Tag Archives: Dystopia

{Review} Crimson Ash by Haley Sulich

36572385Crimson Ash by Haley Sulich

Paperback, 374 pages

Expected publication: May 10th 2018 by Write Plan

~Rating: 5/5 stars~


You may live as a soldier or face death. Choose wisely.

Solanine Lucille wants her little sister back. Eight years ago, the government kidnapped her sister Ember, stole her memories, and transformed her into a soldier. But Solanine refuses to give up. Now that she and her fiancé have located the leader of a rebel group, she believes she can finally bring Ember home. But then the soldiers raid the rebels, killing her fiancé and leaving Solanine alone with her demons and all the weapons needed for revenge.

After raiding a rebel camp, sixteen-year-old Ember doesn’t understand why killing some boy bothers her. She’s a soldier—she has killed hundreds of people without remorse. But after she fails a mission, the rebels hold her hostage and restore her memories. Ember recognizes her sister among the rebels and realizes the boy she killed was Solanine’s fiancé.

Ember knows she can’t hide the truth forever, but Solanine has secrets too.

As their worlds clash, the two sisters must decide if their relationship is worth fighting for. And one wrong move could destroy everything—and everyone—in their path.


*a copy was provided by NetGalley*

I’m sooo excited to review this! Crimson Ash by Haley Sulich is such an amazing, unique book! It is a fun but dark read. So prepare for angst and a lot of emotion. The book moves fast. From the first chapter on, there are surprises that you don’t see coming mixed with themes of dealing with depression, loss and self blame while learning on how to deal with all of those.
I literally devoured this book in one day. My only regret is that it’s over!!

This book grips you from the moment you read that first page. The world building is crazy; it’s dark and twisted and dangerous and incredibly imaginative with the technological advances the author has thought up.

It’s the year 2065 and a virus called the Devil’s Dream has wiped out almost the whole human race. No one particularity knows the source of the virus, because it spread so incredibly fast. Those affected by the virus are soldiers. These soldiers search the Earth for human survivors and give them the Choice to take part in the new society and live or die. Ember,. one of the main characters, is one of these soldiers, while her sister Solanine still roams the Earth freely. Solanine’s ultimate goal is save and free her sister from the soldiers, in order to do this Solanine joins Nightshade and her rebels in their war against evil.

The sisters are both still teens, but instead of being whiney and way too perfect girls, these two have real issues and real struggles that actually fit within the storyline. Their story is filled with death and destruction and their mental health, naturally, shows it. These characters are some of the most complex I’ve read. They often make difficult choices and the author does a great job of making you understand why they make those choices and what they must learn as a result. They are all on a path to healing in some way and the author creates their arcs in a way that feels real and satisfying by the end of the story.

I wish some of the side characters were expanded more upon and some of the battles were more elaborate. There’s advanced technology being used, which is great, but no explanation as to how it is possible that this technology is available less than 50 years from now after the world has succumbed to a very deathly virus. There’s also an element of mind control but it’s not clear if this is all advanced technology or something else.

But overall, this book is a unique, roller-coaster dystopian. A must read! I highly recommend it!


Haley Sulich~Author Bio~

Haley Sulich lives in Minnesota. Growing up, she hated to read or write books and would rather play video games. However, towards the end of junior high, she began to develop a passion for reading and writing while she was struggling with severe depression. All of her story ideas stem from her past and mental illness, which create darker themes in her books. Since then, she has written multiple sci-fi novels and short horror stories, become a Wattpad Featured Author, and founded the Write Plan book editing and publishing company.

When Sulich isn’t writing, she likes watching horror movies, paintballing, knife throwing, photography, and eating ice cream (which is half of her diet).

She also blogs about books at

Twitter | Website | Goodreads


Happy Reading!



Posted by on February 12, 2018 in Ana's Bookshelf, ARC, Review


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Teaser Tuesday (#52)


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by So Many Books So Little Time. Anyone can do it.  All you have to do is: (1): Grab your current read. (2): Open it to a random page. (3): Share 1 or 2 “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.  BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!! (4): Make sure you also mention the author and title.



