I rated “Sky in the Deep” by Adrienne Young a generous 4.5/5 stars. This was a YA epic fantasy with a dash of clean romance fade to black. I loved the consistency that we stayed in Eelyn’s point of view the whole time in first person, past-tense narrative. The bonus scene of Fiske thrown in at the end though was fun. I feel like there was more potential for urgency in the first half. But I also understand why the author made her choices. Or at least I can assume.
Here are my live thoughts while reading:
The first chapter is jammed packed full of action on a battle scene that we know nothing about but I love it. A lot of character names were thrown at me so I’m a little lost but hopefully it’ll come together quickly. I could hear the metallic weapons clashing together and smell the sweat of the warriors. We’re already introduced to our heroine and the love her friend and father has for her in so little words. She has lost her brother years ago who somehow appeared to her in an apparition to save her life from the enemy.
After chapter 4 it seems like her dead brother is indeed alive and helping the other side. I have so many questions.
In chapter 10 I’m still not fully understanding the world building rules with the gods and Sigr and dyr and why being on one side is worse than suicide.
At chapter 12 I’m wishing more to happen soon. It’s clear that she doesn’t want to be in their village and is flabbergasted by her brother being a traitor but right now the reader is in limbo “waiting” for a few too many pages.
At page 100 we finally learn why these feuding villages are fighting to begin with, but it’s a pretty weak reason. I’m wondering what her place will be in all of this? Will she bring them together? I’m not using the heroines name much because it’s barely used and I can’t remember it.
After chapter 21, I’m a bit bored. She’s just doing mundane tasks for the enemy villagers. I can see the author is trying to show that her life in this nemesis location is parallel to what she’d be doing with her friends and family at home; that the two sides are more alike than different. But it’s taking too long and it’s too slow. There’s no action but we’re not halfway through yet.
At the halfway mark some things aren’t explained well. What’s a Tala? Someone’s name or a job/title? Why are these two names so similar: Thora and Thorpe. I think one is a god and one is a villain but it’s not clear enough.
One thing that bothers me about the paragraph formatting is I’m often having to repeat lines because it’s not clear who is speaking. Sometimes one characters responses aren’t matching what is said on the same line because it’s by someone else speaking.
“I was suddenly aware of the icy, opaque depths beneath us again, waiting for the smallest crack to pull us down into it. Waiting to feed on us. My heart pulsed in my veins as the fear pressed down on me, making me feel heavier. It was terrifying, that feeling, like there was something tying me to him. Because if one of us fell into the darkness, the other would too.”
At the conclusion, I’m a tiny bit disappointed just because I heard such raving reviews. It was a “fine” book but I liked some of the author’s other works much better. I also enjoyed comps to this more such as “All the Tides of Fate” by Adalyn Grace and “Children of Blood and Bone” by Tomi Adeyemi. I think Ill like the sequel better, but I’m confused if its actually in the same series since the protagonist in the blurb has a different name than this heroine.