Institute of Rebels by Clara Hartley – A Book Review

Posted June 14, 2019 by Booksandblurbs in Dystopian, Reverse Harem, Reviews / 0 Comments

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Institute of Rebels

(The Lost and Betrayed – Book 1)

by Clara Hartley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dystopian, Slow-Burn RH, PNR

Available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited

Down and Dirty

Interestined start to a Dystopian Reverse Harem Series. Worth checking out.

What is it about?

(Blurb from GoodReads)

My past keeps me guarded, but I must take risks for my future. 

I hid behind the name of Stace, and I lived in the slums of the Republic of Nations. The gangs here constantly engaged in gunfights. I’d gotten used to them. In fact, I’m great at them. Mostly, I kept to myself and listened to orders. It left people out of my skin and I excelled at being alone.

I hadn’t noticed that in my time here, I’d let someone in.

But in a raid carried out by the militia, I’m captured and torn away from that someone.

My captors tell me I’m one of them—a Rebellia. A force of underdogs that exists solely to serve our rulers. I’m sent to their institute to train and become one of their special forces. They’ve grouped me with two of their most elite trainers.
I’m afraid of them.

Not because they might hurt me physically.

But because they might make me fall in love and I don’t want to.

Institute of Rebels is the first book in the Lost and Betrayed series. It is a medium burn reverse harem story that contains mature themes, such as strong language, violence, and sexual situations. 

Thoughts on Institute of Rebels

Head games

This may look like an academy book, but it really isn’t. A Dystopian future brought on by the horror of nuclear weapons and the financial crash…. add in some paranormal superpowers gifted by strange stones and a hunger games ‘esque competition and you have this fledgling slowburn RH, all topped with a heroine born with pink hair.

It’s interesting, unique and adult enough to edge far away from YA, even with its familiar Catniss aura.


  • Dystopian future is chilling.
  • Everything is a power play.
  • Stace is pretty awesome.
  • Fast paced.
  • True female friendship. (I’ve said it before, but this facet is rare in RH novels.)


  • Little TOO fast, action wise.
  • Imagery was difficult to conjure, or often chaotic.
  • Character development was scattered and incomplete.
  • Little too Hunger Games… but not a rip off. More of an inspiration.


First Person, Single POV

Ending Type



R for violence and sexual content.

(No ACTUAL sex occurs in this installment, this is a slow burn. Group make-up: MMF…. with a potential MMMF or MMMMF for the next book or books).


4 out of 5 Stars

This book was intriguing enough to keep me reading and just mysterious enough to grab me for book 2. A worthwhile addition to your Queue -free on KU.

Published May 3rd, 2019

261 Pages

Please note, this is a Reverse Harem series that may feature intense sexual scenes or themes more suited to an adult audience. 

If you enjoyed this review of Institute of Rebels, please consider checking out a few of my other articles.


Your Turn

What are you reading today? Have you read this book yet? What were your thoughts? Leave a comment, I would love to know!



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