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Lotus and Thorn

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  380 ratings  ·  74 reviews
A thrilling science fiction adventure perfect for fans of Tamora Pierce and Sarah Maas

Ravaged by a plague known as Red Death, the planet Gabriel, a former colony of Earth, is a barren wasteland. Since being abandoned by Earth 500 years ago, resources are scarce and life is cheap. To stay alive, the survivors, the Citizens, scavenge the remains of a now dead city, trading f
Hardcover, 429 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
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Kathy Randall I think it refers to her constant reflection on briar Rose. Not the main fairy tale that underlies the narrative, but she does look at a number of cir…moreI think it refers to her constant reflection on briar Rose. Not the main fairy tale that underlies the narrative, but she does look at a number of circumstances and reflect: just like briar rose. (less)
Thecakeisalie It's mostly sci-fi. Romance plays a part, but it's not a central part of the story.…moreIt's mostly sci-fi. Romance plays a part, but it's not a central part of the story.(less)

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Fafa's Book Corner
Mini review:

This book was recommended to me by Alyssa! Click on her name to read her review.


This was a case of 'It's not you but me'. The reason I didn't finish this book is because I started to loose interest and the story became boring for me. The first part of the book was so good and action packed! By the time I got to the second part I was bored and it started to remind me of And I Darken. Which was not good.

I definitely recommend this to sci-fi fans! It does not have any real fantas
Rylee Richard
Aug 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-star
Overall, this wasn't bad, but it didn't end up as a favorite. There's a cliffhanger at the end with no sequel, but it begins a new arc, so it's not terribly frustrating. (Unlike cliffhangers that drop you mid-arc–I hate those!)

Mini-spoiler to follow!

The romance of it is kind of a let down. There's a love triangle of sorts, and one of them ends up being the villain, but I wasn't really attached to either character. The romance is like a side-dish to the sci-fi action/plot; it was nice that it was
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews-by-lynn
The book blurb calls this a fantasy, but I’d have to disagree. You know that book blurbs are nothing more than a sales pitch, right? Someone, somewhere decided that Lotus and Thorn would sell better as a fantasy novel. Only it really isn’t. Space shuttles, test tube experiments and animals fused with machine put it solidly in the science fiction camp, in my opinion.

Don’t let that turn you off, though. It really does read like fantasy. Fast paced fantasy with a strong, smart heroine, a love trian
Apr 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-releases
This was great! I didn't know much about it, but I'm glad I gave it a chance. My thanks to the publisher for sending an ARC!

***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Lotus and Thorn by Sara Wilson Etienne
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

Ravaged by a plague known as Red Death, the planet Gabriel, a former colony of Earth, is a barren wasteland. Since being abandoned by E
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Apr 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc
2.5 stars

The book copy describes Lotus and Thorn as a “richly imagined fantasy in the vein of Tamora Pierce.” I want you to pull that bit away and set it on fire, since it’s laughably inaccurate. Lotus and Thorn is NOT a fantasy; it is science fiction. And it’s like Tamora Pierce in that there are women who fight. It’s not like Sarah J. Maas either. Lies, lies, lies. There’s some cool stuff about Lotus and Thorn, but this book suffers from its sheer length.

Despite the fact that Lotus and Thorn r
Mar 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Lotus and Thorn is a book I picked up because I was intrigued about the scifi elements of it. Scifi can be hit or miss for me, but it tends to have some of the most jaw dropping surprises. And this book, WOW, it really had some good shockers!

The book is fairly long but it's worth it and it needed that length to tell this story right. It's done right, with layers. There are 'parts' which kind of signify the change, but it's pretty obvious as you read. We also get a variety of settings so we get t
All Things Urban Fantasy
Jul 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed-by-kate
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.

LOTUS AND THORN is one of those rare stand-alone young adult books in a sea of trilogies and series, and it is so full of awesome and crazy that it left me almost speechless at the end. (Almost, because obviously I have to write this review.) LOTUS AND THORN has fascinating world-building, a wide variety of well-developed characters and did I mention the awesome and crazy?

Leica (yes, she's named for the camera), our heroine, is a girl you genuinely wan
Take Me Away To A Great Read
Lotus and Thorn
By Sara Wilson Etienne
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Rating: 3.5 Stars

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy of Lotus and Thorn for an honest review.

