Cover Image: The Stranded

The Stranded

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Member Reviews

DNF. I tried repeatedly to read this book and I just couldnt get into it. It's just not for me. I'm sorry. If/when I finally finish it, i may come back here and revise my review.

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The Stranded isn't as action packed as I thought it was going to be off the snyopsis. I still honestly enjoyed this book for what it was, but it wasn't something over the top amazing.

I didn't love any of the characters, which always makes it hard for me to truly get into the book.

I think this could have been better if some things were tweaked, but it was a good YA dystopian novel

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THE STRANDED – by Sarah Daniels

‘Good evening. It is 17:00 hours on Sunday 24 October 2094. This is the captain of the cruise ship Arcadia . . . . All passengers please be prepared for high seas. Daily reported Virus cases: zero. Days at sea: 15,934 . . . .

‘The Arcadia’s isolation has lasted four decades. Long enough for my grandparents to die and my parents to grow up here. Every generation hoping that the Federated States will finally believe we’re not Virus carriers and let us go ashore. But, even after all this time without an outbreak, we can’t shake the infectious label. Some people in the Federated States still campaign to send us back to the wastelands of Europe, or to some barren, rocky island to be forgotten.’

My Heart! That ending was INTENSE and leaves me hoping for a sequel centered around these bad*** women!

Highly Recommend!

Thank you, NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire, for providing me with an eBook of THE STRANDED at the request of an honest review.

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"The Stranded" by Sarah Daniels is a riveting near-future dystopian novel that captures the essence of human resilience, the complexity of societal structures, and the indomitable will to seek freedom and justice. Melding the intense survival scenarios reminiscent of "The Hunger Games" with the post-apocalyptic resilience found in "Station Eleven," Daniels crafts a world that is both terrifyingly plausible and fascinatingly unique.

Set aboard the Arcadia, a once-luxurious cruise ship turned refugee camp, the narrative explores the lives of its inhabitants who have been marooned at sea for forty years, forbidden from making landfall. This setting—a microcosm of a society that has developed its own class system, complete with the haves and have-nots, gangs, and makeshift shelters—serves as a poignant backdrop for exploring themes of power, inequality, and rebellion.

Esther, a loyal and dedicated citizen of the Arcadia, dreams of a life beyond her constricting reality, aspiring to become a medic and earn the rare privilege of living on dry land. Her character represents the hope and aspiration of many within the Arcadia, clinging to the belief in a system that promises advancement for the hardworking and diligent. Her journey is one of awakening and realization, as she comes to understand the true nature of the society she inhabits.

Nik, on the other hand, is the embodiment of defiance and rebellion. Planning something monumental to liberate the Arcadia's residents, his character introduces the themes of revolution and change. His determination and willingness to fight for a better future challenge not only the oppressive structures in place but also the beliefs and loyalties of those around him, including Esther.

The beauty of "The Stranded" lies in Daniels' ability to weave together the personal growth and evolving relationships of her characters with the broader struggle for freedom and equality. The romance that blossoms between Esther and Nik serves as a powerful narrative drive, symbolizing the merging of different ideologies and approaches to fighting for justice. Their relationship, fraught with challenges and shaped by the harsh realities of their world, adds a deeply human element to the story, making it both a heart-pounding adventure and a poignant love story.

Daniels' world-building is meticulous and immersive, drawing readers into the life aboard the Arcadia with vivid descriptions and a keen sense of the desperation and hope that coexist among its residents. The novel raises important questions about authority, rebellion, and the ethics of survival, making readers ponder what it means to be truly free and how far one should go in the quest for justice.

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Described as Snowpiercer meets The Hunger Games in a gripping near-future dystopian... That got me interested!

The story started slow for me but it builds a bit, ultimately I felt it too lagging to continue.

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Thank you so much to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me a copy of this book! This was one of my most anticipated books of 2023. I was obsessed with the description and the cover. I loved the books, I loved the characters and the storyline. I cannot wait to continue on!

