Monday, 26 May 2014

ARC Review ~ Take Back the Skies by Lucy Saxon

Take Back the Skies
eARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: June 5th 2014

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Catherine Hunter is the daughter of a senior government official on the island of Anglya. She’s one of the privileged – she has luxurious clothes, plenty to eat, and is protected from the Collections which have ravaged families throughout the land. But Catherine longs to escape the confines of her life, before her dad can marry her off to a government brat and trap her forever.

So Catherine becomes Cat, pretends to be a kid escaping the Collections, and stows away on the skyship Stormdancer. As they leave Anglya behind and brave the storms that fill the skies around the islands of Tellus, Cat’s world becomes more turbulent than she could ever have imagined, and dangerous secrets unravel her old life once and for all . . .

My Opinion

OK, so I'm torn. The main reason I requested this title was because of the age of the author. Being an author of 19 myself, I was intrigued to read Lucy Saxon's work and Take Back the Skies sounded like it might be my thing so I took a chance on it. I'm now torn though because some parts were so good but others, for me, just fell flat and brought the book down.

I found Take back the Skies a really hard book to get into. The start didn't really hook me which was a shame because the ideas at the start were good, I just didn't think they were executed to their full potential. For example; Cat running away from her family could have been a really dramatic moment--it's vital to the plot--but I felt the author seriously under played this and made it all too easy. There just wasn't enough tension, suspense or drama for me to be gripped.

Actually, this was the main problem I had with Take Back the Skies (despite all of my fs being removed in my arc--don't know why). The premise was great and I liked the overall concept but I just felt everything was too easy and just kept falling into the laps of the main characters. Even when they did get caught or in difficulty, the situation was rectified almost immediately and there was no hardship. For me this created almost no tension whatsoever. I wanted more drama, hardship and tension. I wanted the characters to have to work for what they were trying to achieve--since when was over throwing a government easy? 

However, saying that the book does pick up. I'm not saying it's nail biting drama but there were a few surprises that I didn't expect. When I reached these sections of the book, I was pleasantly surprised and glad that it was able to draw some emotion from me. One of my notes in the Kindle app was "Well I didn't see that coming" and at this point I was turning pages at a rapid rate as I wanted to find out more. 

The sci-fi aspect that is revealed, although surprised me, it did feel I was reading the same thing as I have in other books such as: Partial by Dan Wells or Eden by Keary Taylor. There were subtle differences but the underlying concept was the same so I couldn't help but draw a comparison and I felt that Take Back the Skies was more underdeveloped--maybe there will be more detail on them in the second book though?

The characters in Take Back the Skies were likable. I loved Fox and Cat's attitude problems and how they always ended up arguing. It was a believable relationship and their growth was realistic. I also liked how they crew on the Stormdancer were more of a family. Their reactions, emotions and feelings were crafted well and gave the overall feeling of a likable cast--even if I disagree with the ending on so many levels (I won't go into why because I don't want to spoil it, or rant, but I wished I had stopped at 80%).

Overall, Take Back the Skies is an OK read. I enjoyed it but it's not one that had me on the edge of my seat or biting my nails. For me it highlights the potential of the book and the author but there just wasn't enough tension or hardship for the characters. Everything was too easy and a bit too similar to other books I've read for me. It may interested Sci-fi or Steampunk fans though so I wouldn't rule it out. 


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