Let’s talk about survival, hot guys who are sweet to you but also slices throats for information in his spare time, and a revolution that left many captured, put to work, and longing to start a riot of their own. KAYLA OLSON’S debut THE SANDCASTLE EMPIRE was slow-moving in a way that let the story unravel in waves. Then the twists hits you like a tsunami and you’re left trying to keep your head above the water.
While this book isn’t a five-star read for me (I can only take so much action-less survival, also I have a personal issue with the ending that you can totally DM me on twitter to ask about…maybe I’ll do a post later…) I was hooked.
And, why yes I do mean in a grapple-hooks under your skin sort of way.
I love survival to pieces, and frankly, I think I may be in love with Eden. The way OLSON flipped between memories and the present was freaking flawless. I loved being able to see how Eden grew as a person because of the Wolfpack…and the whole losing all the people she loves.
There were twists, and there were turns.
Here’s how I picture The Island:
Okay so when I think of something wild and completely untamed and freaking dangerous as hell, this is what I see. I see the jungle and the ocean. I see a completely lush, green, healthy world that can kill you. You should feel fear if you're in the middle of it--where all you can see is endless trees. You're lucky if you come across water.
The jungle is riddled with technology and genetic mutations that wage both physical and psychological warfare on you.
(basically this is where I want to build my bed and breakfast minus the tech trying to kill me. swoon.)
The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson
Published June 6, 2017
When all hope is gone, how do you survive?
Before the war, Eden’s life was easy—air conditioning, ice cream, 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 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.
*photos via unsplash