All The Right Reads

Fiction Recommendation Experts

2023 Book Review: Sands of Ruin

by R. M. Muller

YA Fantasy, 2023 by Willow House Publishing, 334 Pages 

What I Didn’t Like:

  • The “I’m hunting with my friend before a big selection” opening scene gives immediate Hunger Games vibes. Plus there’s a little sister involved … definitely “heard this story before” vibes from the opening chapter. In fact, the whole opening feels almost like a Hunger Games from the perspective of Gale sort of story. I’ve never been a fan of anything too similar. 
  • Lean into that multi-POV if you’re going to use it. There are definitely more chapters from Harm than from Imani. That gives Imani sort of a confusing air: what does she add to the story? How does she fit? Who is she? 
  • The ending didn’t work for me at all. It felt like we had finally reached an interesting climax of what started out slow and, instead, that was the ending. This story feels unfinished. 

What I Did Like:

  • I was intrigued by Imani right away. She’s obviously in the story (watching one chapter happen) but she knows no names and seems to disappear. Who is she? I kept reading partially to find out.
  • The world is interesting. I wanted to know more about the weather control.
  • The focus of the story is the journey, the found family, and the world. I liked that.

Who Should Read This One:

  • Fans of the reluctant hero trope, fated love trope, and dystopian worlds. 
  • Readers of dystopias who are patient. There’s a second one in this series coming (maybe even more after that) and you’ll need those for any resolution or answers. 

My Rating: 3 Stars

  • While this one doesn’t stand alone as a novel, it does build interest in the world.

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