Author: Lucy Saxon
Series: Book One in the Take Back the Skies Series
Published By: Bloomsbury Children's (June 3, 2014)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 3 Stars
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 . . .
This is one of those stories that has so much potential and so much promise. One where the world is just as much fascinating as it is confusing.
It is steampunk and fantasy and almost dystopian with an old world/modern feel to it all rolled into one. Almost as if the author liked them all and just couldn't quite decide which genre to write in.
The world was fascinating where the rich are highly separated from the poor and underprivileged. Where ships sail the sky and droids serve households. Yet we can't help but feel this is set in a time long ago and we still get that steampunkish feel with automatons and crazy mechanical inventions around every corner.
We know the world has suffered because of a war, where the youth are being stolen from their homes all in the name of the government and peace. We can feel the desolation and heartbreak of it's people as their youth are lost to them forever. What we don't realize until later on is that something so much more sinister than we ever could imagine is really happening to the world that Cat is a part of, something that hits close to home.
I admit, this book had me pretty interested. It was fast paced and filled with wonder and adventure. Even though the world Cat lived in was never really explained or defined I still found myself okay with it because I wanted to learn more about it and it's people.
What had me a little lost and confused was the ending. I couldn't fathom why it ended the way it did, with so little explained of the after effects of Cat and Fox' adventure. It seemed rushed and hurried like it just needed to be over and done with and that left me feeling like I had missed something, something crucial, something important to the story.
Lets talk about that ending. I loved this read up until that ending. It fell so flat for me. It was so sad, so hopeless feeling. I couldn't help but be disappointed with it. It changed the whole way I felt about that book. I realize there will be a sequel, which is a good thing but I have no idea where the author will take it. The ending was pretty bleak and not open so much as just depressing. I felt like she settled for less than she wanted, less than she needed.
I think if this does turn into a series, it has hope, it has potential as does the author's writing because this really did have the potential to be something great but sadly, in the end, it fell a little flat for me. I loved this until that ending, it was so...sad and just changed the whole theme of the story for me. I am hoping book two will be way better.
*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*