Take Back the Skies by Lucy Saxon

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Take Back the Skies by Lucy Saxon

Category: Teens
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Cat stows away on a skyship to avoid being married off by her ruthlessly ambitious father. A fun dystopian-type fantasy but too predictable for us.
Buy? No Borrow? Yes
Pages: 384 Date: June 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 1408847655

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Catherine Hunter leads a privileged life. She lives on the island of Anglya, where her father is a higher-up in the government. She lives a luxurious house, has plenty of food, closets full of beautiful clothes and, most importantly, is exempt from the Collections which conscript Anglyan children into a war that has being going on for many years.

But Catherine isn't happy. Her mother is very ill. Her father is a cold, distant authoritarian unconcerned with his only daughter's happiness and bent on marrying her off for political advantage. Cat longs to travel. She dreams of flying in a skyship and of seeing the world beyond her island's borders. So Catherine becomes Cat. She stows away on the skyship Stormdancer. Here, she meets the truculent Fox and here, she discovers some terrible secrets about her old life, the war, and her father...

I enjoyed the premise of Take Back the Skies - it's basically about war being used as a cover for all sorts of power-grabs and government corruption. You start out wondering why nobody is asking: why is this war never-ending. And you end up seeing exactly why. The worldbuilding is enjoyable too - there's a slight steampunk flavour but not too much and you do feel as though the world of Tellus comes to life through the pages of the book.

Much as I hate to say it, though, I found the other elements of the story less satisfactory. There are a good few plot holes and some of the conspiracy set up is so far-fetched it's difficult to take seriously. Because of this, the reader's belief in the courage and tenacity of the heroine is also less credible. I wasn't really taken by the romantic arc either, mostly because the dialogue - and dialogue tags - stuttered. It just felt as though the entire book needed a good tidy up.

There is the seed of a great fantasy series within Take Back the Skies but I'm afraid to say it just isn't quite ready yet.

For some super skyships and a steampunk flavour, try Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld.

Buy Take Back the Skies by Lucy Saxon at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Take Back the Skies by Lucy Saxon at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Take Back the Skies by Lucy Saxon at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Take Back the Skies by Lucy Saxon at Amazon.com.


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