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The Sandcastle Empire Hardcover – June 6, 2017
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“The Maze Runner meets Lost in this near-future sci-fi thriller that twists and turns all the way to the heart-pounding end!” (Beth Revis, New York Times bestselling author of the Across the Universe series and A World Without You)
“The novel is in turns wistful and poetic. Filled with interesting characters and difficult scenarios, this debut is designed to leave readers thinking.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“First-time author Olson creates a memorable mix of social upheaval, survival story, and trust issues.” (Booklist)
“Readers will enjoy sinking into the thoughtfully constructed details of Olson’s ravaged future Earth, as well as a number of terrifying action sequences that build to a game-changing twist.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Readers who enjoy stories of adventure and exploration will appreciate the trials that Eden must endure as she explores the island.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))
From the Back Cover
Before the war, Eden’s life was easy. There was air-conditioning, ice cream, and 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 their 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.
Top customer reviews
And this book is flush with both, in the best possible way.
First of all--the writing. The prose is beautiful. Olson's words shimmer like the lush jungle setting she's created, and the plot slithers, curves, and strikes. I loved the descriptions--gorgeous lines like "trees [are in] all shades of green until shadows stain them black." The main character, Eden, takes this book beyond simply boasting a killer plot--which it does in spades--to something deeper with her poignant, piercing insights. This book has everything: adventure, suspense, stunning writing, twists and turns, inventive futuristic science and technology elements, and complex characters with shifting motives--not to mention several passages that pulled hard on my heart strings.
SANDCASTLE EMPIRE is a striking look at people pushed to their psychological and moral limits as the world edges closer to its physical ones; an elegantly written thriller, and an instant classic that I couldn't put down.
This story takes place at some unspecified time in the future. The "have-nots" go to war with the "haves" and put the pampered privileged class in gulags. Ruling over everything are five kingpins, each responsible for their own sector.
There is a Resistance movement in place and the downtrodden dream of having a better life again.
Eden used to have everything she needed or wanted but now she dreams of escaping out to sea, searching for the Sanctuary Island mentioned in a journal that used to be her father's.
In some ways this book reminded me of the television series LOST and to me that's a good thing. Puzzles, dangers , romance are all included in the story. The big question is "In this new world, who do you trust?"
I received this book from Harper Collins through Edelweiss in exchange for my unbiased review.
Kayla incorporates the most beautiful prose throughout this book, and she blends it so seamlessly into the story that you might miss it if you aren’t paying attention. In my opinion, that is the mark of truly talented writer. As a reader you typically see such lovely writing coupled with a slower plot, but that is certainly not the case here. Kayla has truly mastered the art of putting beautiful words on the page in a way that does not in any way detract from a fast-paced, thrilling plot line. And this is her debut novel!
There is an absolutely brilliant cast of characters in The Sandcastle Empire. They all feel so authentic, like they are all people that you know and can identify from your own life. Main character Eden is such a likable character, who repeatedly demonstrates strength of body, mind, and spirit throughout the story. You’ll be cheering from her from the very first page. Perhaps the coolest thing about this cast though, is that you never know who you can trust and when you can trust them. They keep you on your toes and utterly glued to the pages.
The world building in this book is absolutely phenomenal. Set in a futuristic world, where the society that we know has crumbled upon itself, the political and social climate is fascinating. There is some incredible tech incorporated throughout the story, despite the fact that most of it takes place on a desert island.
The plot of the book is intense and action packed. This story starts with a bang, quite literally, and it just doesn’t quit. I can absolutely understand why this was optioned for a movie so quickly and can see the potential for it to translate to the big screen just so well. In case you haven’t heard, Leonardo DiCaprio has already signed on to produce this one. I am not at all surprised after reading it. For more movie details, click here!
There is also a romance in this book that I was SOOO into. I won’t give away any specifics, because spoilers. But I will say that those of you that like a little swoon in your summer reading will not be disappointed.
We have seen some truly incredibly debut novels in 2017, but this one may just be the best so far. Kayla Olson is without doubt an author to watch!
Most recent customer reviews
Rating: 4/5 stars
Best For: 14 and up, 9th grade and up.
Worth a Check Out: Yes.Read more