Cress by Marissa Meyer

Goodreads Button with Shadow


“Maybe there isn’t such a thing as fate. Maybe it’s just the opportunities we’re given, and what we do with them. I’m beginning to think that maybe great, epic romances don’t just happen. We have to make them ourselves.”


“Do you think it was destiny that brought us together?”
He squinted and, after a thoughtful moment, shook his head. “No. I’m pretty sure it was Cinder.”


“It’s beautiful out there.”
A hesitation, before, “Could you be more specific?”
“The sky is gorgeous, intense blue color.” She pressed her fingers to the glass and traced the wavy hills on the horizon.
“Oh, good. You’ve really narrowed it down for me.”
“I’m sorry, it’s just…” She tried to stamp down the rush of emotion. “I think we’re in a desert.”
“Cactuses and tumbleweeds?”
“No just a lot of sand. It’s kind of orangish-gold, with hints of pink, and I can see tiny clouds of it floating above the ground, like…like smoke.”
“Piles up in lots of hills?”
“Yes, exactly! And it’s beautiful.”
Thorne snorted. “If this is how you feel about a desert, I can’t wait until you see your first real tree. Your mind will explode.”



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Teaser Tuesday (#51)


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by So Many Books So Little Time. Anyone can do it.  All you have to do is: (1): Grab your current read. (2): Open it to a random page. (3): Share 1 or 2 “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.  BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!! (4): Make sure you also mention the author and title.


Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2)

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Goodreads Button with Shadow


“I knew they would kill me when they found out, but…” He struggled for words, releasing a sharp breath. “I think I realized that I would rather die because I betrayed them, than live because I betrayed you.”


“She sighed, annoyed at her restlessness. “So,” she said, disrupting Wolf in another backward glance.
“Who would win in a fight—you or a pack of wolves?”
He frowned at her, all seriousness. “Depends,” he said, slowly, like he was trying to figure out her motive for asking. “How big is the pack?”
“I don’t know, what’s normal? Six?”
“I could win against six,” he said. “Any more than that and it could be a close call.”
Scarlet smirked. “You’re not in danger of low self-esteem, at least.”
“What do you mean?”
“Nothing at all.” She kicked a stone from their path. “How about you and … a lion?”
“A cat? Don’t insult me.”
She laughed, the sound sharp and surprising. “How about a bear?”
“Why, do you see one out there?”
“Not yet, but I want to be prepared in case I have to rescue you.”
The smile she’d been waiting for warmed his face, a glint of white teeth flashing. “I’m not sure. I’ve never had to fight a bear before.”


“Kai neared his desk again, seeing that the fugitive’s profile had been transferred to the screen. His frown deepened. Perhaps not dangerous, but young and inarguably good-looking. His prison photo showed him flippantly winking at the camera. Kai hated him immediately.”



Posted by on December 12, 2017 in Teaser Tuesday


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Waiting on Wednesday ~ Siege of Shadows by Sarah Raughley


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event on my blog; So Many Books So Little Time, which spotlights highly anticipating upcoming new releases.  Usually posted on Wednesdays.

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:


Siege of Shadows by Sarah Raughley

Hardcover, 448 pages

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Dystopia

Expected publication: November 21st 2017 by Simon Pulse


Not when you’re an Effigy. No matter where they go, Maia and the other Effigies can’t escape the eyes of the press—especially not after failing to capture Saul, whose power to control the monstrous Phantoms has left the world in a state of panic. It’s been two months since Saul’s disappearance, and there’s still no sign of him, leaving the public to wonder whether the Sect—and the Effigies—are capable of protecting anyone.

When Saul suddenly surfaces in the middle of the Sahara desert, the Sect sends Maia and her friends out after him. But instead of Saul, they discover a dying soldier engineered with Effigy-like abilities. Even worse, there may be more soldiers like him out there, and it looks like the Effigies are their prime targets.

Yet the looming danger of Saul and this mysterious new army doesn’t overshadow Maia’s fear of the Sect, who ordered the death of the previous Fire Effigy, Natalya. With enemies on all sides and the world turning against them, the Effigies have to put their trust in each other—easier said than done when secrets threaten to tear them apart.


What are you waiting on?


