhabit them.