A copy of this novel was provided by Bloomsbury Australia in exchange an honest review.
Oh, boy. I’m going to write this review on a kind of timeline, because I think that would best describe my feelings and how they changed throughout the course of this novel.
I received this book from the lovely people at Bloomsbury. I hadn’t heard of it, but as soon as I read the blurb, I was keen. I love steampunk and I love fantasy, and the author was a teenager (which is awesome).
Then I started to see some reviews … some not-so-great reviews. I generally don’t let reviews sway me. I mean, a lot of the time my opinion of a book is different from most everybody else. So I don’t take too much notice of a review, if I am intending to read a novel anyway.
And then I started Take Back the Skies. I liked it. I thought the main character was sassy and cute, I liked the world, and I liked the inclusion of the airships and the Collection and all those other world-building-esque type things.
The writing style was simplistic, but it almost felt like it was singing a lullaby to me as I read. In the best way possible. It was like sliding into a warm bath whenever I started reading. It was effortless to immerse myself in the story and the character arcs. I was actually kind of in love with it.
There were a few too many perfect ties. And by that I mean too many problems were tied up easily and perfectly. I don’t think every problem needs an easy solution, and they certainly don’t have them every single time. I would have liked some conflict around the problems, some actions that weren’t straightforward and weren’t easy for everyone to agree with. Problems are just that – problems, and they can last a very long time, and they can’t always be solved with one action.
The romance was quite cute, and a little predictable. There was the original conflict regarding truth and lies, the witty and snarky banter, and then the inevitable culmination of the romance and feelings the two characters had for one another. This culmination was kind of a bit odd (SPOILER: it happens with a dead body RIGHT NEXT TO THEM. END SPOILER), so I wasn’t really into it. I also felt like after this admission + kiss, their relationship moved a little too quickly. It takes time to be relaxed and confident enough to steal kisses from someone on a frequent basis, and there wasn’t any of this time. The two characters just slid into numerous PDAs almost immediately.
Regardless of some problems, I was readying myself to rate Take Back the Skies three and a half balloons. I liked the writing style, the story was pretty cool, and I knew I’d read the next book in the series.
These thoughts kind of hit the fan when the last few chapters came (and the epilogue). This event happens and the main character’s (Cat’s) reaction was completely unbelievable. And then another character comes in and says some incredibly insensitive things (considering what had just occurred), and I was left thinking: what the heck just happened? I was actually laughing, and unfortunately it was not a laughing matter (or at least, it wasn’t supposed to be). I couldn’t believe that I had spent the better part of 350 pages getting to know a character and their story and shipping them and looking forward to a future for them, only to have that thrown in my face. I just couldn’t believe it, and I couldn’t forgive it, either.
The epilogue was not enjoyable. Cat had done almost a complete 180 in terms of her character and the things she believed in … and I just felt very unimpressed by the whole thing.
Due to the ending, this book was therefore rated two and a half balloons. The ending was simply not okay, in so many ways. It also makes me wonder how there is going to be a sequel, because of the perfect bows I mentioned before, and also the epilogue. I’ll probably read it, simply to see where the author takes the story.
© 2014, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.