Tuesday, 24 December 2019


I have seen this one described as being perfect for lovers of Divergent, The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner will be blown away by the breathtaking new series 
from USA Today best-selling author Tamar Sloan 
and award-winning author Heidi Catherine.

Title: Burning
Series: After The Thaw
Author: Tamar Sloan & Heidi Catherine
Genre: Sci-Fi, YA, Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic
Publisher: Sequel House
Release Date: 13th November 2019

BLURB from Goodreads
Only the chosen shall breed.

In a new world isolated by a rising, toxic sea, a single bridge connects Askala to the Outlands. Those who remain will need to pass a Proving to determine if they have the intelligence and heart to champion the future of their broken Earth.

Those who succeed will become Bound, the ones chosen to breed.

Those who fail, are Unbound. Free of responsibility, but robbed of their ability to bear children.

Four young lives are born into this world. Magnus and Callix, two brothers determined to uphold this new order. Two brothers in love with the same girl.

Amity, the one who must make the impossible choice.

And Mercy, the girl who no one sees, but sees it all.

As a new threat to Askala emerges, secrets will be revealed and the fight for survival will become their biggest challenge yet.

Life is fragile. Love will refuse to be denied.

Sacrifice will be inevitable.


I saw the cover first and felt immediately drawn to find out more. Upon reading the blurb I knew I didn’t just “want” to read it, I had to read it! I love the dystopian & post-apocalyptic genres so this series instantaneously had me adding it to my “must read” list!

The cover, is bright and attractive and when reading the book, you learn about the bird and its relevance to the characters and their survival. The title fits the book perfectly. Its significance is revealed in the latter part of the prequel. I love a prequel, especially for dystopian & post-apocalyptic series as you learn the basics of the society and discover the world the characters have to live in. This prequel certainly delivers everything you need to know to make you desperate to read the rest of the series.

The book is set after the world has basically gone under what I would describe as climate change. Maybe a prophetic look into the future is we don’t clean up our acts in the world we live in now.
The sea levels have risen, taken back some of the land that people lived on and it is also has become toxic for anyone unlucky enough to find themselves in it for any length of time. Also, in the sea making it even more dangerous are the animal the Aksala people call “leatherskins.”
All those that live in the Oasis have to go through a testing process that takes seven days and consists of three different tests which is called the “Proving”.  After the testing is finished, they are presented with a chip that is placed into their hand. They then attend the Announcement Ceremony in front of family, friends both Bound and Unbound where it is revealed what they are, where they will be living, and what the future holds for them. They have to move their hand with the chip above a box with two compartments. Only one compartment will open, one side is empty, which means you are unbound, the other contains a ring, meaning you are bound.   

All announcement ceremonies are special to those in them and their families but every twenty years the High Bound retire and hand over their responsibilities to the next generation. Anyone that has become Bound in the last twenty years can take part to see if they are destined to become High Bound.

The “Unbound” live a single life, some would say carefree life on the upper floors of the Oasis. The Unbound seem to live a carefree life, taken care of by the Bound who consider it their duty to look after them.

The “Bound” who are expected to save the earth for the future generations that they must go on to breed. If you are not a “Bound” you are not allowed to have children. Once you are Bound you are expected to pair up with someone and start having children to keep Askala populated. It is the Bound that are in charge of guarding their home perimeter and preventing violent remnants from gaining access to the Oasis.

Then there’s the highest of the society, the “High Bound” who make all the decisions for their people, from how they live, to dealing with banishments and deciding who if anyone from the outside can join their settlement. Those from outside Askala are known as “Remnants” and have to prove themselves before being allowed to join those living in Askala. However, should a remnant manage to sneak their way into Askala and step foot on their land they then have an automatic right to stay.

There’s certainly lots going on in this prequel, remnants needing to be dealt with when they become violent, remnants that throw their child into the toxic see and one bound female cannot fight the urge to attempt to rescue the child despite knowing the risks of entering the toxic ocean. On the romance front there’s one bound female caught in a love triangle between two bound brothers, one brother loves her, but she loves the other brother. Who will she end up settling down with to perform her duty of having children? There is also a couple with a rather large secret, the poor female bound feels her only option is to settle with the male as if not he will reveal her devastating secret. Someone meddles with the only source of food with nutrients with disastrous consequences.
Then we have a banishment of a member of the Askala society, something that is done with a heavy heart for all concerned.

Characters I adored were Kimina, Amity, Magnus and Thea. The character I enjoyed disliking was Ronan! I don’t think he has finished disrupting things yet. Talking of possible future disruptions or problems I am also wary of Callix and Mercy. Could they end up causing problems for the High Bound to sort out.

