The Sandcastle Empire REVIEW

TITLE: The Sandcastle Empire

AUTHOR: Kayla Olson


TRIGGER WARNING: Racism, Murder, Death.

WHERE DID I RECEIVE THIS?: HarperCollinsNZ sent this to me in exchange for an honest review!

PAGES: 464

GENRE: Dystopian


​Before the war, Eden’s life was easy. Then the revolution happened, and everything changed.

Now a powerful group called the Wolfpack controls the earth and its resources. And even though Eden has lost everything to them, she refuses to die by their hands. She knows the coordinates to the only neutral ground left in the world, a place called Sanctuary Island, and she is desperate to escape to its shores.

Eden finally reaches the island and meets others resistant to the Wolves. But the solace is short-lived when one of Eden’s new friends goes missing. Braving the jungle in search of their lost ally, they quickly discover Sanctuary is filled with lethal traps and an enemy they never expected.

This island might be deadlier than the world Eden left behind, but surviving it is the only thing that stands between her and freedom.


I didn’t hate this, nor did I love it. While the premise of this novel will stick with me for quite a while, but the characters and some other aspects of the novel won’t really stick with me at all.
The sandcastle empire is a dystopian novel following the main character Eden, as she at first tries to escape the ‘wolves’ a group of people who now rule Northern America with an iron fist, taking people and turning them into servants who work and are given no freedom. Then once she manages to escape Texas, she begins her journey of attempting to find a long lost island that offers sanctuary from the war.
The premise was amazing, this beautiful island with a temple that had hidden monks inside who would welcome anyone who came peacefully to look for a sanctuary. But how it was executed was okay, but not amazing.
Personally, I never really connected with any of the characters, while I found a few had some good dimension and were well built. I just couldn’t love them nor really find much interest for them. My favourite had to be Edens father, because he did so many things for the greater good, but never did evil things. But besides him, I really won’t remember any characters.
My favourite parts of this novel, was the setting. The island was described beautifully and there was such depth to the location that I could really tell that the author had sat down and really planned out what the island would look like, and what it would hold.
The plot and world building were like polar opposites for me, I loved the world building, how the evil people came to be, and why. But I wasn’t interested in the plot, of needing to save the world and the age old trope that only they can save the world.
Overall, I enjoyed my time reading this, and I’m glad I did because originally the cover enticed me and now I’m very glad I read it, for being introduced to this unique plot, but I don’t think I will remember it.
Until next time,

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