Lotus and Thorn is marketed as a fantasy book and it definitely is not. This is where a lot of my conflicted feelings came in. I read the synopsis before I read the book and was expecting something different. I waited the whole book for that element that would gi
Jaime (Two Chicks on Books)
Feb 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Ok where do I start? I really liked this one! There were a few things that I didn't but, the good definitely outweighed the bad. I loved Lecia she was totally badass and I liked the other characters too. This book although it was a bit too long for my tastes read very quickly thanks to the short chapters. You're going to get everything in this book! Swoony scenes, sexy scenes, and brutal scenes and all combined they make a really good story! I will admit I didn't see the twist at the end coming ...more
May 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
I didn't know what to expect with this one. The market is all over the place. Is it Fantasy? Is it Sci-Fi? Is it a Fairy Tale retelling? I had no idea. I wasn't surprised to find that it was Sci-Fi/Dystopian, not Fantasy. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it, though. People aren't talking about this book enough and that really is a shame! This one is a gem hidden by schizophrenic marketing.

If you want my full review you can find the podcast here: Hyping a Hidden Gem: A Discussion of Lotus a
Mar 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
I didn't know what to expect from this book, and I ended up really enjoying it! I will say that this book was on the long side, which I thought was a little unnecessary. I definitely think it could have been a tad shorter, however, I still liked it.

The world that the author created in this book was very unique and interesting. Overall, I thought Etienne did a good job with her world building. There were a few times where I felt like things could have been explained a tiny bit more more, but the
M S.
Aug 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
I don't understand why this doesn't have higher reviews! I absolutely loved it! It had depth, originality, creativity; it was unpredictable and poetic. I appreciated the many strong female characters and how they worked together and uplifted one another. A very refreshing change. I wasn't daunted by the length, but I'm used to reading very long books (Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson). Definitely a new favorite. ...more
Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
Why is no one talking about this book? It was awesome...full of intrigue and kickass women and boasting of a post-apocalyptic world that felt genuine and realistic. AND it's a retelling of Fitcher's Bird by the Brothers Grimm. And so far, it seems to be a stand-alone, which I love because it kind of ends on the perfect note. ...more
Mar 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: prof
Leica and her sisters, Lotus and Tashcen, are descendants of colonists who settled on the planet Gabriel five hundred years ago. Now, in 2590, Leica and the other Citizens of Pleiades scavenge the ruins of their original colony for technology to trade to the Curadores in exchange for supplies and god's eventual forgiveness.

Leica knows what it is to live in Gabriel's barren deserts fearing the next occurrence of the Red Death and knowing the other Citizens revile her six-fingered hands as a Corru
Mar 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I spent a good portion of the book confused and frustrated and feeling my way around each character (old and new) that popped up, but I still enjoyed reading about Leica and the adventure she went through. I'm glad I gave this book a chance.

The story was long-I found myself wishing to get to the point/not drag on in certain scenes-but the concept was very interesting and kept me intrigued. Right off the bat I knew there was something wrong/suspicious with Edison, and then Nik came in the picture
Mar 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Loved it. I have great respect for a book that can lean into the ancient stories that came before it, and Lotus and Thorn does it very well -- it creates a rich sci-fi tapestry with these amazing folkloric threads. And Leica is such a great main character; not because she's a badass, but because she's a badass and doesn't have to prove it to anyone. I really like that in a hero.

I am not great with words, so I will say that I think that the Kirkus review* says it best: "Leica e
Dan Shanley
Jun 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There may be a lot of post-apocalyptic books out there, but “Lotus and Thorn” stands out. This book is deep, complex, compelling, often poetic, and still very accessible. With so much to describe and explain, the narration and dialogue never feel unnaturally heavy or convoluted, and I never felt confused or left behind. It’s great to find one novel exploring environmentalism, religion, genetics, politics, bioengineering, body image, multiculturalism, class conflict, sexual mores, and the status ...more
Teresa Mary Rose
May 21, 2016 marked it as did-not-finish
Shelves: ya, for-review, arc, sci-fi