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Honest review in exchange for arc. This book took awhile for get me into it. It was good at times but other scenes just felt dragged out. The writing style was good and what kept me going. The characters were mostly likable. The ending is what made me glad I stuck with it

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I liked the premise but couldn't get into this one enough to finish it. It was just too long I think. If it were about half the length, it would have been great.

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The Arcadia has been floating for forty years. The residents aren’t allowed on land for fear that they carry a virus that hasn’t existed for decades. Esther is training to be a medic to one day leave the ship but then gets caught up in her sister's secrets.

This book was an excellent post-apocalyptic dystopian novel that had me turning the pages as fast as I could. The point of view switches between Esther, Nik, and Hadley, which can sometimes be confusing, but I appreciated how readers could gain a new perspective throughout the book. The storyline kept me interested, and the pacing was perfect. The claustrophobia and horror of the situation were perfectly established by the author. They also managed to portray how the challenges faced by the characters in the story could easily occur in reality. I recommend this great debut!

Thank you to NetGallery and do Sourcebooks Fire for my copy of the book.

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The synopsis of THE STRANDED sounded right up my alley...but unfortunately I feel like I got lost in the middle. I think this would be a great read for YA readers but this one did not quite do it for me.

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As someone who loves cruise ships (despite being aware that they are floating petri dishes!), was obsessed with the story of the Diamond Princess being stranded on the coast of Japan back in early 2020, and just generally eats up most post-apocalyptic, dystopian fiction novels The Stranded absolutely hit the spot for me.
I do feel that the book was a smidge long, could have benefitted from tighter editing and a bit faster pacing. I know those seem like some BIG criticisms, and it would explain why some readers struggled to get into the story, but for me personally they weren't deal breakers, because this book is the first in a series and as long as the premise intrigues me, I will put up with a slow start. I do however expect book 2 to hit the ground running right from the start!

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This was just too long. I was hooked on the premise, and also the cover, but I think it could have been 100 pages shorter and been more impactful.

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We have all heard about the Cruise Ships that were quarantined at the beginning of COVID. I will admit I wondered what that experience would be like. The story of the Arcadia and those left stranded make for a thrilling dystopian YA read.

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"The Stranded" by Sarah Daniels presents a compelling near-future dystopian world set in the year 2094 aboard the Arcadia, a once-luxurious cruise ship turned refugee camp due to an apocalyptic war. The storyline deftly weaves drama, tension, and anxiety, creating a gripping narrative that is hard to put down. The author successfully captures the essence of a fractured USA, portraying a society on the brink where extreme social disparities, gangs, and makeshift shelters define daily life.

Within this setting, the characters of Esther, a loyal citizen striving for a chance at a normal life as a medic on dry land, and Nik, a rebel with ambitions to liberate the Arcadia, are skillfully intertwined. Their convergence sets off a chain of events that not only transforms their lives but also impacts everyone on the ship. The multiple points of view employed in the storytelling enhance the depth and complexity of the narrative, allowing readers to engage with different perspectives.

The book aptly fits the criteria of a young adult dystopian novel, with a realistic portrayal that draws parallels to our own world, especially in the aftermath of recent global events like the pandemic. The hint of romance and rebellion adds an extra layer of intrigue, making it a well-rounded and emotionally resonant tale. As the first installment of a two-part series, "The Stranded" leaves readers eagerly anticipating the continuation of this thought-provoking and immersive dystopian saga

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Sarah Daniels’ The Stranded has a nostalgic feel, a harkening back to the dystopian era YA books I couldn’t seem to get enough of ten years ago when The Hunger Games and Divergent were all the rage. And I didn’t mind the revisit one bit.

While it’s not perfect and it took me the first twenty percent of the book to learn all the characters, once I committed to the story, I was engaged and entertained. This one does have a slow build, but the pay off is worth the trek.

The reader gets the story of the stranded Arcadia from three different points of view: Esther, a sixteen year old medic student with the sole focus of getting herself and her boyfriend Alex off the ship; Nik, a young rebel working behind the scenes with his mother to overthrow the corrupt leadership; and Hadley, the corrupt leader. I enjoyed Esther and Nik’s points of view, but I found myself wanting to skim Hadley’s. Thankfully his chapters are mostly short and quick, but I personally would have preferred the book without his sections.

