Monday, April 23, 2018

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Synopsis (via Goodreads): 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.
It was what we’d been taught our entire lives—vegr yfir fjor—honor above life.
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Also, the quote I used may have changed or been altered in some way, but I am quoting from what I received.

Sky in the Deep was pretty violent at times, so this might not be a good book for the faint of heart. The two clans within the story have been warring with each other for generations, and they prepare their children for battle when they are still incredibly young and innocent. That innocence doesn't last very long when they are forced to kill other people to appease their gods.

Eelyn was a very interesting and complex character. She knew what she believed in, or at least she thought she did, and she held on to those beliefs despite the hell she went through. Family and honor were more important to her than her own life, so she didn't hesitate to put them before everything else. It caused her to act recklessly at times, and occasionally the consequences were severe, but she never let that stop her from doing what she believed was right. Her childhood and the lessons she was taught defined her, and it took a long time for her to view the world with a different perspective.

Fiske was undoubtedly a good person. He was always putting others before himself and saving people he shouldn't. Life was precious to him, but so was protecting his family and honoring his god. I could feel how conflicted he was during certain situations, but I never knew what he would do or how he would handle them. He was a constant surprise. I also adored his family, especially his younger brother. I think Halvard played a large role in helping Eelyn, even though he was just being a sweet kid.

I believe Sky in the Deep delivers an important message. The two clans have been fighting for too long, and it's just expected that their children will do the same. They fight, they die, and then their families want revenge. It's a never-ending cycle that gets passed down over the years. We should never want that to be the world our children live in. We should always strive to be better.

I thought the story started off strong and in-your-face, but the middle felt a little sluggish at times. It took awhile for certain things to happen, and while the information was interesting, I wish it had been condensed just a little. Other than that I really have no complaints (except for all of the animal sacrifices, because I could have definitely done without those). It was an interesting concept that was beautifully executed. 

38 comments:

  1. Yay! So glad you liked this. I really did love it and how just different it was.

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    1. It was very unique! I enjoyed the unfamiliarity of it.

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  2. Glad to see you like this. I don’t mind violence in books. I do on tv though lol. I am still on the fence with this one.

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    1. I'm not crazy about violence in books or on TV, but it depends... The Marvel movies have a lot of fighting, but they kill monsters and aliens as opposed to people. Sky in the Deep was clan against clan. There were children fighting adults and being slaughtered (not as much description on that part, but it tells you about it happening). One is clearly fantastical, but the other seems too realistic.

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  3. Lol, Fiske, that cracks me up. Sorry, it means fishing :) I hope he can!
    But yes this sounds great and omg, I would not want to be in her shoes

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    1. Hah! She asked him once in the book if his name meant fish, but he never responded. I just assumed it did!

      I wouldn't want to be in her shoes either, ugh. People can be so cruel (on both sides).

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  4. I was curious about this one and it looks interesting and quite well done too so I'm curious to try

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  5. Dark and violent is ok, despite the middle sagging a little this does sound good.

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    1. It was just a lot of information! It was interesting and relevant to the story, but we go from fighting in a war to life after, which isn't as quickly paced. It's really just about her living with her enemy and planning her escape, but also how they treat her and what their lives are like. It shows her that they are people just like her, yet they fight every five years.

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  6. Glad to hear this one is good, even if it lags a bit at times. I've been curious, and violence in books is certainly not a deterrent for me (I don't seek it out, but it doesn't bother me at all)

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    1. I think you should read it! It was really wonderful and not something I've read about before. Eelyn is fierce and loyal, but she also thinks for herself. The violence isn't too severe, but there is a lot of it.

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  7. I really enjoyed this one too :)

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  8. I think I have this one on my kindle. Good to know it’s a little slow in the middle but unique.

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    1. It's definitely worth the read! I can't wait to see what you think!

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  9. I've been hearing really good things about this one, so I'm happy to see you enjoyed it too. The characters sound really interesting too!

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. They were! It was so different from other things I've read. I thought the story was compelling and the characters were true to themselves. It meant they weren't always likable at times, but we also didn't always have all the facts.

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  10. I have heard some great things about this book. I had no idea that animal sacrifice was a part of this story. I will keep that in mind as I decide if I should add it to my tbr pile.

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    1. I didn't either! I was pretty disappointed with that aspect, but I understand that it's part of some cultures and lifestyles. It was just described with as much detail as everything else, so it felt like I was watching/feeling them die. Ugh, hated those parts!

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  11. It sure gives a dark vibe with that cover Lindsi! I agree I could do without the killing of animals but otherwise this sounds quite good. A kind of Romeo and Juliet sort of story. Great review ;)

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    1. I love the cover! It's so captivating! Yes, the animal sacrifices were a negative for me, too. I know it was relevant to the story, the time period, and the culture. But... ugh. It was just awful to read about and experience (via Eelyn).

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  12. I've seen several good reviews for this now in the last few days, and I've finally broken down and decided to get it. Can't wait!

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    1. Yay! I can't wait to see what you think about it!

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  13. I’m so glad to see that this (for the most part) lived up to the hype. It’s getting a whole lot of buzz and it’s always disappointing when that doesn’t deliver. Sure sounds heavy on the violence, though. Yikes.
    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

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    1. I worry about super-hyped books, too. This one definitely delivers! Very heavy on the violence and brutality. I'm not crazy about it, but I can read it when it's relevant.

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  14. I keep reading mixed reviews so I go back and forth with this one lol

    Maybe a library pick.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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    1. It's always a safe place to start! You can always go back and buy it for yourself if you love it. :)

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  15. I haven't heard about this one. Sounds like a lot of fighting in this one.

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    1. There is! It's pretty brutal at times. It fits in with the rest of the story, and it's mostly relevant information. Like, he shoulder injury keeps her from doing this, or blindly battling others because it's what you've always done, etc.

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  16. I'm so glad this is getting good reviews, I really loved it. Great review!

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    1. Yay! Thanks! I'm glad it lived up to the hype.

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  17. I really enjoyed this one when I read it, especially Eelyn and Fiske. I agree about the sluggish middle though. The domestic scenes dragged me down a little, but I still loved it overall. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it.

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    1. Same! I loved her experiences with Fiske and his family, because I think they really wanted to help her. Their kindness also showed her a different perspective. They made themselves human in her eyes, and not just something else to fight. But it did start to drag after awhile.

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  18. I'm getting an annotated version of this from PageHabit, so I was hoping that people like it. I'm glad to see that it's getting mostly positive reviews. I'll have to keep in mind that it gets slow in the middle.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. I have only seen raving/good reviews for this one! I was worried before I started it, but I was immediately swept away into the story. It starts off fast before slowing down quite a bit, but then it picks back up again! I can't wait to see what you think. :)

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  19. I've heard great things about this one. I'm definitely going to read it, even though excessive violence and animal sacrifice might make it a little difficult!

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    1. It's really only right at the beginning and the very end! It was a really enjoyable read despite those two things, so I hope you like it!

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― Marissa Meyer, Heartless