The Sandcastle Empire

Kayla Olson. HarperTeen, $17.99 (464p) ISBN 978-0-06-248487-1
Questions of justice, privilege, and inequity hang over Olson’s smart, fast-paced debut, set in a near-future Earth racked by climate devastation and war. Seventeen-year-old Eden lost everything, including her father, when citizens calling themselves the Wolfpack took over in a populist uprising amid planet-transforming floods. Eden and others now work in gulags, suffering daily indignities from the brutal Wolves. Following a bloody battle, Eden makes a break for it, setting sail along with three fellow runaways. They head for the fabled refuge of Sanctuary Island, but upon arrival it appears to be deserted. After they locate a temple full of deadly traps, and a trio of boys arrives on the island, Eden discovers that her newfound safety is fleeting at best. Eden, who narrates, is both brave and aware of her flaws. 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 and the potential for more to come. Ages 14–up. Agent: Holly Root and Taylor Haggerty, Root Literary. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/29/2017
Release date: 06/01/2017
Genre: Children's
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-268332-8
Compact Disc - 978-1-5384-1940-3
Ebook - 464 pages - 978-0-06-248489-5
MP3 CD - 978-1-5384-1942-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-5384-1941-0
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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