Take Back the Skies
By Lucy Saxon
Catherine Hunter is the daughter of a senior government official in Anglya meaning she is privileged, however she longs to escape the confines of her life before her father can marry her off. So, Cat stows away on the ship the Stormdancer hoping to get away.
For 19 years old, Lucy Saxons first book is pretty good. She certainly has a lot of potential talent which I’m sure will improve as she writes more.
The plot of TBTS is fairly good, it has a dystopian ‘overthrow a terrible government’ feel to it but different and in a completely new world. However, at the start of the book, Cat’s objective is to escape her life, but we don’t get enough detail on it to know exactly what she’s escaping from- she dislikes her father, but doesn’t every teenager at some point and her mother still lives and she’s ill, doesn’t she mind abandoning her? I felt it needed more on her father cruel behaviour so that she felt forced to leave rather than seemingly like a stroppy runaway teen.
After Cat leaves there is too big a gap in the plot where nothing really happens. She just lives happily on the Stormdancer with nothing building in the background and you wonder what the rest of the story is going to be about. It leaves you bored just waiting for the plot to pick up.
Once things do pick up, sometimes you’re left thinking, really? The main characters have snuck in to a secret government building and to avoid being caught hide in a cupboard, where they begin talking. Surely, they couldn’t be at all surprised when they’re shortly after discovered and hauled out.
The characters I think could’ve been better developed with more stand out individual characteristics, you had the stereotypical enigmatic male with a dark past he doesn’t wish to speak of. He didn’t seem in anyway different to past heroes. The heroine was a usual stubborn girl wanting to escape her life and finds herself falling in love with the first boy she encounters.
The language used seemed unnatural and forced almost. The dialogue just didn’t flow but seemed disjointed; it needed to be more conversational.
The world building was good; Lucy has built an odd and new world with hopefully opportunity for later books set in it. It was easy to slip into the world and imagine it and want to be aboard the Stormdancer.
The end of the book I feel isn’t satisfying, you’re left hanging and angry that the end just isn’t nice. After finishing, I liked that the end was different and sort of angered me because it made it stand out but I felt saddened by it in an already quite dark book. It didn’t change and end lightly, which was surprising.
Overall, I’d give this book 2 stars out of 5.