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Teaser Tuesday (#49)


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by So Many Books So Little Time. Anyone can do it.  All you have to do is: (1): Grab your current read. (2): Open it to a random page. (3): Share 1 or 2 “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.  BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!! (4): Make sure you also mention the author and title.



Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Goodreads Button with Shadow


“My only mistake was in waiting too long to be rid of you”, Adri said, running the washcloth between her fingers. “Believe me, Cinder. You are a sacrifice I will never regret.”


‘Kai cleared his throat. Stood straighter. “I assume you are going to the ball?”
“I-I don’t know. I mean, no. No, I’m sorry, I’m not going to the ball.”
Kai drew back, confused. “Oh well… but… maybe you would change your mind? Because I am, you know.”
“The prince.”
“Not bragging,” he said quickly. “Just a fact.”


“Mirrors have an uncanny way of telling the truth.”


“You yourself said there will be horrible consequences if she doesn’t get what she wants. I am not worth starting a war over.” His eyes brightened behind the spectacles. He looked young for a moment, almost giddy. “Actually, you are.”



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2nd Annual End of Year Book Survey – 2013 Edition!

1. Best Book You Read In 2013?

Dystopian: Mind Games by Kiersen White Paranormal: In Too Deep by Brandy L. Rivers Contemporary: Slammed by Colleen Hoover Fantasy:Fallen by Lauren Kate New Adult: Thoughtless/Effortless/Reckless by S.C. Stephens

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Crusade by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie 

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?

Cinder  by Marissa Meyers

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2013?

Thoughtless/Effortless/Reckless by S.C Stephens, and Timeless/Timekeeper by Alexandra Monir

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

Thoughtless Series by S.C Stephens

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2013?

S.C Stephens, Colleen Hoover, Eden Bradly, Sylvia Day

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green because that book is amazing and I tend to stick to paranormal or dystopian or fantasy books.

9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:

Reckless by S.C Stephens

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?

The Legend of the Blue Eyes (Blue Eyes Trilogy, #1) Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2) A Shimmer of Angels (Angel Sight, #1)

Tie between The Legend of the Blue Eyes by B. Kristin McMichael, Walking disaster by Jamie McGuire, T and A Shimmer of Angels by Lisa M. Basso

11. Most memorable character in 2013?

Kellan Kyle >>Reckless by S.C Stephens

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire 

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?

Slammed by Coleen Hoover and The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?

Entwined With You by Sylvia Day

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013? 

Do I have to pick one?

“I never thought of myself as anything but plain and ordinary until you came along. The way you look at me, the way you see me . . . you pull something out of me. When I want to hide, you urge me forward. When I think I’m not good enough, you make me believe I am. When I feel anything but pretty, you convince me I’m beautiful. Just being around you makes me feel special. You don’t think you’re good at loving people, but you are. Your friends, your family . . . the level of love that you have for people astounds me. You don’t think people love you back, but they do. They fiercely love you. I fiercely love you. I’ve never met anyone as passionate as you, as kindhearted as you . . . as amazing as you. You love with every fiber of your soul. You inspire me every day. And if you’ll agree to be my husband, I’ll do my best to make you proud of me, to inspire you.””

Reckless by S.C Stephens

“I wanted to tell her. Jesus, did I ever want to mouth the words, but I could barely admit it to myself, much less her. Deep down, I knew I was a piece of shit, and she deserved better, but that was also the one thing that stopped me. She was my opposite: innocent on the surface, and damaged deep within. There was something about her I needed in my life, and even though I wasn’t sure what it was, I couldn’t give into my bad habits and fuck it up.”

Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire

“I guessed that the rose tattoo was a possible clue, given its place over his heart. Most of the ink on his arms consisted of symbols and intricate motifs, and I wondered if any of these were his own design. He shifted onto his back then, and I could finally read the words on his left side:“I guessed that the rose tattoo was a possible clue, given its place over his heart. Most of the ink on his arms consisted of symbols and intricate motifs, and I wondered if any of these were his own design. He shifted onto his back then, and I could finally read the words on his left side:

Love is not the absence of logic but logic examined and recalculated heated and curved to fit inside the contours of the heart ” 

Easy by Tammara Webber

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

Longest: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolsoy (963 pages)

Shortest: Get There by Meghan Hart (65 pges)

17. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc)

Kellan Kyle and Keira Allen Michelson from Reckless by S.C Stephens

18. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You Read Previously

Exposed (Just One Night, Part 2) by Kyra Davis

19. Best Book You Read That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:

Forbidden Fruit by Eden Bradley

20. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?

