Tag: Dystopian (page 1 of 29)

BOOK REVIEW: New World Order (Sunset Rising #3) by S.M. McEachern

BOOK REVIEW: New World Order (Sunset Rising #3) by S.M. McEachern New World Order (Sunset Rising #3)
by S.M. McEachern
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

In the third book of the Sunset Rising Trilogy, Sunny O'Donnell is determined to find Jack and bring him home. With the high-tech assistance of Doc, Sunny and her friends, Summer and Reyes, team up with the Nation to set out into a lawless post-apocalyptic world. But as the ruthlessness of the recruiters unfolds amidst the discovery of betrayals within their own group, friends will become enemies and enemies will become friends on a journey that will lead to a New World Order.

Review:

New World Order was a fabulous conclusion to the Sunset Rising Trilogy!   This world was harsh, brutal and unforgiving and the story could be so dark and twisted at times.  Yet friendship and love shined brightly and I was completely invested in this series.  In this final book we got to alternate between Sunny and Jack, which I absolutely loved.  And because of that, we got to see how friends became enemies, lies were hidden under the radar, and we found out exactly who we could trust. Some of it was very surprising!  So here are some of my favorite things about this book…

I ran my fingers through his short hair and gazed into his intense blue eyes. “Whoever would have thought that Leisel’s betrayal would turn out to be just the beginning?”

✮ Friendship

“How dare you judge me!”My hand itched to slap him. “While you were busy moping around pissed off at the world, my bourge husband and I were outside the Dome risking our lives to find a way to open the doors so the Pit could go free.”
Reyes stood up straighter and looked down his nose at me. “You did open the doors, Sunny,”he said calmly. “And then you just walked away.”

Friendship played such an important role in this series.  Between the Pits, Alliance, Bourge, The Nation and Ryder’s people there was a vast group and racism was prevalent.  So I loved watching how friendships helped bridge the gaps and unite some of them at times.  Like the team that was formed to go rescue Jack. It was an unlikely group whose dynamics were fascinating to watch.  Especially since there was some changes as the story progressed and I was surprised that my opinion even changed towards some of the characters.  By the end of the book, I loved that tentative friendships were formed, another was patched up and a new and heartfelt friendship was created.  While there was obstacles in their way, it was amazing to watch all the friendships unfold.

✮ A story that continued to grow

From the very beginning, we had accepted that we would eventually be executed, and so we lived our last days in the name of saving humanity, making alliances, bridging enmity, and falling in love along the way. The seeds of betrayal so carefully planted by Leisel had failed to produce their crop. Solidarity had grown in their place. – Sunny

I felt that this series had the best of both worlds.  While characters were the heart, the soul was the way the story unfolded.  There were a lot of moving parts and when you throw in some fabulous twists and turns, it made this story even more addicting.  I had sweaty palms and learned that you should always go with your gut.  Even if you want to believe otherwise.  It was fascinating to watch how deception and lies could tweak this story and I loved that I didn’t see some of it coming.  On top of all of that, there was fighting and political unrest happening.  I wondered how it could all end up right, but just watch.  Because it was brilliant.

✮ Inherent darkness

I looked at Naoki. “The minute they cut me loose, I’m going to kill every last one of them.”
He gave me a curt nod. “I’ll help.” – Jack

While dystopians usually have a darkness or bleak feel to them, the issues in this series were one that I could easily see in a scary, possible future.  Bigotry, slavery, sexism and racism bled from the pages.  Hundreds of years later and we were still fighting about the same issues.  And some of those issues would go down such a dark path that I found myself hoping certain people would die.  Their actions were beyond horrific and some of it was even hard to stomach.  There were a few moments I just wanted to cover my eyes, but I had to keep reading.  And while some justice was served that made me shout out loud yes, I have hope that even more will take place in the future spin-off series.

✮ True Love

She was so much more than my soul mate. She was my hero. And I needed her strength more than ever. – Jack

If you love romance in your books, you’re in for a treat with this series.  It was forbidden and filled with the best tension.  And when it finally turned into more, my heart was soaring and oh so happy.  In this final book we saw exactly how strong Sunny and Jack’s love was for each other.  The lengths they would go to for one another was beautiful, and they are cemented as one of my favorite couples ever.

