Review: Sunset Rising-S.M. McEachern


cooltext1889161239 copyDesperate 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 Book One of a trilogy. The next two books are: Worlds Collide (Book Two) published March 2014; and New World Order (Book Three) published January 2015.

cooltext1889171582 copy3.5/5 Stars

***I received this book as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Clownfish Publishing.

Sunset Rising is a gripping, dystopian adventure. With just the right blend of thrills, chills (the sexy kind) and courage, Sunset Rising is a tantalizing thrill ride. 


  • Sunny O’Donnell is an accidental badass. She’s fierce without even knowing it. She is incredibly brave, she takes risks, and fights for what she believes is right. Sunny can’t stand the injustice in the world and goes out of her way to help those in need, no matter their social standing. Though not without prejudice, Sunny has the fire to spark a revolution and the friends to do it. Sunny is honest, quick-witted, a thinker who plots ingenious meetings to help her people escape the Pit. Her loyalty and compassion are compelling, you can’t help but adore her and hope for her success. Plus, the girl can throw a mean punch. 
  • The Cull, the division between classes, the slavery and total control by the elite screams injustice. You’ll be angry, sickened, and pity these unfortunate souls whose lives are taken from them by a hideous ultimatum made hundreds of years ago. The world is elaborate, creative, well-plotted and distinct. You can picture everything and the abusive nature of the guards is especially graphic. 
  • An unexpected twist that will leave you reeling. Did not expect that.
  • Leisel is evil, manipulative, sadistic. A disgusting, perfect actress and that makes her a wonderful villain. It’s easy to loathe her, but her character is fantastic.
  • Jack Kenner is a snob but a sexy one. Jack is hard to love, at first, but grows on you. He’s patriotic, driven, smart, and crazy hot. Between his martial arts skills and his passion for the cause, he’s sort of addictive. Jack is also a sweetheart, he grows and learns, and with the help of Sunny, opens his heart and eyes to reality. 


  • The ease in which Sunny and Jack avoid repercussions was far-fetched and stretching. While the aura of risk is still there, the adrenaline rush of fear is strangely absent. 
  • Some secondary characters were forgettable and a little cliché. Sunny’s boyfriend Reyes and his sidekicks were a big example. His jealousy and anger were a distraction and took away from Sunny’s character. It was hard to see why she chose him other than out of necessity.
  • The ending was abrupt and resolved too quickly.

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cooltext1754437870 copy


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