lunes, 9 de abril de 2018

Sky in the Deep - Adrienne Young [Review]

Title: Sky in the Deep
Author: Adrienne Young
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publishing date: April 24th 2018
Pages: 352

Hello today I’m reviewing a new release! So new it’s not even out yet.

I want to thank Wednesday Books for providing me a copy free of charge in exchange of an honest review.

Sky in the Deep is the debut novel of author Adrienne Young and it follows the story of seventeen-year-old Eelyn, a warrior part of a clan named Aska. This clan has been in an ancient rivalry with another clan named Riki. Every five years both clans face each other in the battlefield in an epic and brutal battle.

The story starts with this epic battle. During the fight Eelyn sees her dead brother, Iri, fighting alongside the enemy clan, and she ends up kidnapped by the enemy. Her brother’s friend, Fiske, buys her as his servant in Iri’s behalf.  Eelyn must endure living in the enemy’s village during the winter, where everyone, including her own brother who betrayed their clan, is an enemy.  Her plans change after the village is brutally raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, now Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved famil and she will have to trust Fiske and the Riki to defeat a common enemy.

This book is about Vikings, a concept I haven’t seen often or at all in YA, so I was really interested in reading it, and all those five stars reviews on Goodreads didn’t help my excitement. I developed extremely high expectations on this book, which were partially met.

The beginning of the book is wonderful, it starts with an epic and brutal battle that
immediately hooks the reader because it’s well written and sets up a fast pace for the book. The writing is beautiful, descriptive enough to let the reader travel to the beautiful landscapes the story takes place at. Maybe the fact that I was listening to the Skyrim soundtrack all the time helped me to get more into the story. After finishing the book I had the urge of playing Skyrim just to explore the snowy landscapes.

I usually don’t like books narrated in first person, which seem to be the norm for YA, but in this book I really enjoyed Eelyn’s perspective. Usually YA main characters react unrealistically or dumb to certain situations, but I felt Eelyn felt like a good fleshed out character and definitely realistic in her actions and reactions. I think that made me feel more connected to her, I could completely understand her emotions, which is something doesn’t happen often to me. She transmitted me her intense emotions that much that I spent most of the book angry with Fiske and Iri. I despised them, which wasn’t good because when she starts changing her mind about them, I couldn’t move on from my hate, so I didn’t particularly like those characters, even after she changed her mind I was still resentful towards them.

After Eelyn is kidnapped by the Riki, the pace of the book slows down a bit because Eelyn is at the Riki’s village living her village life. That part was a bit boring to me, not that much, but I was craving for more action. All the village time was extremely useful for character development in every character, so I understand it was something needed.

There is romance in this book, I’m not a fan of it because usually romance always feels forced, but thankfully there is no love triangle in this. The Goodreads synopsis makes it clear there will be something between Eelyn and Fiske, but with the beginning of the book I was skeptical about romance between these two. Their first encounter was savage and they clearly hated each other since the start. At some point of the book I started thinking that if Fiske ever fell for Eelyn it would be because she looks like Iri, and Fiske was too protective of Iri and seemed to fight for him with her like ‘He is my brother.’ They were too close. The romance didn’t feel forced at all, but as I hated Fiske, I didn’t particularly enjoyed it.

I liked that family and friendship played a big role in the story. Usually in YA books the main characters are always orphans or when there is love involved, they seem to forget completely about everyone else, but this was not the case in this book. Family and friendship are really important for Eelyn and for everyone else in the story.

My need for epic battles was satisfied at the end of the story, there is another battle and it was awesome, the way the author describes those action sequences feel very cinematic.

After I finished the book I rated it 3 stars. I had built up so many expectations from other’s reviews, and my hate for Fiske and Iri didn’t help. But now that I’m writing this, I notice I actually really enjoyed this book, and don’t have many negative points to say about it. It’s a story that has stuck with me and I think about it sometimes for some reason, so I’ve changed my mind and now I rate it 4 stars.

Sky in the Deep is a book that has a bit of everything making a great combination. It has action, angst, romance, a beautiful setting, great characters, and I think it’s fresh and original, so if you are looking for anything with those elements, this book might be for you.

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