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Out of the Blue

Italian book blogger. Loves Jane Austen, ice cream, and the colour blue.

Sunset Rising

Sunset Rising - S.M. McEachern Copy received for review for book tour with Enchanted Book Promotions.

Argh the final cliffhanger is *mean*.
Where's the next book in the series??

In 2024, nuclear war breaks out. A group of civilians discover a secret government bio-dome. They are grudgingly admitted entry, but at a high price. In 2307, Sunset (Sunny) O'Donnell is a seventeen-year-old girl living in the Pit. Like her, the descendants of the civilians who came to the Dome live a life of slavery and are culled (executed) at thirty-five. Sunny works in the kitchens and has delayed her wedding to Reyes in order to take care of her ailing father.

One evening, Sunny is ordered to serve in a bachelor party for the Bourge, the people who live in luxury in the Dome. There, she catches the eye of Leisel Holt, the president's daughter, and her fiancé Jack Kenner. Leisel is worried that someone might kill her during the wedding ceremony. So she comes up with a plan: Sunny will wear a bullet-proof vest and pose as the bride. The plan, however, goes horribly wrong.

Jack and Sunny are now forced into hiding and working together to save their lives. They also want to provide better living conditions for the people in the Pit. Sunny had never imagined she would start a rebellion.

Sunset Rising starts out slow, but then the pacing picks up. The dystopian plot is not terribly original (nuclear war, survivors living in a dome, the rich vs the poor), and the characters are not fully explored, save for the two protagonists Sunny and Jake.

Sunny is a determined heroine. After losing her mother to the Cull, she know sher has to take care of her grief-stricken father. Her boyfriend Reyes, however, is not happy with having to postpone their wedding again. They've been bethroted to each other for four years, and with a life span of only thirty-five, seventeen is almost too old to find a new wife. People in the Pit are practically slaves in the coal mines, kitchens, laudry, and sewage: they work for a measly salary, are fed leftovers, and are often beaten if their work is not satisfactory. It's necessary to be married in order to qualify for your own apartment.

The Domers are strictly controlling the population in the Pit, as they have grown from the initial 300 to almost 30,000. I wonder how that might work, though: in 2024, the general complains that with the civilians' arrival there are now additional three hundred people in the dome, and there might not be room and resources for everyone. Then how could 30,000 people fit in the same space?

The government in the Dome is a democracy only by name. The power has been seized by a general, who is now a dictator passing the title to his children. It's not clear how this situation came to be so easily, since when people started to fill the dome, there was a democratically elected president. Did people forget so promptly what a democracy was? Or did they have to accept the situation because it was the only alternative to getting killed? The survivors are forced to live in the Dome because as a result of the nuclear war, the air outside is toxic and would poison human beings. Does this mean the entire world population outside of the Dome died? This is not clear, although one would assume so.

The book ends in a terribly mean cliffhanger. Seriously, I could not believe that was the last page of the book. I need the second book in the series, like, yesterday.