Thursday, May 24, 2018

Review: Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Sky in the Deep
Publication Date: April 24, 2018
Hardcover, 352 pages, Wednesday
Genres: YA, Historical Fiction


Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield — her brother, fighting with the enemy — the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother's betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

My Review

After reading Adrienne Young’s Sky in the Deep, I can safely say there are not enough Viking books—both in YA and adult—in the world. I need more fierce female warriors and complicated clansmen. Please! Give me more, YA editors! I deserve this!

This book starts off right in the action. Eelyn, our main character, is mowing down her enemies with her bff by her side, when she sees her supposedly dead brother on the battlefield. Eelyn then goes on a rollercoaster ride of emotions, but she’s never run over by them. I think that’s what made me like her so much as a character. She didn’t cry or whine—she got angry, and rightfully so. And, while there wasn’t a lot of info given about the side characters in this book, Eelyn’s thoughts and feelings made the side characters, like her father, brother, Fiske, and Myra, stand out.

Also, those action sequences were pretty good. Some of the time—okay, a lot of the time—it’s hard to follow action scenes in books, but Young did a good job of slowing things down for the reader. The well-written action combined with a plot that continued in one steady storyline made for a fast-paced and gripping read. I only wish it wasn’t a standalone. I would have loved to have seen more Eelyn and Fiske and Iri and Myra.

Speaking of wishing the book had been longer, I do think the ending was rushed. Hence only 4.5 stars instead of five. Characters made super quick and often uncharacteristic decisions towards the end. I mean, if you’ve been at war with a clan for years, I don’t think you’d be too happy to find out someone you know has been aiding the enemy. I would have liked to have seen more of the drama and angst that should have been there play out in the end.

All in all, Sky in the Deep shows that the YA is missing out on some great writing potential. Vikings are sorely lacking in literature, and I for one am ready to see more books like Sky in the Deep on my shelves.

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