Thursday, 17 November 2016
Sunset Rising by S M McEachern (#1 Sunset Rising)
Series: Sunset Rising (#1)
Author: S M McEarchern
Release Date: 12th November 2013
Challenges: 2016 Reading Assignment
Links: Goodreads - Amazon
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Desperate to find refuge from the nuclear storm, a group of civilians discover a secret government bio-dome. Greeted by a hail of bullets and told to turn back, the frantic refugees stand their ground. They are grudgingly permitted entry, but the price of admission is high. Two hundred and eighty-three years later… Life as a slave in the Pit had never been easy, but for seventeen-year-old Sunny O’Donnell it was quickly falling apart. Her mother had been killed in the annual spring Cull, leaving her alone with a father who was no longer interested in living the short time he had left. Not that she blamed him for mourning. Her own heart was aching with overwhelming grief. But if they didn’t earn enough credits to keep their place inside the Pit, they would be kicked out into a world still teeming with radiation. That left her to earn the credits for both of them, and it didn’t help that her boyfriend, Reyes Crowe, was pressuring her to marry him and abandon her father. Sunny didn’t think life could get any worse until a chance encounter with Leisel Holt, the president's daughter, and her fiancé, Jack Kenner, leaves her accused of treason. Slated for execution, she escapes with a man she considers an enemy and discovers she not only has to work with him to survive, but also to lead the revolution.
Sunset Rising is one of those books that leaves me asking why on earth I left it so long to read. I won't deny that it was the cover that attracted me to this book, especially because it has again since, but now I know what's inside the book I know that it is a good read. Plus the cover fits perfectly, and totally in a way that makes it stand out.
There was the potential for a love triangle in Sunset Rising, though it already had a different dynamic because Sunny (or Sunset, hence the title!) was already in a relationship with Reyes at the start of the book. I wasn't sure about their relationship, or how it would work when Sunny met the love interest that I was sure she was going to. As the book progressed, and Sunny's feelings towards Jack changed, I found myself disliking Reyes more and more, and wasn't surprised when some truths about him came out.
The age thing in Sunset Rising was a little bit odd, but in a good can-see-how-this-society-is-bad kind of way. In the pit, where Sunny lived, there was an age limit, after which the people living there were culled. Even ignoring the barbaric tradition (which led to a brilliantly created dystopia), children were forced to work from 12 and were often married by 17 (Sunny mentions she's old to be unmarried and that's how old she is). However because of what they went through, Sunny and the other pit teenagers, all came across as older. And when I discovered how old Crystal was...well I was shocked, but it worked to progress the story.
The dystopia was well constructed. It had two main parts, the Pit and the Dome. Both had their own version of society, and both had people within them wanting change. Most of the events happened in the Pits, but Jack, a Dome resident, played an important role in the story.
I liked Jack, he was a good character. And it was also refreshing to have him think the things start from his end and not the end of the oppressed people. Sorry, that was intentionally cryptic, I don't want to ruin anything!
This was a great read, would definitely recommend it to anyone that likes dystopias!