Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Take Back The Skies by Lucy Saxon

Catherine Hunter is the daughter of a senior government official on the island of Anglya. She’s one of the privileged – she has luxurious clothes, plenty to eat, and is protected from the Collections which have ravaged families throughout the land. But Catherine longs to escape the confines of her life, before her dad can marry her off to a government brat and trap her forever.
So Catherine becomes Cat, pretends to be a kid escaping the Collections, and stows away on the skyship Stormdancer. As they leave Anglya behind and brave the storms that fill the skies around the islands of Tellus, Cat’s world becomes more turbulent than she could ever have imagined, and dangerous secrets unravel her old life once and for all . . .

Catherine was a privileged daughter of a big man in the government but hates the way the world works, from her future arranged marriage to the kids being taken off the streets. So she runs away from home and stows away on a merchant ship. Now, I don't know whether I skipped something in the beginning but a couple of things confused me: I wasn't sure if the other places were islands or planets, especially as they flew there; and was Cat supposed to be pretending to be a boy, or did the crew just assume?

Even though I really liked Cat, a lot of the time things just went her way. She didn't get caught on her first time pickpocketing, the crew on the ship she smuggled onto was perfectly ok with having a stowaway and the big one was that when she found that the government was hiding something from its people, the crew just followed her lead in trying to overthrow them. I mean, it's great and everything that they wanted to help, but they did it on the word of a fourteen year old girl? 

And then there was Fox. Despite his manic mood swings, going from awkward to annoying and back again, I really liked him. He was a good kid, if unused to trusting people. And I really liked Fox and Cat together, even though it was pretty obvious; however, there was a bit of insta-love and that always annoys me, add in the fact that Cat was barely 15? Yeah, not believable. 

Overall it was really good, I even sort of got used to the stupid formatting, but there were too many little niggles that didn't quite make it realistic. If it wasn't for the big ending, I'd say Cat was too much of a Mary Sue, getting her way all the time. But she was a great character, just the story could have been developed a bit differently. For a debut, it had it's typical issues that needed sorting out but I'm impressed considering she wrote this when she was 16! Worth a shot for fans of the genre, plus Lucy Saxon is definitely an author to watch. 

Published 5th June 2014 by Bloomsbury. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

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