"The Books" should be featured larger of course, and personally I can do without video games -- but other than that, seeing as it's raining outside ...
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.
I did not like Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail very much. I just couldn’t get past Cheryl Strayed’s unpreparedness for long-distance hiking and found her a distasteful person who I didn’t particularly want to spend time with. I also found the narrative disorganized and the insights she gained from her journey pedestrian. If Wild hadn’t been the selection for my office book club, I probably would not have finished the book. As it was, partway through I stopped reading and started skimming.
Several of my co-workers also didn’t like Wild very much either, including one person who said that she expected much more from the author of Tiny Beautiful Things (which I have not read). A number of others hadn’t finished, but had seen the movie, so we spent as much time comparing the book to the movie and discussing other wilderness journey movies as discussing the book itself.
In other news, the office book club appears to be turning into a book-to-movie club, which isn’t actually such a bad thing. Our first selection was Room, our second was Wild, and our next choice is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a re-read for me (I listened to the audiobook a few years ago). I’m looking forward to re-reading it and I’m interested to hear what the others think. And we’ll see how the scheduling goes, but we’re also starting to kick around the idea of a movie night where we watch the movies and talk some more.