Review: Burning by Tamar Sloan and Heidi Catherine

Posted January 30, 2020 by Lillian in Reviews / 1 Comment

I received this book via the author, Tamar Sloan, Heidi Catherine. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

Review: Burning by Tamar Sloan and Heidi CatherineBurning by Tamar Sloan, Heidi Catherine
Series: After the Thaw #0
Published by Sequel House on 2019-11-13
Length: 135 pages
Reviewing eARC Rating:
Reading Challenges: 2019 New Release Challenge

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.

Burning by Tamar Sloan, Heidi Catherine is the prequel novella to their dystopian series After the Thaw, setting up the world and characters. An imperfect system determines who will be allowed to rule, breed, and make decisions for the greater good of humanity….or what’s left of it. Following four teens, Burning is a fast-paced dystopian sure to please.

Magnus and Callix are brothers that couldn’t be more different. Callix is a year older and already through with his proving. He is quiet, steadfast, and highly intelligent, yet jealous of his younger brother. Magnus is about to go through his proving (in fact this is a part of the plot of this story). He is tall, muscular, and introspective. He also happens to be in love with the same girl as his brother. 

Amity is one of the chosen. She is a bit naive when it comes to her responsibilities as chosen. She knows that at some point she must choose a mate, and everyone expects her to choose Callix. But it is Magnus that has her heart. 

Mercy is also one of the chosen. She is on the fringes of the main group, and she likes it that way. She keeps to herself and is hiding a big secret. She also happens to be crushing on Callix. 

The plot of this one revolves around these four, even alternating in their POV. It takes a look at the Proving ceremony, the Chosen, and how it can all crumble. You also get a brief look at the people who live in the Outlands. This is a great setup for the series!

Overall, while I liked some elements of Burning, there were others I didn’t. The plot at times was fast-paced to the point I felt like I couldn’t keep up, and at other times was at a standstill. The romance fell flat, despite really liking Magnus and Amity together. However I’m still invested in the series. This is just the prequel (which is currently free) and I cannot wait to see where the authors take the series. If you enjoy YA dystopian, I’d recommend it. 

About Heidi Catherine

Author Heidi Catherine

Heidi Catherine is an award-winning fantasy author and hopeless romantic. Her debut novel, The Soulweaver, won Romance Writers of Australia's Emerald Pro award and includes two more books in the series. This was followed up by Heidi's epic fantasy series, The Kingdoms of Evernow. Her new young adult dystopian series, After the Thaw, has been co-written with USA Today best-selling author, Tamar Sloan.

After being named as a highly commended author in The Hope Prize, Heidi's story, The Extra Piece, was published by Simon & Schuster in a collection of stories about disadvantage in our community. She was also a finalist in Romance Writers of Australia's Little Gems competition four times.

About Tamar Sloan

Author Tamar Sloan

Tamar really struggled writing this bio, in part because it's in third person, but mostly because she hasn't decided whether she's primarily a psychologist who loves writing, or a writer with a lifelong fascination with psychology.

She must have been someone pretty awesome in a previous life (past life regression indicated a Care Bear), because she gets to do both. Beginning her career as a youth worker, then a secondary school teacher, before becoming a school psychologist, Tamar helps children and teens to live and thrive despite life's hurdles like loss, relationship difficulties, mental health issues, and trauma.

As lover of reading, inspired by books that sparked beautiful movies in her head, Tamar loves to write young adult romance. To be honest, it was probably inevitable that her knowledge and love of literature would translate into writing emotion driven stories of finding life and love beyond our comfort zones. You can find out more about Tamar's books at

A lifetime consumer of knowledge, Tamar holds degrees in Applied Science, Education and Psychology. When not reading, writing or working with teens, Tamar can be found with her husband and two children enjoying country life on their small slice of the Australian bush.
The driving force for all of Tamar's writing is sharing and connecting. In truth, connecting with others is why she writes. She loves to hear from readers and fellow writers. Find her on all the usual social media channels or her website.

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