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The Sandcastle Empire    by Kayla Olson order for
Sandcastle Empire
by Kayla Olson
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2017 (2017)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
*   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

The Sandcastle Empire feels like many other YA dystopians, but Kayla Olson still has managed to create a unique story. After a revolution, the world has been taken over by five kingpins who control the Wolfpack. Everyone else has been forced into camps.

Eden, an orphan, manages to escape during an uprising. She finds herself on a boat with three other girls, with only her father's notebook to guide her to Sanctuary, a mythical island free of the Wolfpack. However, once they arrive, things are not as Eden anticipated. Dangers are around every corner, and no one and nothing is what they seem. Eden's world is about to get flipped, even more than it did after the revolution.

The Sandcastle Empire has a lot going on. The plot travels linearly, broken into very distinct parts, although the novel itself is not. The character development, though, is not as smooth. In fact, while Eden learns a lot about the others around her, there is not much change to her at all, which is uncommon in YA literature.

The end also leaves a little to be desired. It does not set anything up for future books, but it also does not seem a strong, definite ending. I am curious to see if Kayla Olson planned this as a standalone, or if there is more to come.

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