He stood and held his hand out to me, and as I laced my fingers through his, I remembered the first time I’d ever placed my hand in his, a year ago, when we’d decided to take on the Holt regime. It filled me with as much strength now as it had then.

This series will always have a special place in my heart.  I cried tears of sadness and happiness, smiled, laughed and fell more in love with these characters.  Plus it wrapped up in such a fabulous way that made so happy.  Yet I love that there is so much to cover in a spin-off series and I can’t wait till it’s released!  So if you love forbidden romance or dystopian then definitely add this series to your tbr.  I absolutely loved it and I’m look forward to reading everything else S.M. McEachern writes!

Trigger warning for: View Spoiler »

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

BOOK REVIEW: Worlds Collide (Sunset Rising #2) by S.M. McEachern

BOOK REVIEW: Worlds Collide (Sunset Rising #2) by S.M. McEachernWorlds Collide (Sunset Rising #2)
by S.M. McEachern
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Centuries old secrets and forbidden love collide in the action-packed sequel to Sunset Rising.

In a desperate attempt to escape execution, Sunny and Jack find a way out of the Pit and into a world still believed to be toxic with radiation. Under the brilliant sun for the first time in their lives, they not only discover that the earth has healed from nuclear war, but there are people outside the Dome.

In Worlds Collide, the second book of the Sunset Rising trilogy, Sunny and Jack must continue a life of subterfuge in order to stay alive and find a way to free the Pit. But in their attempt to save the urchins, they uncover the horrifying truth about President Holt and the evil he could unleash on the world.

Review:

Worlds Collide was another action packed, emotional ride.  As the story progressed, I loved that a lot of the pieces to the puzzle finally fell into place.  Secrets came out, truths were exposed and the stakes became even higher.  And while I had some guesses about the outside, what was really out there blew my mind.  The new elements that were introduced kept me on my toes and was fabulous!  This book definitely didn’t suffer from middle book syndrome and I loved every minute of it!  So here were some of my favorite things…..

Somewhere between saying “I do” and uniting the Pit for a rebellion, I learned to trust Jack.

✮ A power couple:

“I really do love you.” His voice cracked with emotion. Tears burned my eyes but I refused to let them fall.
“And I love you more than I could ever say.”

Jack and Sunny’s relationship was put to the test in Worlds Collide.  Not only was their relationship forbidden, but they were still getting to know each other.  And when Sunny had to pretend to be Jack’s plaything, that just added to the stress of it all.  But there is a reason why they easily became one of my favorite couples, and it had to do with how they were around each other.  While they were strong and determined by themselves, together they were a force to be reckoned with.  What they were each willing to do and sacrifice to help one other captured my heart.  And I loved that some of their actions caused me laugh at a few of the more intense moments.  They were a true team and one of my favorite couples!  My heart couldn’t be happier with where this story took them.


✮ An action packed story:

I wasn’t ready to admit defeat. I couldn’t sit here and watch him risk his life alone. I didn’t want to be in this world without him.

The twists and turns kept coming and it made me fly through the pages. And while I thought I had a clear picture of where the story was going, then something would shift.  Oh my gosh, it was all so brilliant.  What unfolded would leave my mouth hanging open or I’d want to jump up and down because I was so excited.  Allies, enemies, friendship, and even the unknown constantly played a part in this story and it made for a very exciting, action packed ride!


✮ My emotions were everywhere:

Never, in my entire worthless life, had anyone ever looked at me with that much love.
I tried to breathe around the lump lodged in my throat, but it was getting increasingly difficult. Taking his face in my hands, I nodded. Pressing closer, I kissed him, tasting the salt of our tears. I didn’t want to think about what was facing us, or why I might need a gun.

Worlds Collide had me run the gamut emotions!  One moment I’d have sweaty palms, the next I’d be scared to even breathe and another my claustrophobic self had me screaming out loud.   And while there were times that it felt like Sunny and Jack didn’t even have two seconds to breathe, I loved when they’d finally catch a little reprieve.  Those moments were absolutely beautiful and it was impossible not to smile and swoon.  I was grateful for those moments, Jack’s smart mouth and Sunny’s tenaciousness because they were each smile inducing.  And since their future had a ton of bumps in the road, I more than appreciated having some lightness mixed into their story.

I didn’t marry the enemy. I married the hero.

The Sunset Rising Series is absolutely incredible and a must read for dystopian lovers! To say I was glued to the pages would be a huge understatement.  I cheered, screamed, laughed, smiled and even cried my eyes out with Worlds Collide.  And we were introduced to a few new characters that I became obsessed with.  So once I flipped that last page, I was already grabbing the final book, New World Order.  I can’t wait to see how this series will wrap up!

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

BOOK REVIEW: LIFEL1K3 (Lifelike #1) by Jay Kristoff

BOOK REVIEW: LIFEL1K3 (Lifelike #1) by Jay KristoffLIFEL1K3 (Lifelike #1)
by Jay Kristoff
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

On a floating junkyard beneath a radiation sky, a deadly secret lies buried in the scrap.

Eve isn’t looking for secrets—she’s too busy looking over her shoulder. The robot gladiator she’s just spent six months building has been reduced to a smoking wreck, and the only thing keeping her Grandpa from the grave was the fistful of credits she just lost to the bookies. To top it off, she’s discovered she can destroy electronics with the power of her mind, and the puritanical Brotherhood are building a coffin her size. If she’s ever had a worse day, Eve can’t remember it.

But when Eve discovers the ruins of an android boy named Ezekiel in the scrap pile she calls home, her entire world comes crashing down. With her best friend Lemon Fresh and her robotic conscience, Cricket, in tow, she and Ezekiel will trek across deserts of irradiated glass, infiltrate towering megacities and scour the graveyard of humanity’s greatest folly to save the ones Eve loves, and learn the dark secrets of her past.

Even if those secrets were better off staying buried.

Review:

“Leave it alone,”
 Cricket warned. 
Eve’s eyebrows hit her hairline. “Crick, are you smoked? Can you imagine how much scratch this thing is worth?” 
“We got no business with tech that red,” the little bot growled. 
“What’s the prob?” Lemon asked. “He looks armless to me.” 
Eve glanced at the severed shoulder. Up at her friend’s grin. “You’re awful, Lemon.”

Lol ummmmm. I don’t even know where to begin after an ending like that, lol WOW. I mean UNFORTUNATELY one of the regular patrons at my library spoiled one of the biggest reveals for me a few weeks ago (which really was crappy, like wtf lol) but STILL. I feel like it was just one thing after the other for the last 25% of the book like I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO BELIEVE ANYMORE, WHAT IS HAPPENING!?

“So. You wanna play?” the skinny boy asked again. Lemon looked the kid in the eye. Fingered the stolen creds in her cargos.
“All right, you little snots,” she muttered. “Let’s dance.” 
“What’s your name?”
 Stinky asked as Lemon pulled up a chair. The girl cracked her knuckles. Picking up the cards, she fanned them out over the table, swept them up into a riffle shuffle, dovetailed them into a perfect stack and set them down before the wide-eyed children. She dropped her stiks on the table and smiled. 
“You can call me Daddy.”

The first thing I want to mention about this book is that I am obsessed with its characters. Lemon, especially, is hilarious. Eve was BA and I loved the friendship between her and her bestest. Ezekiel was….intriguing. I don’t know my full thoughts on him and the relationship there just yet. I’ll be excited to see how certain things progress in DEV1AT3 though, that’s for sure. Cricket and Kaiser though…*sobs* perfection. Two cutest bots on the block.

Overall this book was both weirdly not what I expected and exactly what I expected. I was thinking it was going to be a little more sci-fi when really it was a lot more dystopian. Kristoff painted a picture of a world that was ugly AF if I’m being honest. All of that machinery and not one blade of green grass or clean water was mentioned. The thought it horrifying. After I got a better grip on the world building though, everything flowed better for me. A lot of really horribly visceral things happened but since I’ve read The Illuminae Files and Aurora Rising I had kind of expected it. The writing, even though it was solely his instead of also with Kaufman’s, was very familiar to me and I appreciated the consistency of it. What I thought was super interesting was that even though it’s mentioned that this was “part Romeo and Juliet, part Terminator” that this is like 100% an Anastasia parallel. Like….that could kind of be a spoiler I guess (?) but…It’s still true haha. Once I realized it I was like OMG YES. SO MANY CONNECTIONS! I cannot wait to see what ends up happening in DEV1AT3, wow.

“We can’t just leave her in there alone, Freckles. You know that.” 
“We lied to her. She hates us now.” 
“It’s simple to love someone on the days that are easy. But you find out what your love is made of on the days that are hard.”
 The lifelike held out his hand. “And we still love her,” he said simply. “Don’t we?”

This final part I think I’ll put under a spoiler tag so I can talk some things out…
View Spoiler »

“Stronger together, together forever, right?” 

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

BOOK REVIEW: Evermore (Everless #2) by Sara Holland

BOOK REVIEW: Evermore (Everless #2) by Sara HollandEvermore (Everless #2)
by Sara Holland
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Jules Ember was raised hearing legends of the ancient magic of the wicked Alchemist and the good Sorceress. But she has just learned the truth: not only are the stories true, but she herself is the Alchemist, and Caro—a woman who single-handedly murdered the Queen and Jules’s first love, Roan, in cold blood—is the Sorceress.

The whole kingdom believes that Jules is responsible for the murders, and a hefty bounty has been placed on her head. And Caro is intent on destroying Jules, who stole her heart twelve lifetimes ago. Jules must delve into the stories that she now recognizes are accounts of her own past. For it is only by piecing together the mysteries of her lives that Jules will be able to save the person who has captured her own heart in this one.

Thank you Edelweiss, Sara Holland and HarperTeen for my ARC! Evermore will be available on December 31, 2018.


When I was a child, Papa told me my dreams could never hurt me – but he lied. Two weeks ago, the girl tore out of my nightmares and stepped into the world.

Evermore was an excellent bookend to its companion, Everless. I remember flying through Everless, but not 100% loving it. I definitely didn’t have the same feeling this time around, as I absolutely loved this book!

Evermore picks up right after the events of Everless. If you thought life was get any easier and less tragic for Jules, think again. This poor girl keeps losing those she loves to Caro’s (the Sorcerer) desire for revenge on Jules (the Alchemist), which has spanned many lifetimes.

However, Jules is not alone. Liam (who is so definitely not evil) is right by her side, as well as two excellent new excellent characters, Elias and Stef.


Elias’s teeth flash again in that smile. “Don’t you know, Jules? Everything worth doing is dangerous.”

Throughout the book, Jules struggles to what it means to be the Alchemist, and rightfully so. For so many years of her, albeit, short life, she has only known her father and friends and her life as Jules Ember. And then to find out she is so much more, that she is the latest reincarnation of the Alchemist and has flashbacks of her past life, is something she deals with almost the whole book. While I did feel some of the flashbacks slowed down the pacing of the book, it did provide context for the past relationship between Jules and Caro.


If the Alchemist stays sunken in me forever, revealing herself in shards of broken memories, never whole – who am I then? Not Jules Ember. Not anyone.

But as much as I loved the friendships and other relationships, I really loved Jules’ growing love towards Liam. I’ll be honest, I didn’t feel strongly toward him in Everless. But my mind was completely changed in this book. He was sweet and strong and stubborn and smart and a little rash sometimes. But at the end of the day, he cared for Jules and wanted her to succeed and be her own person. I loved Holland making him a big book nerd and getting very excited about research and history. It was a small touch but went a long way in making him his own character.


In this moment, I’m not the Alchemist. I’m only Jules, alone and frightened and hoping and wanting, and Liam Gerling is reaching out to me, a hand across the dark.

I honestly wish this wasn’t a duology. I know there’s a lot of three and four book series, and not so many duologies, but I wanted more time with Jules and Liam and Ina and Stef and Elias. Holland also set up some interesting world-building that there just wasn’t time to explore. But most importantly, I really grew to enjoy these characters and want to know what they will do next. And also more romance, because, again, I am so here for Liam Gerling.


“Nothing is unstoppable, not really,” I say quietly, slipping the dagger into my belt. “You only need to find something stronger.”

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