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review 2018-05-23 04:58
SKY IN THE DEEP BY ADRIENNE YOUNG
Sky in the Deep - Adrienne Young

 

This book was a bit of a slow starter for me. While things were interesting enough at the beginning, it wasn't till the last half of the book where I became truly invested in it. I feel like maybe some of that was because it took me quite awhile to warm up to the characters. I just wasn't invested in the main character, Eelyn, for a long time. By the end I did feel more for her, but it took some time to get there. I think most of that came from the mercurial relationship between Eelyn and her brother.

 

I was also expecting more of the story in general. I was really excited to read about this mix of mythology and Vikings but I felt like those aspects fell short of my expectations. I think a lot of those elements that were a part of the story were the obvious ones, how intense the call to battle is and the idol worship, but I didn't see much that went beyond the surface there.

 

I liked the overall message of discovering that the enemy isn't always some unredeemable monster, but more often than not a person just like you, a shade of grey, a person capable of good and bad, darkness and light, with family and friends and people that love them. That was, to me, the best part of this story and undoubtedly the most compelling.

 

*I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley and this is my honest review* 

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review 2018-04-21 23:07
Gorgeous, fierce YA historic fiction
Sky in the Deep - Adrienne Young

Disclaimer: reviewing uncorrected pre-publication galley via NetGalley

 

This was an awesome read. To be honest, I decided to review it because it was getting so much prelaunch hype, but I kinda thought I wouldn't be the target audience. I really just couldn't care less about Vikings, and so much of the marketing around it emphasizes that element.

 

If you're in the same camp, not to worry. Sky in the Deep is incredibly well-done and tells an exciting, high-stakes story with a fierce multi-dimensional main character who goes through an incredible character arc and journey. I don't think it's positioned as fantasy, but to me, it felt as much like fantasy as historical fiction.

 

Eelyn is a warrior, and the book opens with her totally eviscerating guys in battle. Which . . . I wasn't that into. I think I was afraid she was going to be really flat, like some implausible, too-perfect super-warrior, but she becomes more of a sympathetic character pretty quickly because her dead brother shows up to the battle. So maybe she's crazy or in shock, but then he shows up again--and when she chases him, she gets captured by the enemy.

 

Eelyn lives by a sort of warriors' code and puts honour above all, so being taken captive and forced into slavery by the group they're perpetually feuding with is nearly grounds for suicide. However, this isn't really the story of Eelyn the Viking superhero shutting down the old-world slave trade. It's way more nuanced than that.

 

I really appreciated the slow development that shows how someone with a rigid view of the world could come to understand others and challenge her own beliefs and those of her family/community. The slow-burn romance wasn't bad either~~

 

I'm looking forward to seeing what else Adrienne Young has in store for us. This was a beautiful, powerful debut about a girl who's not only a wicked-strong warrior, but has the strength to learn, grow, and love others despite the cost.

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