BOOK REVIEW: SKY IN THE DEEP by Adrienne Young
MY RATING: FIVE STARS
Gritty and atmospheric, Sky in the Deep is a tale of hereditary hatred, the brutality of old traditions, and the often unyielding mindset of our forefathers.
Set in a fictional realm reminiscent of the age of Vikings, Adrienne Young weaves a tale of two rival clans, both hell bent on murdering one another to honor the will of their gods. Women fight as viciously as men and are equally honored on the battlefield. I applaud the fierce females in Young’s story, but admit that the level of violence in Sky in the Deep will be offsetting to some readers. Such gore and detailed fighting was reminiscent of Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York, so I’d advise caution with the younger YA readers.
But I still loved it.
I found the relationship between MC Eelyn and enemy clan member, Fiske, to be a brilliantly done. It’s a slow-burning romance that does not forfeit the reality of who the characters are for the sake of stolen kisses or lustful thoughts.
While this book has many bloody battle scenes, the majority of the book focuses on the day-to-day life and survival of these rough-hewn people – a fact pointed out by other reviewers as a negative, but I found to be an asset in the story. These slow moving scenes, often tipped in ice and moonlight, allow the reader to peel back the layers of prejudice and anger that the MC harbors and how she evolves.
I had some minor issues with the book (which I hope are addressed in the companion novel that I hear is coming in 2019) – mainly that the Herja are never truly explained and what was with the white eyeballs, the animal sacrifices (or rather the detail in those scenes), and the fact that I do NOT consider this fantasy. But none of those issues stole away the simple fact that I inhaled this book in a single day and loved every minute of it. I am proud to have the hardcover edition sitting on my bookshelves.
Go, buy, and OND ELDR.
OND ELDR. BREATHE FIRE.
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.
About the Author
YA fantasy author, SKY IN THE DEEP (4.24.18) & UNTITLED (2019) from Wednesday Books. Agent: Barbara Poelle, IGLA
Adrienne Young is a born and bred Texan turned California girl. She is a foodie with a deep love of history and travel and a shameless addiction to coffee. When she’s not writing, you can find her on her yoga mat, scouring antique fairs for old books, sipping wine over long dinners, or disappearing into her favorite art museums. She lives with her documentary filmmaker husband and their four little wildlings beneath the West Coast sun.
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So, I know I’ve been AWOL, but hey – I wrote 6 books in 5 years, so my brain is a bit toasted at this point. But fear not, my storytelling brain runs in overtime and I am squeezing in writing time.
To keep you happy while I am busy writing (and to keep your inner book demon fed) I’ve compiled my list for the summer of 2018. Now, these are MY picks – stuff I think will find its way to my shelves if it isn’t already there. That said, you may love them or loathe them, but I think they are worth stalking. Click on a cover and get whisked away to the GOODREADS page for details and where to buy :)
Melanie Hooyenga drops her second book in The Rules Series with a fearless girl and some dirty boys. How fast can you fall?
Junior year’s looking up for sixteen-year old Mike. Her new BFF isn’t a sadistic control freak, her boyfriend adores her, and she’s learning to bike in the mountains without decapitating herself on a tree.
When she meets a group of riders who welcome her into their pack, she feels like she’s finally found where she belongs. One particular rider—a boy with an amazing smile and an even more amazing ability to see what she’s truly capable of—gives her the confidence to go after what she wants: her own life with her own rules.
There’s only one problem—he’s not her boyfriend.
Just as things seem to be falling into place, her parents put on the pressure to figure out her future—one that doesn’t include riding. Mike soon realizes that having everything isn’t that great when she’s not the one choosing it. She needs to decide if she’s going to continue to be a follower or step out of the shadows and find her own trail.
Multi-award winning young adult author Melanie Hooyenga first started writing as a teenager and finds she still relates best to that age group. She has lived in Washington DC, Chicago, and Mexico, but has finally settled down in her home state of Michigan. When not at her day job as a Communications Director at a nonprofit, you can find Melanie attempting to wrangle her Miniature Schnauzer Owen and playing every sport imaginable with her husband Jeremy.
You can learn more about Melanie here: