Wednesday, June 7, 2017

#Review - The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson #YALit #Science Fiction

Series: Standalone
Format: E-Galley, 464 pages
Release Date: June 6, 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Edelweiss
Genre: YA, Science Fiction

Before the war, Eden’s life was easy—air conditioning, ice cream, long days at the beach. Then the revolution happened, and everything changed.

Now a powerful group called the Wolfpack controls the earth and its resources. Eden has lost everything to them. They killed her family and her friends, destroyed her home, and imprisoned her. But Eden refuses to die by their hands. She knows the coordinates to the only neutral ground left in the world, a place called Sanctuary Island, and she is desperate to escape to its shores.

Eden finally reaches the island and meets others resistant to the Wolves—but the solace is short-lived when one of Eden’s new friends goes missing. Braving the jungle in search of their lost ally, they quickly discover Sanctuary is filled with lethal traps and an enemy they never expected. 

This island might be deadlier than the world Eden left behind, but surviving it is the only thing that stands between her and freedom.

The Maze Runner meets Lost is how one reviewer describes The Sandcastle Empire by debut author Kayla Olson. Set in a near future where climate change has pushed the world to the breaking point, a radical faction called the Wolfpack has seized control of the government and created gulags which has separated families, and killed anyone else who refused to kneel to their demands. Eden, who has spent the majority of her time in a Wolfpack gulag on New Port Isabel, and has no clue whether or not her father is actually alive or not, escapes along with (3) others (Finnley, Alexa, and Hope). 

Eden has heard of a supposed island that is called Sanctuary Island. It is supposed to be a place that is out of reach of the Wolfpack. But, things start to get weird when Finnley disappears. After searching the island, and encountering Lost like challenges, Eden, Alexa, and Hope discover a new group of boys has arrived on the island, and they have Finnley with them. With no explanation as to what happened to Finnley, readers are just expected to move on and until the author decides to enlighten us to what happened. Eden and the rest gather together to cross the Island and discover that it is more than they could have imagined, and there are plenty of surprises to come. Is this a standalone, or part of a series? Heaven knows. 

So, I am actually nearing the point of being burned out on post-apocalyptic novels. I hear the same message over and over and over again, and it no longer moves me or motivates me. I want something new, and something that doesn't follow the same storylines. I no longer hear the message that the author is attempting to make. Whenever I read one of these books now, I feel I am in a Charlie Brown cartoon, and the speaker is all Wah Wa Wah, Wa Wah Wa, Wa Wa Wa, Wah Wah Wah! 

Apparently, this book has been optioned for movie rights. Not going to give anyone the idea that I'll be seeing the movie. Especially when I know who is involved in the project, and this person has a yacht, mansion, and private jet that he uses to gallivant all over the world not understanding how much carbon he is actually causing. The double standard of these standard bearers is disingenuous at best. 

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