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Book Review: City on the Sea by Heather Carson


Brooke knows the rules. Everyone in the city outside the wall does. If you never cause any trouble, you never disappear.

Even after her father's mysterious death, she's always known she'll do whatever it takes to live a good life and earn her place on the land one day.

But when the watchmen suddenly start following her every move, it doesn't matter if she's done anything wrong. Now she needs to find out why they are watching before she vanishes without a trace.

The City on the Sea, book one in the City on the Sea Series, is the thrilling first installment to this futuristic dystopian story. Climate change and rising sea levels have forced humanity to live on the ocean in order to protect the precious bit of land remaining. In the midst of this cli-fi adventure, a strong female lead character discovers that her world isn’t what it seems and learns to fight for the truth no matter the cost.


I am a member of a Dystopian authors group on Facebook. That is where I met Heather Carson. I believe she is one of the admins on the page, and she is super sweet! I was really excited to get my hands on a copy of this first novel.

The City on the Sea reminded me why I love dystopian so much. This story very easily could have been set in a fantasy world and it would have been great. However, the dystopian elements were incredible: earth is a finite resource and not everyone has access to it, people aren't taught to read because there are no books, and the main character, Brooke, has a job as a weaver (spoiler alert: they are using plastic bags to create new things). I thought all of these elements were amazing.

This is a YA novel, so there wasn't as much romance as I had hoped for. In general, I left this book wanting more. Not because it lacked anything, but because I needed to know more. I needed to know what happened in the world, and what secrets were being kept from its people. The novel felt short, but I think that's a really good thing, actually. With as short as it was and how many things were left open, it's definitely a great strategy to get readers to go into the next novel.

I have so many questions. It made me think of The Giver a lot. Like how everything was in black and white until the main character learned what color was. In this novel, there's an open ended element where when people retire, they're brought to the land to live a life in peace. We didn't learn the truth, but I have a feeling there's a darker truth there. Maybe one akin to The Giver's twist!

I definitely will be continuing on with this series when I have the chance to do so!

Thanks, Abbie


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