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This. Is so much. Everything. I can’t. I just. I want to find the right words to explain why, or even how this grabbed me by the throat and squeezed until I forgot how to even breathe and no longer even cared that I couldn’t. But I can’t. I’ll try, but I already know I’m going to fail to do it justice.
This YA fantasy, reminiscent of a Viking culture, is one of my favorite reads of 2018 so far, and I’m already 171 books deep and have read some pretty amazing stuff. I currently can’t name any of those other titles, because I only have eyes for Sky in the Deep right now, and as a result, everything else has suddenly paled in comparison.
This is absolutely brutal and stark, but with so much texture and depth and richness of the world that I want to throw away my flip-flops and messy bun for battle armor and braids. The MC is pure wrath and solid conviction, and I love that her level of ferocity and concept of honor is paired with so much raw emotion.
On a worse note, this novel is so incredible that it has completely crippled me with self-doubt, and I’m now floundering with my current writing project. So I both love that it could destroy me like this, and I hate that I allow myself to be made small in comparison. Probably, in a few days, after I pick myself back up off the floor and stop reeling, I’ll try to resolve this crisis of writing faith. For now, I mostly just want to pick this story back up and bury myself deep inside the world again. And then again and again.
As an aside, if you can’t handle blood, gore, battle, and violence, then you will struggle with this book, but I suggest you find a way to handle those things, if at all possible, as there is so much heart you’ll be missing out on if you pass this one up.
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Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Yes. Sky in the Deep is definitely something unique in the YA Fantasy landscape. Intensely character-drive, stark, bleak, and yet the thread of hope is pulled taut throughout the entire narrative.
What other book might you compare Sky in the Deep to and why?
And I Darken by Kiersten White, but less dense and complex, quicker paced, with a touch of fantasy influence.
Which character – as performed by Khristine Hvam – was your favorite?
Eelyn, but she differentiated all the characters well. Never took me out of the story. Excellent performance.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
All the interactions between Eelyn and Halvard. Totally disarming.
Any additional comments?
Sky in the Deep hit me in the feels with its focus on family relationships, both blood family and found family, and in particular the close and complicated sibling relationships. Aaaaagh my favorite!
Lest you think Eelyn is yet another generic Strong Female Character Who Is Not Like Other Girls, please let me clarify: The beautiful thing about this book is its reflection of Viking culture and the role of women. Eelyn is not special because she's a woman warrior. There are lots of women warriors. It's just the way of things. And the men in this book are deeply emotional, too, and not at all afraid to show it. Eelyn is loyal to her core, fierce, proud, loving, and ultimately powerful in a way that has nothing to do with her physical strength.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful