Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: The Sandcastle Empire, by Kayla Olsen {ends 8/20}

The enemy wore sheep's clothes for many years before it bared its fangs and went for blood.

Fathers. Brothers. The barista who made your daily latte, the guy behind the fish counter at the grocery store, the girl in Sephora who taught you how to line your eyes. All seemingly unconnected, until one day they were a force.

After Zero, it all made sense: the neon fliers stapled to telephone poles, the #wolfpack hashtag everyone assumed was a fandom of some sort, the pendants people wrote off as a passing trend. The signs were all around us, but we were too wrapped up in our own lives to really question them.

Which, I guess, was their point. It was a good point, at its heart, albeit a bitter one—that too many people were out of touch with reality, floating on the hard work of others who were killing themselves just to survive. That too many of us were too entitled, too ungrateful. Too used to all we touched turning to gold.

They weren't altogether wrong. 

This is a long book (about 455 pages) so I will admit that it took me a few weeks to finish; however, some twists pop up near the end of the novel that caught my attention, and the book does finish strong.

Official synopsis:
Book Review and GIVEAWAY: The Sandcastle Empire, by Kayla Olsen
Before the war, Eden’s life was easy. Then the revolution happened, and everything changed.

Now a powerful group called the Wolfpack controls the earth and its resources. And even though Eden has lost everything to them, she 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.

In the author Q&A I received for this book, it was compared to The Maze Runner meets Lost - although I have only seen one episode of Lost, I would definitely compare it to The Maze Runner. It's a dystopian novel that starts at the beginning of the war: a group called the Wolfpack has taken over what I assume to be the U.S. Eden, whose father once worked for a group that eventually helped start the war, knows she has to escape, and she makes it to an island that her father has talked about.

However, the island has its own surprises, which she and a few tag-a-longs must deal with; she'll also find out some interesting truths about her lineage and also the Wolves, the group of terrorists who has taken over the U.S. 

It took me a really long time to get through this novel. The novel also leaves the ending open for a sequel, but I don't think there is going to be one, it seems (from my Googling, anyways). Around 2/3 of the way in to the book, the author throws some twists and wrenches into the plot, which compelled me to keep reading the novel; some you probably could have guessed, but I did not see them coming. 

The Sandcastle Empire has also been optioned for film by Paramount, with Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way to produce, but no release date or casting has been set yet. 

If you like dystopian books, I can recommend this novel—just be prepared for a longer than usual read.

3 stars out of 5.
{Click here to purchase}


Enter via the widget below. Two of my lucky readers will each win a hardcover copy of The Sandcastle Empire!

Giveaway will end on Sunday, August 20th, at 11:59pm EST, and winners will be contacted the next day via email, and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner(s) will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

Hardcover copy of The Sandcastle Empire


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