BOOK REVIEW: Sunset Rising (Sunset Rising #1) by S.M. McEachern

BOOK REVIEW: Sunset Rising (Sunset Rising #1) by S.M. McEachernSunset Rising (Sunset Rising #1)
by S.M. McEachern
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Deep inside a mountain in what used to be North America dwells the last of humanity. Welcome to the Biodome, where steel, rock and armed guards separate the privileged from the slaves.

Born and raised a slave in the Pit, Sunny O’Donnell has always accepted that she'll spend her life working to keep the Dome running and, if she lives long enough, willingly meet her end in the annual Cull when she reaches the age of thirty-five. This was the price her ancestors paid for their place inside the Biodome, the only safe haven from the global nuclear war of 2024.

But when Sunny’s mother is killed in the Cull, the hopeless reality of her future becomes painfully clear. Bereft and disillusioned, she heads down a reckless path that sets off a deadly riot in the Pit and leaves her accused of treason. Her only way of escaping public execution is to make a truce with her prison mate, who happens to be the heir to the dictatorship and hated enemy of the Pit.

Now caught between two worlds on the brink of war, Sunny must weigh her own survival against risking everything to save the Pit.

S.M. McEachern delivers the action and adventure of The Hunger Games, the intrigue of The City of Ember, and the romantic notes of Les Misérables in her debut novel set in a future that is disturbingly plausible.

Review:

Sunset Rising was an exhilarating, action pack ride that kept me on the edge of my seat.  If you’re a fan of dystopian and slow burn romance that is forbidden, then you definitely need this book in your life!  Just from the prologue alone, I knew this series was going to be a favorite.  The end of the world was coming and the horror of a worldwide nuclear war held me in a death grip.  We then jumped almost 300 years in the future and the current way of life had me in absolute shock.

My voice caught on hitch as tears stung my eyes, and I shook my head and silently admonished myself because crying was such a weak thing to do. And there was no room for weakness in the Pit.

Sunny O’Donnell was born as a slave in the Pit.  Her ancestors had bargained for their safety in the Dome, and in exchange they were to be slaves.  The rules in their world were harsh and just when I thought their conditions couldn’t get any worse, I learned more and was horrified.  Like the Cull that happened when one turned 35. Sunny had just lost her mother to the Cull, and from that huge loss, it set Sunny on a path that would completely change her life.

“Sunny, I don’t know —”
“Tell me!” I yelled.
But he didn’t tell me. He just looked at me with a defeated expression, and I wasn’t ready to be defeated. In only a few months my entire life had been shattered beyond recognition.

I loved Sunny right away!  She was fierce, brave and extremely loyal.  Plus I loved her endurance, strength and how she always worked at making herself better.  She was someone people could look up to and respect, so I instantly connected with her.  And since I connected so easily with her, I felt every single tiny emotion she did.  It made this book an extremely emotional ride that I loved!  I can’t even count how many times my heart beat faster or I had sweaty palms because of the situations Sunny found herself in.  There were even a few moments where I had chills racing down my spine.

He picked up my hands from the table, held them in his, and looked at me with his intense blue eyes. “I’ll do everything in my power to keep you safe.”

Part way into this story, Sunny found herself being accused of treason.  And her only hope for survival, from a public execution, was teaming up with Jack Kenner.  When Sunny met Jack, I wasn’t exactly sure what to think.  Jack was from the Dome and even though he lived an extremely privileged life, I liked him.  Jack was protective, smart, fierce, loving and seemed so honest.  I had so much hope for him and before I knew it, I loved Jack with my whole heart and soul.  So I kept my fingers crossed that he was one of the good guys and wouldn’t let Sunny or I down.

He opened the door and held out his hand for mine. I took it, lacing my fingers between his. As we walked down the hall together toward the common room, I felt stronger than I ever had in my life.

I loved watching Sunny and Jack figure out how to work together to survive.  Yes there were intense and emotional moments, but there were also moments that had me smiling and laughing.  They were so much fun together and their chemistry was undeniable.  But she was a slave from the Pits, and he was training to be the next President from the Dome.  Nothing romantic could ever come to be, it was forbidden.  So I found myself glued to every single word and gesture there was between Sunny and Jack.  It was absolutely addicting.

“I’ve always known we’ll be caught eventually, but now that it might be real, I’m scared.”
I didn’t want to die now that I had found a reason to live.

Hope, despair, friendship, love, freedom, slavery and political intrigue filled the pages and made Sunset Rising easily landed on my favorites list.  But there was so much I didn’t even talk about.  There were side characters I absolutely adored. The twists and turns completely consumed me.  And there was also a few moments that made me cry.  When I got near the end of the book, I found myself clapping, screaming and cheering because this story ended with a bang and an epic cliffhanger.  Thank goodness this trilogy is complete lol!  So yes, I definitely recommend Sunset Rising, and I can’t wait to devour the next book!

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)

Sunset Rising #1
Reviews:

Jen

Worlds Collide #2
Reviews:

Jen

New World Order #3
Reviews:

Jen

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6 Comments

  1. Fantastic review Jen!! I am so happy that book was a winner for you!

    • Thank you so much Sophie! I already finished the rest of the books and this series is going on my favorites list. 🙂

  2. I feel like maybe I had this book on my Kindle for a long time and never got around to reading it? Or maybe it was just my TBR—that cover looks SO familiar. Now I must go investigate because this sounds really good.
    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction recently posted…Spotlight on Author Danielle Hammelef: Danielle’s Top Ten Addictions & Info About Her Books!My Profile

    • That’s definitely possible since this book released back in 2013. It was SO good! I already finished the next two books and this is going down as one of my favorite dystopian series. 🙂

  3. Great review, Jen! I haven’t heard of this book but it definitely sounds like my kind of read. I love a good dystopian read with slow burn romance especially the forbidden ones. I’m glad you loved this book! I’m adding it to my TBR list! 🙂
    Raven recently posted…King of Scars (Nikolai Duology #1) By Leigh Bardugo [Review]My Profile

    • I’m the same as you. Give me a slow burn romance that is also forbidden, along with fabulous characters and an addicting story-line and I’m sold lol. I’m so happy you’re adding this one to your tbr!

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