Friday, August 2, 2019

Shatter the Sky (Shatter the Sky, #1) by Rebecca Kim Wells

Synopsis (via Goodreads): Raised among the ruins of a conquered mountain nation, Maren dreams only of sharing a quiet life with her girlfriend Kaia—until the day Kaia is abducted by the Aurati, prophetic agents of the emperor, and forced to join their ranks. Desperate to save her, Maren hatches a plan to steal one of the emperor’s coveted dragons and storm the Aurati stronghold.

If Maren is to have any hope of succeeding, she must become an apprentice to the Aromatory—the emperor’s mysterious dragon trainer. But Maren is unprepared for the dangerous secrets she uncovers: rumors of a lost prince, a brewing rebellion, and a prophecy that threatens to shatter the empire itself. Not to mention the strange dreams she’s been having about a beast deep underground…

With time running out, can Maren survive long enough to rescue Kaia from impending death? Or could it be that Maren is destined for something greater than she could have ever imagined?


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I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

Shatter the Sky was a surprisingly quick read. I turned the last page and expected there to be more, but the book simply stopped after something major happened. The main plot was mostly resolved, but there was a lot left unsaid. I know it sets up a second book, but cliffhangers are annoying.

As for the quickness of the read, the story felt short and shallow. Maren travels all over the country in seemingly no time at all, and I wish there had been more details to fluff up the story. She's at the fortress for weeks, but it felt like we were only there for a few days. The overall concept was interesting, and I wanted to know more about Maren and her surroundings, but we jump from one thing to the next before really experiencing each place. It was almost like reading an outline, or a very well-edited rough draft. This was an ARC, so it's possible more was added before it was published.

The characters are faced with challenges and inconveniences, but everything felt like it clicked into place a little too easily. Something bad would happen, and then poof! A solution. Maren is trying to save her heartmate (love that word!), and is willing to risk her life to do it, but I never felt like her life was in danger. She lived with the enemy for weeks, and her time spent there was mostly unremarkable. I thought she would do something daring and heroic, but her actions fell a little flat for me. She was also a tad too predictable.

I was also disappointed with the lack of secondary characters. It's mostly about Maren and what's she's doing, and I wish there had been more meaningful friendships and relationships. It's either Maren, or Maren and Sev, and even then they barely got to know one another. They have secrets, they slowly reveal those secrets, and then they find out there were more secrets.

I loved the dragons, but hated their circumstances. I wish that had been elaborated on a little more as well. I wanted to know how their bonds worked, if they could communicate, how the emperor was able to make them do whatever he wanted... there were so many questions that never got answered. Again, I feel like this story had the potential to be more than it was.

I liked that this book included different F/F romances, and that it's normal and unquestioned. Love is love is love.

Despite Maren leaving home to fight for her heartmate, she stumbles into insta-love territory when she meets Sev. Yes, they were together for awhile at the fortress, but their encounters were few and far between. Once they start traveling together, some magnetic pull brings them closer, and I just could not get on board with it. I wish they'd remained friends and learned to trust each other without throwing romance into it. Now there's insta-love and a blooming love triangle.

I know it seems like I have a lot of complaints about this book, but I really enjoyed it overall. I just think there could have been more. The core of the story was incredibly unique and fascinating, and I really tried to immerse myself in the world, but I never felt like I was sharing the experience with the characters. Sadly, Shatter the Sky made me feel more like an observer than a participant.

14 comments:

  1. Ah no! Sorry this one was a disappointment. Love triangles are annoying af and instalove is worse! Added to the other problems and I'll give this one a hard pass.

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    1. Maren had one goal, which was to save her heartmate, so it felt wrong when I was blindsided with a potential relationship with Sev. It came out of nowhere! They were fighting, then saving each other, and then suddenly there were feelings. Just be friends and move on. She's known her heartmate for YEARS, although I suspect things will be different in the next book.

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  2. I agree that cliffhangers are annoying. I can get behind it in a second book in a trilogy since I expect for it to set up for the third book, but a first book is introducing me to the world and plot, so I expect it to resolve events for the most part. Instalove, the lack of secondary character interactions, the minimal world building, and the ease with which everything clicks into place wouldn't work for me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Lindsi!

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    1. I don't like cliffhangers at the end of any book, haha. I recently read the ACOTAR series, and they all ended with unanswered questions, but there was resolution in every book. The individual books end in their own way, while also setting up the next book. Shatter the Sky gets interesting, something big happens, and then it stops. I was really bummed about the lack of secondary characters. They were there, but briefly and underdeveloped. Also, I feel like the characters should have to work and sacrifice when they're trying to change the entire world. It doesn't have to be a bloody battle, but Maren seemed to always get away unscathed.

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  3. Cliffhangers are annoying but at least you liked this one for the most part.

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    1. I feel like the book ended right when things were getting interesting, so I was bummed. :/

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  4. I love the cover for this book! Cliffhangers can be awesome if done right, but I don't want an abrupt ending that leaves me unsatisfied or frustrated. Sorry this one didn't work for you in that aspect, but I'm happy to hear it wasn't a huge letdown.

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    1. I really liked the overall concept, and everything about the dragons was interesting, but the story stops right when the story picks up. It was like running headlong into a brick wall, the wall being the last page of this book. It simply stops after gaining a ton of momentum, which is super frustrating. There are some well-written cliffhangers, but most of those give you some resolution to hold you over until the next book.

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  5. Interesting concept, but yeah, seems like there were issues! Insta-love is one of my pet peeves, especially when it's unnecessary for the story.

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    1. She's been in a relationship with her heartmate for YEARS, and she's risking her life to save her love, but then she's suddenly questioning her feelings because of someone she barely knows? Ugh, no. They would make awesome friends, and I could see them working together to save her heartmate, but love?

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  6. The odd love triangle really threw me off too. It was a shallow story for sure. I did enjoy the different dragon enslavement (is that the right word?) but we didn't get to explore it any more than the other bits of the story. Great review Lindsi ❤️

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    1. Right?? Why did he suddenly grab her ands and confess his feelings for her? They barely knew each other, and there were 100 secrets between them. Besides, she told him she had someone. I feel like it would have been a better read had the story and characters been fleshed out a little more. Yes! The dragon enslavement was interesting, although her visions told me what to expect before she figured it out. Her mother essentially told her what was happening and she didn't put it together on her own. Also, she left the fortress an enemy and didn't once think about what that would mean for her cousin/uncle.

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  7. Sounds like this one definitely could have been fleshed out more and would have benefited from some more details in the narrative. And that sounds like some cliffhanger!

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    1. Yes! More details would have greatly improved my experience with this book. I feel like I barely know the characters, and they never described their settings with more than a few details. The cliffhanger was awful. I explained in an earlier comment that it was like running headlong into a brick wall. The story was finally building tension and gaining momentum, and then it ends. :(

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“Stuff and nonsense. Nonsense and stuff and much of a muchness and nonsense all over again. We are all mad here, don't you know?”
― Marissa Meyer, Heartless