The Main Characters
Iris is thirteen when she’s kidnapped from The Netherlands and brought to Pala. Her super power is her memory, she can remember everything she ever saw, heard or experienced. After the death of her father, Iris’ super memory is more a burden for her than a blessing.
Iris is a natural but reluctant leader, with ties to Pala she doesn’t realize or understand. Mr. Oz, the leader of Pala, has great plans for her. Iris is the protagonist of the first five books.
The kidnapped children on the island only know Mr. Oz as a flaming head, a virtual character that speaks to them through/via TV-screens. But like his namesake from the L. Frank Baum books, there’s a real person behind the virtual curtain.
Mr. Oz is literally a broken man, a body in an aquarium that functions as a life support system. His mind is his super power. He’s not only one of the smartest people alive, he’s also a master manipulator and a very cruel man.
Mr. Oz is inspired by classic books and movies. Everything he does has ties to familiar stories.
Although it’s not clear if he really is the evil person people think he is, or if he’s genuinely concerned about the future of the planet, Mr. Oz is the antagonist of the first three books.
Alex is, we find out halfway through the first book, the son of Mr. Oz. Named after Alexander the Great, he’s destined to follow in his father’s footsteps, but so far he is a disappointment in the eyes of Mr. Oz. Alex questions everything his father does after he meets Iris, not in the least because he has fallen in love with her.
His super power is driving. Alex can drive any vehicle that has a steering wheel and/or an engine with a minimum of learning, whether it’s a car, a submarine or a helicopter.
Alex is British, and spends the first eleven years of his life in London. After his stay in London, Alex moves with his father to Colorado in the United States.
Only her friends and family call her Martha—for everyone else she’s Fiber. Fiber is a master hacker, a goth and a fighter. After surviving an abusive father, she didn’t play and finish the superhero game Mr. Oz build, but hacked her way out of it.
Fiber is rude, a bully and a hopeless romantic, something she keeps hidden from everyone—especially Alex, for whom she has a (not so secret) crush. Iris is about the only person Fiber can be herself with. Seeing Iris and Alex hook up is devastating to Fiber, so she keeps distancing herself from both Iris and Alex.
YunYun (called Yun in books four and five) is the youngest member of the team. Despite Mr. Oz’s rule limiting abduction to twelve year olds and up, YunYun was taken when she was seven. Born to a Chinese mother and an American father, YunYun never left the town of Ripley, Maine (population: 487 after she left). She’s a sweet girl, very determined but also still really a child. Her super power seems to be math. She has a mind like a razorblade and is maybe the only one that can match Mr. Oz in sheer technical intelligence.
YunYun’s feelings for Iris and Tessa confuse her.
Justin is Iris’ brother and one of the first people taken to Pala, where he improved the superhero game Mr. Oz made in order to select candidates for his masterplan. Consumed by guilt that he was an accomplice in the abduction of hundreds of kids, Justin is always looking for ways to make up for what he did, not realising that Mr. Oz is continually exploiting Justin’s guilt for his own purposes.
Justin’s super power is programming. He can code in almost every language. Besides that he’s an accomplished engineer and one hell of a driver.
The Secondary Characters
Inderpal is from India and speaks dozens of languages. With the help of Mr. Oz, he has created a system in which the kids on Pala can learn a new language in a couple of weeks, by learning just a few thousand words.
A black boy from a wealthy family from Canada, Terry is a builder, a technician and an engineer. He is the one that helps Mr. Oz build his Jabberwockies, the terrifying metal monsters inspired by the creatures from Alice Through the Looking Glass.
Terry is one of the few people on Pala who never wants to go back to the life he had.
Dilek is a Muslim girl from Belgium. Her parents are from Turkey, but she was born in Antwerp, where her favourite place was the zoo. Dilek’s super power is that she can understand what animals mean when they make sounds and she can sometimes create sounds that make animals react to her.
Dilek has a hard time on Pala, where practising any kind of religion is forbidden by Mr. Oz. She misses her family a lot and doesn’t want to make any friends on the Island.
Tessa is a bit older than YunYun but just as small. She’s from Australia and super-fast in everything. She has no problem falling in love with YunYun, but tries not to rush anything.
Then there are also Russom from South-Africa, Dewi-Jill from Indonesia, Quinty from England, Margit from Germany, Maxime from France, and many more.