Erotica/ Contemporary Romance

21. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?

Will Cooper from Slammed by Colleen Hoover

22. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?

The Faerie Guardian/ The Guardian Prince by Rachel Morgan

23. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?

Bloodmark by Aurora Whittet

24. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?

Slammed by Colleen Hoover and Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire


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Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth

Divergent (Divergent, #1)
Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth
Rating: 3.7/5 Stars
In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself. During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves… or it might destroy her. Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.
Any book that arrives heavily hyped usually has a ton of marketing power behind it. Sure, there are critical reviews to consider, but these days consumers are more aware than ever of the dollars at stake behind book and film negotiations. Which means that there’s a lot of pressure riding on any book to live up to its promise, particularly one that comes from a 23-year-old author who has already landed a 3-book deal and signed away the movie rights. After so many big dollar and wearisome projects such as Halo or Matched, it’s a pleasure to find that every once in awhile, there’s a good reason behind the fanfare. Divergent is the fast-paced, action-packed story of 16-year-old Tris, who comes from one of the five factions in a dystopian Chicago. She must choose one of the factions–Candor (honesty), Abnegation (selflessness), Dauntless (bravery), Amity (peacefulness), or Erudite (intelligence)–to live in and serve for the remainder of her life. Tris makes the decision to leave her old faction, Abenegation, in favor of Dauntless, and the majority of the book focuses on the dangerous trials that the new initiates must endure in order to find out whether they qualify to stay. Failure means living a factionless life–or death. The very concept of the novel, however, asks that readers accept a fairly rigid framework for the story. This idea that human beings would sublimate their natural instincts to live in a society where a single virtue is promoted is pretty farfetched; it reminds me of various Star Trek alien races known for a single prevailing characteristic, but at least they are also usually presented along with certain instincts and behaviors that made sense. The division between the factions here doesn’t really serve much of a purpose, and is simply explained away as people who chose a lifestyle based on differences in philosophy. Even within the factions, the doctrines don’t really hold up under scrutiny–members of Dauntless, for example, are forever indulging in reckless, pointless exercises that are more about posturing than about testing their mettle. But the thing is, the book is really fun to read. Most of the trials are pretty well thought-out, with scene after scene of nerve-wracking physical and mental tests. I liked the interplay between Tris’ fellow initiates, who cautiously bond with each other but also have to look on each other as rivals, and I liked the mysterious and attractive Four, as well as the way her family members’ characters eventually revealed themselves. Tris herself I had a harder time connecting to, as she’s physically very capable but mentally and emotionally it’s more difficult to say whether she belongs on my “butt-kicking heroines” shelf. Some of her actions also ended up being more self-centered than I expected, mostly because I think the author was trying to show the change in Tris’ morphing from Abegnation to Dauntless. But she and Four also make a huge tactical error at a crucial scene late in the book, which negates both Dauntless’ philosophy and their training. I’m also not sure that several of the deaths later in the book had the appropriate emotional impact, though there were several other scenes that made me yelp. Let’s just say that I gave my knife some pretty fishy looks at the dinner table last night. Still, I had a really good time reading this book, and there’s a lot to be said for books that are just plain entertaining. Many of my fellow readers have major issues with the world-building and the plot holes, and I can’t say that I disagree with most of the criticisms I’ve seen. It’s certainly not in the same category as The Hunger Games; it’s closer to light entertainers such as Blood Red Road or Legend, but I think we often do ourselves a disservice when we endlessly make those kinds of comparisons. It’s always important to read with a critical eye–and it’s true that with more attention to detail, this book might have been even better–but I don’t feel that getting hung up on criticism or comparisons should get in the way of enjoying a book when so many of the other elements do work well. For me, the positives of this adventure outweigh the negatives and in the end, Divergent is still loads of fun to read. I’m looking forward to seeing where the story goes next!
-Kathy @SMBSLT
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Posted by on September 27, 2013 in Friend Reviews


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