Marc Sullivan Beneath a Scarlet Sky

Last updated date: July 16, 2019

DWYM Score
9.6

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We looked at the top 1 Fiction Books and dug through the reviews from 10 of the most popular review sites including Good Reads, Compulsive Reader, Teen Reads, Eat Read Cruise, Italia Living, Waridi's World, World of Joel, Arlene's Book Club, Book Wormex, Nichole Louise and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Fiction Book you should buy.

Overall Take

When you open “Beneath a Scarlet Sky” by Marc Sullivan, you will not want to put it down. With interesting perspectives of wartime, this book will give the reader a wealth of information to think about, long you finish reading. It’s no wonder it’s our Best Value pick for readers in the fiction genre. In our analysis of 97 expert reviews, the Marc Sullivan Marc Sullivan Beneath a Scarlet Sky placed 2nd when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note September 19, 2019:
Checkout The Best Fiction Book for a detailed review of all the top fiction books.

Expert Summarized Score
9.1
10 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.9
186,383 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Overall, this book is interesting because it gives a new perspective on war from a boy who has never been involved in it. Also, because it is from the perspective of someone who is from a foreign country, the reader can understand what World War II was like for that country and how it affected them.
- Compulsive Reader
May 20, 2018 | Full review
This is an important story --- one that deserves to be told, read and appreciated --- and Sullivan does an admirable job ensuring that The Forgotten Front finally has a voice.
- Teen Reads
The author, Mark Sullivan, did a fantastic job researching for this book. As a result, the book gives us amazing insight into the closing months of the war in Italy. We feel the atrocities as they happen. It is a strong and fascinating story that I recommend everyone read.
- Eat Read Cruise
March 23, 2019 | Full review
Based on the true story of a forgotten Italian hero, BENEATH A SCARLET SKY is the triumphant, epic tale of one young man’s incredible courage and resilience during one of history’s darkest hours.
- Italia Living
The focus on Italy was my main take away from the book. I enjoyed it because it was brand new information. I have never gone in depth with my research on the axis countries other than Hitler’s Germany. It was interesting, to say the least, seeing how powerless the citizens were while they watched Mussolini run their country down.
- Waridi's World
September 25, 2018 | Full review
All three areas of the book are so brilliantly written that the entire story flies off the page. I've read my fair share of historical fiction, but this one is special in that the characters are as big if not bigger then the global war.
- World of Joel
December 16, 2017 | Full review
What is so remarkable about the book is Pino’s story. What an incredible story! Mark Sullivan is a master storyteller who will transport you into the inspirational and courageous life of Pino Lella. Filled with powerful messages and altruism of the human condition, I would highly recommend you to read it.
- Arlene's Book Club
It tells a relatively unknown yet completely true, gripping, emotional and thought-provoking story that sinks its teeth in you and never lets go from the first few pages, taking us on an infernal ride as seen through the eyes of a unique Italian teenager whose wisdom went well beyond his years.
- Book Wormex
July 10, 2017 | Full review
What makes Beneath a Scarlet Sky a even more fascinating read is the fact that it is true. For one person to have experienced so much life at such a young age, only to keep it inside for so many years, is breathtaking.
- Nichole Louise
September 17, 2018 | Full review
What experts didn't like
I think one thing that Sullivan can improve on with the novel is making sure that there is enough conflict throughout to keep the reader interested.
- Compulsive Reader
May 20, 2018 | Full review
The writing was also a bit lacking. Nothing wow about it. It was something I would expect to find in a Mystery/Thriller book, not a historical fiction.
- Waridi's World
September 25, 2018 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

Mark Sullivan is the acclaimed author of eighteen novels, including the #1 New York Times bestselling Private series, which he writes with James Patterson. Mark has received numerous awards for his writing, including the WHSmith Fresh Talent Award, and his works have been named a New York Times Notable Book and a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. He grew up in Medfield, Massachusetts, and graduated from Hamilton College with a BA in English before working as a volunteer in the Peace Corps in Niger, West Africa. Upon his return to the United States, he earned a graduate degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and began a career in investigative journalism. An avid skier and adventurer, he lives with his wife in Bozeman, Montana, where he remains grateful for the miracle of every moment.

Overall Product Rankings

1. R.J. Palacio Wonder
Overall Score: 9.8
Expert Reviews: 10
2. Marc Sullivan Beneath a Scarlet Sky
Overall Score: 9.6
Expert Reviews: 10
3. The Book Thief
Overall Score: 9.4
Expert Reviews: 11
4. Delia Owens Where the Crawdads Sing
Overall Score: 9.3
Expert Reviews: 9
5. Kristin Hannah The Great Alone
Overall Score: 9.3
Expert Reviews: 13
6. Lauren K. Denton The Hideaway
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 10
7. Rick Riordan Percy Jackson And The Olympians
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 3
8. Leslie Wolf Dawn Girl
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 1
9. Georgia Hunter We Were the Lucky Ones
Overall Score: 8.5
Expert Reviews: 11
10. John Boyne The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
Overall Score: 8.0
Expert Reviews: 9

An Overview On Fiction Books

Although choosing a book can be a very personal experience, the best fiction books are loved by many people. There is nothing like a great story to captivate your attention and imagination and keep you wanting to read more. When you start to discover the fiction genres, you will find they all have several main characteristics in common. Outstanding themes, characters and excellent execution make the top fiction books something that everyone can enjoy.