Esther and Nik are flawed and well-rounded, making human choices with consequences, and I appreciated their story arcs. Esther’s transformation from a naive student to someone more integral to the rebellion is believable and compelling. Nik’s determination to protect May, Esther’s older sister, and then Esther because of his love for May, is the heartbeat of the story.

While there’s plenty of action throughout the story, it was in the last twenty percent of the book that I suddenly didn’t want to set it down, taking the book with me to read everywhere I went. Daniels doesn’t leave us on too big of a cliffhanger, wrapping up the main climax of the book, but we are left with plenty to ponder until the sequel is released, once again reminding me of my days spent reading and anticipating my favorite dystopian series. A solid story, well-written and layered, I could see this one on the big screen, as well.

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I was so excited to read this book. From the premise, it promised to be full of suspense and also to be action-packed. I was a bit disappointed, although that didn't stop me from reading it because I just needed to know what was happening. So, if that needs drives you to finish, I say that deserves another star.

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I was pleasantly surprised by The Stranded. I don’t read many dystopian novels, I m very picky. But I liked the fact this one takes place on a ship. Which of course makes permanent living a bit more difficult when you’re limited to resources.

I obviously don’t want to give away the story, but there was a bit of Hunger Games vibe. I think all dystopian novels are that way. 2 teams fighting for change and rule. Many not knowing which side to take for fear of their own lives. The Stranded had all of this but again, it really intrigued me how all of this happened while on a floating vessel. I ended up like the story a lot and I think the author did a great job visually. I was able to picture the characters in their small homes within the ship and running throughout the ship hiding or trying to find answers for their cause.

If you’re into dystopian novels I would definitely recommend this one.

***thank you Netgalley and Sourcebooks Fire for an ARC copy in return for an honest review***

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Just a fun, tense, YA thriller. The plot itself wasn't anything unusual, but it was still a good read.

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This was such a unique story. I really didn't know what to expect going in, but it was a dystopian story for sure! I wasn't sure how I'd feel about the quarantine aspect of the story, but it wasn't bad at all. I actually think this would make a great movie with all the action. I also enjoyed the multiple perspectives that we got, especially from different sides of the battle. There were parts that I felt got a little long or bogged down by details, but overall the book was good. I'm not sure if I'll pick up a sequel, but I am curious what happens next. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the e-book arc.

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In the near future, refugees fled Europe to escape a viral disease. When they reached the shores of America, they were quarantined and not allowed to come ashore. These floating refugee ships are not much more than floating prisons. How long will the people on these ships stand for this treatment? The residents of the ship Arkadia are about to take matters into their own hands.

I didn't realize that this was a young adult novel. I was looking for new books to recommend to my post-apocalyptic book club. I enjoy pandemic fiction so I thought I would give it a chance. If I had realized that it was YA, I probably wouldn't have selected it.

The Stranded is a pretty typical young adult dystopian novel. I don't really feel like there was anything groundbreaking or overly original about the story. I appreciated that the author included more adults in leadership roles, though the teens didn't really feel like teens - they felt more like they were in their 20s.

It is billed as Snowpiercer meets The Hunger Games. I haven't read Snowpiercer but The Stranded didn't suck me in or have the wow factor like I found while reading book 1 of The Hunger Games.

It's not as violent as The Hunger Games. The Commander in charge of ship security (or maybe he is just charged with keeping order) underestimates the teens on the ship. Since he doesn't view them as a threat, they have more ability to help the rebel cause. The author drew on history of Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia to develop those in charge. Anyone working with the Federation (the U.S. has split up and the Federation States is what is left) are seen as collaborators. There is high-tech surveillance but informants are still used.

I'm sure that teens will enjoy this novel. It is the first half of a duology. Book 2, The Exhile, came out this summer so you won't have to wait for the conclusion. I'm not planning on reading it as I don't really care what happens.

My review will be published at Girl Who Reads on Thursday, Oct. 19 -

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