Saturday, July 20, 2013

Review ~ Sunset Rising by S.M. McEachern

Genre: YA dystopia
Series and number: Sunset Rising #1
Number of pages: 300
Edition: ebook
Link to Goodreads page

Goodreads description:

February 2024: World War III has begun. Military vehicles are seen disappearing into a mountainside. Desperate to find refuge from the nuclear storm, a group of civilians discovers a secret government Bio-Dome. Greeted by a hail of bullets and told to turn back, the frantic refugees stand their ground and are eventually permitted entry. But the price of admission is high…

283 years later… Born a slave in the Pit, seventeen-year-old Sunny O’Donnell has reached a breaking point in her life. If trying to keep her father alive while still pleasing her demanding fiancĂ© isn't stressful enough, now food and water rations are being reduced and workplace beatings are occurring more frequently. Although life in the Pit had never been easy, lately it was getting intolerable.

Then a chance meeting with Leisel Holt, daughter of the Dome’s insane President, gives Sunny a spark of hope for the future of the Pit. In an effort to fan that spark into a flame, she agrees to pose as the bride at Leisel’s wedding to Jack Kenner in order to save the bride from an assassination plot. But instead of saving Leisel, Sunny unknowingly plays into her political game and ends up marrying Jack Kenner herself. Now on the run as a traitor, Sunny escapes to the Pit with her new husband in tow only to find that her marriage has ignited a rebellion.

“Sunset Rising” is the first book of a series. It is the tale of how a love story can revive the human spirit to rise up and fight the bonds of oppression.

My review:

Rating: 4 stars
Date read: July 10 to 12, 2013
Source: received a copy from the author in return for an honest review

In the beginning of Sunset Rising, there was a mention from another reader that brought The Hunger Games in relation to the book. Because of that, I started noticing similarities between Katniss and Sunny. Both became the symbol of rebellion in the poor areas that served the rich’s needs (the Districts and the Pit). Both were part of an iconic couple that started out as just an image everyone believed and rooted for. Both were loyal to their families and did everything within their power to protect them. They were tough and accustomed to harsh living. They even had meaningful names given to them. Katniss and Sunny were both strong heroines, and despite their similarities, each was her own person (er, character).

That said, it wasn't surprising that I really liked the heroine. She started out in humble beginnings, grieving over her mother being Culled (killed at age 35 for population control) and worried about her sick father. Then she just became more and more determined to change the horribly submissive live forced on the people of the Pit. Even when she didn't think of herself as a leader, mostly everyone else viewed her as an inspiration. Sunny was even able to get more people to trust Jack a bit, which was tough because it meant crossing the wide gap between classes.

Speaking of . . . I loved how the Dome was set up. There were the rich and powerful lording over the working people. The Pit was an ugly place full of death and hunger. People had to work long, laborious hours with rationed food and water while those higher up got luxurious baths and plates full of food that they would decide not to eat if it was cold. People were killed if they were out after curfew, workers were beaten if they worked too slow, and young ladies were sent upstairs as prostitutes (with no other choice) if they were a little late for work. The world Sunny had to live in was brutal and it all added to how well the rebellion was formed and developed. It wasn’t a spontaneous one, but rather one that built up as people became more fed up with what they got and more confident that they could make a change.

It was the rebellion, the set up of the society, and the heroine that made this novel great. I recommend any dystopia fan to check this book out.


1 comment:

  1. This really sounds like a great read!!! I never heard of it before, and it's going on my mountain tbr! LOL Great review!

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