ARC Book Review: Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
ashley | I knew I had to read Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young the minute I saw the cover. When I discovered it was about a young female warrior, I had to read it even more. Thankfully I was granted an advance copy, and while I couldn’t get to it right away, I devoured it as quickly as possible.
I must say, I’m really enjoying the vicious bite women characters are taking on these days. I’ve long been a fan of female driven books, of course, but it seems like lately, our women are taking things one step further and showing a gritty ruthlessness that has never been this apparent before. Eelyn is the perfect example of that; a warrior, raised on the notion of honour over life, she is tough as nails, fighting alongside the men, and often speaking about crushing someone’s skull in.
The other female characters are also fierce, and I enjoyed the dynamic that was built between them all. In fact, all the characters were great. There was a broad range of characters who all played their parts, but I really enjoyed that the bottom line of this story was the bond and loss between a brother and a sister. It wasn’t a love story at it’s core, though they each have their own tangents that involve that, but what drives the book is family and loyalty and that sibling bond, be it by blood or soul. I really enjoyed this.
The book is somewhat gritty at times, too. The fighting scenes aren’t sugar coated, there is carnage and blood and vivid descriptions of the scene as it unfolds. it’s not overly gratuitous, but it’s realistic and I loved that Young didn’t hold back.
Eelyn throws herself totally into battle, making her one of the strongest, rawest characters I’ve seen in a long time. Sure, she ends up finding love, but she doesn’t spend her moments in battle worrying or longing for her beloved, she does her duty, she does her job, and then she worries about everything else. You don’t see that too often, love often tends to blur the lines and get in the way of those kinds of loyalties, so I love that Young went in this direction.
Frankly, I loved everything about this story. The structure of it is expected and it doesn’t take any unexpected turns, but the bonds are strong and the characters are well groomed. It moves along at a really quick pace, there’s no long drawn out journey in between, the important points are met and the journey is touched upon, but nothing is overly drawn out so the momentum never loses its pace. I really enjoyed each page, each chapter, and I’d give anything for a little more.
I don’t know if there’s an intended sequel, it doesn’t really feel like there is much more to go on after this and while I love the characters, I wouldn’t want to see it drawn out into something more just because. But I’ll tell you this, whatever Young puts out next, I’m going to be first in line to read it. What a brutally beautiful debut. More please.
april 24, 2018