First, if you aren’t familiar with the fiction genre, let’s explore it. The definition of a fiction book is, “literature comprising works of imaginative narration”. This could be in the form of a novel or short story. There are multiple categories of fiction for readers to discover including adventure story, biographical novel, ethnic fiction, gothic, historical fiction, horror, mystery and science fiction, to name a few. It’s just important to keep in mind that the main characteristic of a fiction book is that it is not a real story, but entirely creatively written.

For those who enjoy a great sci-fi thriller movie or a graphic horror television series, turn your attention to the popular horror fiction or science fiction novels of today. Picture the “Goosebumps” series, “1984” by George Orwell or “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley. These novels are still famous today and attract new readers every year with their science fiction stories and characters. You will surely find excitement in this sub-genre of fiction.

When you want to read a book that keeps you guessing at the answers, a mystery fiction novel is for you. A phenomenal author is John Grisham. Although his angle is legal writing, most of his books have an excellent element of mystery to make the reader unable to put the book down. For a world-renowned author, turn to Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes. James Patterson, Michael Connelly and Agatha Christie are others in this genre. Look for their names among others when you need a good mystery to solve.

Young adult is another subcategory of the fiction genre. These books often capture the attention of teenagers with an adolescent storyline and relatability factor. “Wonder” by R. J. Palacio is a prime example of a top fiction book in the young adult subcategory of the fiction genre. This fiction book became so popular that it inspired a feature film.

If you don’t mind deciphering fact from fiction, a biographical fiction book is what will catch your eye. In “Beneath a Scarlet Sky: A Novel” by Mark Sullivan, the story is based on an actual person but enhanced with made-up events and characters. The sign of a good biographical fiction is not knowing where the truth is and the imagination of the writer. The drama and historical facts should combine in a symbiotic relationship to create an outstanding literary adventure for readers. This was accomplished so well in “Beneath a Scarlet Sky: A Novel” that it also came alive on the television screen. Similar titles in this category include “Unbroken” and “The Nightingale.”

Historical fiction is a well-loved sub-genre of fiction books. These often tell the story of society as it battles strife or prosperity during certain notable time periods. “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak is everything a historical fiction should be, with excellent depictions of Germany during the Nazi Regime and the true struggles of a foster child. “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens is another historical fiction that is just simply beautiful. It will evoke intense emotions and bring you right back to that rocky time of the late ’60s early ’70s. If you have a favorite part of history, you will surely find a historical fiction novel like these that will really captivate your senses.

There are many more excellent fiction books to discover. These are just a few of the top fiction books, recommended by fellow readers. You won’t regret picking one up as you’ll discover, you’ll not be able to put it down.

DYWM Fun Fact

The very first fiction novel is thought to be the “Tale of Genji” by Murasaki Shikibu. She wrote the 54-chapter novel in the early eleventh century about an aristocrat, Hikaru Genji. Murasaki Shikibu was said to have used her experiences in the imperial court to write the book. It is a masterpiece to the Japanese culture.

“Don Quixote” by Miguel de Cervantes, is at the top of the list of best-selling fiction books of all time. With over 500 million copies sold, this book can be found everywhere. It’s followed by “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens at 200 million copies sold. “The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien remains in the third spot, with 150 million copies sold to date. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” appears on the list at number eight with 100 million copies sold. Among the rest on the list are works by Agatha Christie, C.S. Lewis and Dan Brown. These top-sellers are rated in order of copies sold and do not include religious staples, such as the Bible and The Quran.

The Fiction Book Buying Guide

  • One of your greatest resources for finding the top fiction book is recommendations from your closest friends and family. Ask them before you embark on the task of finding a good book to read. Friends especially will hold similar interests as you, so their taste in literature may line up with your own.
  • Before you buy a book, visit your local library to ask a librarian for references. They are a fabulous resource if you are entirely new to the fiction genre.
  • Always read the book summary before blindly buying a fiction book. These summaries tell a whole lot without spoiling the entire story.
  • Find reviews online of fellow readers, so you don’t waste your money on a book that got a mediocre response.
  • When building your personal library with fiction novels, try to vary your collection with different authors and/or sub-genres. This will give you a well-rounded selection of the entire fiction genre.