Wednesday, April 25, 2018

ARC Review: Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Pub. Date:April 24, 2018
Publisher:Wednesday Books
Length:352 pgs

Sky in the Deep is the debut fantasy novel from Adrienne Young, and I see good things in this author's future. While this book has been classified as fantasy, don't expect many fantastical elements.  There are no magical or futuristic elements. We are basically operating in a made-up world that had a Viking feel with two warring people's who follow different gods. So you can expect lots of action and fighting and conflict.

This story is told in first person by our heroine, Eelyn, a seventeen year old Aska warrior. We follow Eelyn through battle, betrayal, and later enlightenment as she discovers that the two clans are not that different, especially when faced with a common enemy. Despite her age, I felt that Eelyn was a mature heroine, and I was glad of it. Her people live a simple, yet brutal life, and Eelyn has been a warrior since the age of 12. While I liked her fighting ability and bravery, it was hard to imagine such a young and small girl killing male and female warriors from her enemy clan. She both suffers and delivers gruesome injuries, and the author didn't pull any punches when it came to gory aspects of fighting. 

I got caught up in the drama of Iri's seeming betrayal, and Eelyn's response to it. While she didn't express a lot of emotion outwardly or in an inner monologue, I could imagine the feelings of a young girl when confronted with such a situation. Once aspect where I felt the book did suffer was with the first person narration. We only got Eelyn's reactions to things, where I think we could have benefited from having Fiske's POV, at the least. There was a budding romance between Fiske and Eelyn but I felt disconnected from it. There weren't any emotions to draw me in, and adding in those details for both our characters would have enriched the story quite a bit.

I did like all of the secondary characters, and wouldn't mind this story turning into a series to give us glimpses into the lives of her father, Myra, and Inge. I don't think there are any plans for that, but it would be nice to see the hardship suffered by both clans turn into a prosperous alliance. 

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from the publisher, Wednesday Books.

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