I think my issue with this one is that it is not at all what I was expecting. I was expecting fantasy but this feels more sci-fi to me. At times the story is all over the place and it feels very jumpy. Also, there is something with this one that I just cannot get on board with concerning the romance. I won't say more because it's a spoiler, but this was a deal breaker for me. However, I wouldn't write this one off completely because I've seen quite a few people who have enjoyed it. This one j
Apr 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book! I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get to, but it was certainly a good way to spend my flight back to college after going home for Easter break. Dystopian worlds (and many fictional worlds for that matter) fall into the pit of being extremely European and American-centric. So after reading so many of those worlds, it was really cool to read a dystopia where the culture before the world went to pot was apparently a latino one. I love how the author envisioned the peopl ...more
Vicky Voronina
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In this dystopian story, Leica, the main character, was one of the citizens of Pleides, along with the other survivors on planet Gabriel, which was abandoned by Earth 500 years ago when a plague known as the Red Death swept through. Earth never returned for the citizens of Pleides, who are very religious and believe it is God's way of punishing them. Now Gabriel is a barren wasteland, and the citizens are just barely getting by. Everything they find is important, and is to be traded with the Cur ...more
Karol Silverstein
May 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Lotus and Thorn is completely riveting and very tough to put down. Danger lurks with every page turn, and the danger is real. Sara Wilson Etienne pulls no punches, forcing her badass heroine Leica to face unnerving dilemma after unnerving dilemma. Brutal consequences are often the result of the gut-wrenching choices Leica must make. But beyond the book’s success as an action-packed dystopian thriller, it’s the character development and deeply felt emotions of its first person narrator that made ...more
Michele at A Belle's Tales
A friend came to visit me once and brought a plate brimming with cookies she had made. When she told me what was in them, I thought there was no way I was going to like them. Cranberries? No. White chocolate chips? Hate. Macadamia nuts? Gross. Yeah, yeah, I can be a picky eater; but I am southern so it’s in my DNA to be polite, and I tried them. You know what? Those crazy cookies were good. And more importantly, I could NOT stop eating them. Welcome to my experience with Lotus and Thorn. First o ...more
Mar 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read through this quickly and even though it's not a small book the plot moves quickly and it is never boring. The world building is really good along with the characters. I liked that some of the characters were tricky to figure out. Not everyone is how they seem when first introduced leading to some fun twists in the story. I don't want to spoil anything but one character I wasn't sure could be trusted I ended up liking the most in the end. Sci Fi doesn't always work for me but this one did. ...more
This is a sad conglomeration of like 5 different YA bestsellers of the last few years, minus the likability.

I barely paid attention to the last half of the book, and to be quite honest, I have one chapter left and I just don't even care.

And somehow I missed how the title is particularly relevant.

Update Nov 1, 2016--

You wanna hear something terrible? I just saw this on my library wishlist and thought it was because I had only read a couple of chapters and then put it off. I didn't remember that I
Brooke Banks
I had a whole review written out and lost it. Ugh!
>>Trigger Warning: Domestic Violence, Religious Bigotry, Bullying,
>>Epic Sci-Fi adventure that reminds me of Dreamsnake, with an almost all POC cast. Like vast majority brown people and culture. Not like cop out olive-tonned Katniss.
>>Love how religion was included, worked, and how people dealt with it.
>>Handles domestic violence better than most contemporaries. It's honestly one of the best portrayals I've read as a survivor.
>>Love the Grimm
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: standalones
Lotus and Thorn is certainly full of surprises. This is definitely a book where you don't see things coming.(view spoiler) If you love Sci-Fi I recommend you give this standalone a try. ...more
Liz H {Redd's Reads}
Took me long enough but I finally finished this one! Need to digest that ending before composing my review on Redd's Reads. All I know is that the story ended on a huge cliffhanger and I NEED MORE!! ...more
May 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Forget the blurb. Nothing like Maas. Instead, like The Handmaid's Tale but for YA and with action and more scifi. And Fitcher's Bird. And other fairy tales. AND LATIN@ AND KOREAN ELEMENTS AND BOTH A POC MAIN CHARA AND POC LOVE INTEREST. ...more
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
It was a little bit for me to get invested but man I was living for this story and the characters. They made me fall in love then broke my heart. And the surprising revival at the end was perfect and had me speechless.
Stacey Conrad
Leica, who is considered an abomination because of her six fingered hands, lives on Gabriel, a world abandoned by Earth 500 years ago. She's a Citizen, working outside, digging up relics from the past, struggling to survive in the arid dessert community where she lives. Nearby are the Curadores, who live under a dome and only come outside to trade relics for food and commodities, all the while wearing decontamination suits to protect them from exposure to disease. Under the dome, life is luxurio ...more
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Sara Wilson Etienne went to school to become a marine biologist... but when her research transformed itself into a novel, she realized she loved fantasy more than fact. Now she enjoys combining both to create stories that ask "What if?"

Sara writes in Seattle alongside her artist husband and her two dogs. Her favorite days are spent disappearing into different universes, whether it's traveling with

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