Thursday, May 11, 2017

Book Review: Sunset Rising (Sunset Rising #1) by S.M. McEachern

Hey Guys, I thought it might be cool to start posting some reviews of books that I am reading.  I like non-fluff fiction stuff (A Prayer for Owen Meany for example), fantasy, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, etc.  

However, I also like total fluff stuff that just let’s me get wrapped up in a simple, exciting story, and doesn’t strain the brain.  If I compared it to movies or TV, I would say I can appreciate and enjoy watching some of the important Academy Award winning films.  BUT, I also really appreciate a good episode (or binge Netflix marathon) of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Not the movie though, the TV Series.  The movie was terrible.   

I just finished Sunset Rising by S.M. McEachern.  This is a "flufff" book, not deep fiction.  First 1/3 of the book is sort of slow.  I feel like there is a lot of telling.  So far the villains are a little cartoonish.  I imagine President Holt with a Hitler mustache.  It’s a dystopian YA with romance.  Girl accidentally gets put into a position to save her world, but needs the help of an extremely attractive man to help her.  Typically, right up my alley.

I typically don’t mind minor grammatical errors because if the plot and characters are engrossing enough, my mind sort of skips over them subconsciously correcting as I fly along.  However, that has not been the case.  I can’t tell you for sure if it is because there are so many of them, or if the plot and characters haven’t sucked me in yet or both.  So far, I’m a little...

And for the rest of the book… it picks up in the 2/3 of the way in, a little.  There is more character
development.  Unfortunately, the best character development is with a secondary character and not the main character.  We get to know her through her actions and other’s responses to them versus her telling us what to think of her in the book.  I wanted more of that for the main character, Sunny.  For example, she keeps saying that her boyfriend always wants her to be someone else and she keeps trying to be someone else, but we are never shown that in the beginning of the book. It’s like the difference between a stranger you met while at the doctor’s office telling you that her boyfriend always wants her to be different than she is versus your good friend complaining about her over controlling boyfriend.  With the stranger, you’re like, “Okay, if you say so.  I mean, he seems cool to me, but if you say so who am I to argue?  Plus, I don’t really care.” While with your friend, your like, “You need to kick his ass to the curb.  You can do much better than that." In fact, her boyfriend at the beginning of the book seems to really love her, and he shows it by doing something really nice for her, so I’m confused as to whom to believe.  

Second underdeveloped character is the main squeeze.  Don’t get me wrong.  He is described as handsome.  He responds with compassion to the plight of the people in the Pit.  He is honest and doesn’t play games (something that gets really tiresome in YA books - this doesn’t have that), an all around really great, no perfect, guy.  And….that’s the problem.  She basically fell in love with a kick-ass Kennedy, but a Kennedy with no complications.  No edges.  But, I do like him (because there isn’t really anything to dislike.)  

So, I give it three stars.  It’s “meh”.  I’m not mad I read it.  There are two more in the series.  I am on the fence as to whether or not to read them.  I kind of feel like if I stumbled upon a review with spoilers and found out who happened, I would know enough to not bother with reading the other two. So far, the first book borrows a little from Cinder (for the two main characters), Hunger Games, and Divergent (for the plot).  If you have nothing else burning to be read, and you want a light easy, low investment read, then this may interest you.  Although I would say I found all three of those more entertaining than this.  I do want to give a shout out on the cover.  Wow.  

I will add, because there was a marked difference in the second half of the book for the better, I would give this author another chance.  I definitely feel like there is potential there for really engaging characters and story.   

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