Wednesday 2 August 2023

The Stranded by Sarah Daniels Blog Tour

 I've always been a fan of young adult books, whether that be coming of age stories, romances, but especially when they are more fantasy or dystopian.

What Sarah Daniels has created with her novel The Stranded is a mixture of all of the above!


Welcome to the Arcadia.

Once a luxurious cruise ship, it became a refugee camp after being driven from Europe by an apocalyptic war. Now it floats near the coastline of the Federated States - a leftover piece of a fractured USA.

For forty years, residents of the Arcadia have been prohibited from making landfall. It is a world of extreme haves and have nots, gangs and make-shift shelters.

Esther is a loyal citizen, working flat-out to have the rare chance to live a normal life as a medic on dry land. Nik is a rebel, planning something big to liberate the Arcadia once and for all.

When events throw them both together, their lives, and the lives of everyone on the ship, will change forever . . .

Being part of the blog tour, I was lucky enough to be sent both books in the series (keep an eye out for my review of The Exiled) and you better believe I read them with a real speed, and that's because this was a storyline I could really sink my teeth into.

I'll be honest, the story started off at a slower pace.

I guess it eased me into what was to come.

Set on The Arcadia, a ship essentially stranded on the ocean, kept there for decades to keep its inhabitancies safe from a 'deadly contagion'.

But those people have had enough of waiting for things on land to become safe again and the rebels are about to fight back.

We are treated to three POV throughout the novel: Nik who's main focus is to help with the increasing rebellion, Esther who is unaware of the problems, she's simply trying to study and become an experienced medic and it wouldn't be right if we didn't have the views of the apparent baddie, Hadley.

I loved the mix of characters, the author did a fabulous job of making me doubt each and every one of their intentions. Were they there to help or were they doing things for purely selfish reasons?

And I did mention at the beginning that there was a bit of romance.

Personally I was shipping Nik and Esther before there was even a possibility of them starting to like each other.

If you wanted to compare The Stranded to other books then you'll be looking at series like The Hunger Games and Divergent.

A good mix of action, drama and the usual teenage angst.

You can see how this was based on events which arose from the covid pandemic but Daniels has written with detail, the world building was expertly done and although more dystopian/sci-fi because of the comparisons to real life (think the Diamond Princess), it all felt highly believable which made it all the more terrifying to read.

Chaotic and charismatic, I'd love to see this on the big screen. 

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