I knew at around 36% that I was hooked into this book, its different levels of society with its strange rules and expectations was going to be a highly addictive read for me. The traditions and rules of this society have been really well thought out. The “Proving” really fits what the whole testing is about, as it is proving your worth to society, and reveals whether you are considered worthy enough to procreate. I really had to try hard not to whizz through this prequel. I had to make a conscious effort to read it slower. It’s certainly a story worth savouring! I also enjoyed the historic elements with the beached luxury ship called Oasis being in Alaska where the climate should be cold, but had changed beyond all recognition. This luxury ship has now quite literally become the Oasis of those survivors, their chance at survival. I also thought the play on names was brilliant, with the new colony of survivors calling their settlement Askala. I kept looking at the word Askala and thinking why it looked sort of familiar.

My immediate thoughts upon finishing this prequel were
Wow! Love the great world building. Adored Magnus, who is so unassuming. He thinks all the responsibility and important roles and work will be given to his elder brother Callix. Callix is simmering when it becomes clear all that he had hoped for is going to his younger brother, even the girl he loves and wanted to have a family with.
When I finished reading the Prequel, I had a few thoughts about what may be ahead, but then saw that there were bonus chapters available to download and read, sort of like an epilogue. These bonus chapters were interesting to read and yet manage to pose more questions for you to contemplate. I liked meeting the High Bound’s children, the next generation and catching up with the relationships that were still fairly new at the end of the prequel.
Though I did finish reading it with loads of questions and thoughts about what could happen next for the different characters. I mean what a cliff hanger at the very end! What has been changed? What was about to happen? When can I read more? Will those with secrets be found out? It also made me wonder how far in advance, or how much time will have elapsed between the end of the Burning bonus chapters and the beginning of the next book in the series.

So, to sum up I loved it! And when can I read more?

Oh and I never thought I would say this but I loved it more than Divergent & Maze Runner too! I also thoroughly enjoyed the bonus chapters and behind the scenes novella's too!

So after reading and love, love, loving Burning I wanted/needed to know more about the rest of the series, so I thought I would share what I found with you too, just in case you read Burning and become addicted to wanting to read more of the series as I instantly felt!

Title: Rising
Series: After The Thaw
Author: Tamar Sloan & Heidi Catherine
Genre: Sci-Fi, YA, Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic
Publisher: Sequel House
Release Date: 3rd January 2020

BLURB from Goodreads
Four tests. Seven days. Nine teens.

Only the chosen shall breed.

Humans now live in a super greenhouse. Seas have risen. Oceans have acidified. And the fight for resources is deadly. To ensure nothing of this magnitude ever happens again, only those with enough intelligence and heart will earn the right to bear children and heal the earth.

Nine teens must face the tests of the Proving to decide who will be Bound to this new order. Four of them will challenge the system in ways even they can’t imagine.

Nova. The gentle soul who has everything to lose.

Kian. The champion of this new world who’s determined to succeed.

Dex. The one who'll learn nothing is as it seems.

Wren. The rebel who wants nothing to do with any of it.

As the fight to breed becomes a fight to survive, rules are broken, and hearts are captured. This Proving won’t just decide the future of this new order, it will decide the future of humankind.

Title: Breaking
Series: After The Thaw
Author: Tamar Sloan & Heidi Catherine
Genre: Sci-Fi, YA, Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic
Publisher: Sequel House
Release Date: 21st February 2020

BLURB from Goodreads
Only the chosen shall breed.

Four teens must face the fallout of the Proving. Three have made it through. One has not.

Nova. Kian. Dex. Wren.

Four lives defined by the outcome. Four lives who thought the Proving was the most difficult test they would ever have to face.

They all assumed Askala was safe, but a link to the Outlands has been established and a Remnant invasion is now a threat. In a starving, damaged world, Askala has what others want.

Except the fight for survival is far more complicated than right or wrong, or us and them. It's about humanity versus Earth.

As bonds are fractured and new connections are forged, the question becomes - how do you fight for your world, but also your heart?

Goodreads Link

Title: Falling
Series: After The Thaw
Author: Tamar Sloan & Heidi Catherine
Genre: Sci-Fi, YA, Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic
Publisher: Sequel House
Release Date: 3rd April 2020

BLURB from Goodreads
Only the chosen shall breed.

Nova, Kian, Dex, and Wren.

Four divided hearts. Four teens no longer sure what they’re fighting for.

Their society was meant to mold human evolution. Their future, and that of Earth, was to be decided by the kindest and smartest. Askala was supposed to be a beacon of hope in a flooded, desecrated world.

Except the line between the Bound and Unbound is blurring. The Outlands is no longer some distant, faceless world. And the Remnants have a leader who knows more about them than any Remnant before.

In a world devastated by global warming, the fight for survival has always been deadly. Now, the battle for Askala is about to define the very future of humanity.

But...does the greatest threat lie within?

Goodreads Link

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