published: 3rd September 2019
spoilers? not really, but don’t read the synopsis if you haven’t read book 1!!
Ia Cōcha never thought she’d be working for the Olympus Commonwealth. But that was before she found out her trusted brother Einn was trying to tear apart the universe. Now, Ia, the Blood Wolf of the Skies, has agreed to help the Royal Star Force on one condition: when she finds him, she gets to kill Einn herself.
Brinn Tarver has just come to terms with her Tawny identity when the public lashes out against her people, crushing her family. At her breaking point, she starts to question everything she believes in—including Ia.
After the death of his mentor, Knives Adams is doing his best to live up to a role he didn’t ask for as Aphelion’s new headmaster. Still, with each new step deeper into war, he feels torn between his duties and the pull of Ia’s radical—sometimes criminal—ideas.
As they fight to keep darkness from eclipsing the skies, their unpredictable choices launch this breathtaking sequel to explosive new heights.
Galley provided by publisher
CWs: death of a sapphic character
Sci-fi is one of my favourite genres, so I’m always on the lookout for good YA sci-fi, particularly. When I read Ignite the Stars earlier in the month, I knew I had found some. And Eclipse the Skies is a solid continuation of that.
The story picks up almost exactly from where Ignite the Stars ended, with that epic twist, and everything that comes after. But nothing stays the same for long. Within pages, there’s more action, higher stakes, and some distinct moments that make you wonder whether you’re, in fact, backing the right horse (for all you who love a good sympathetic villain).
What I loved most about book 1, and what I continued to love in this book, was the characters. The book is driven by the characters and their relationships. Sure, there’s action (which I appreciate), but that action is rooted in the characters’ relationships (particularly Ia and her brother Einn). On the whole, those relationships were great. Okay, so the romantic relationships weren’t my cup of tea (ask me about Brinn and Ia’s potential. Ask me), but they were a small enough part of the book that I could just pretend they weren’t happening.
And, like I said, this was a solid continuation of the first book, with lots of action and an epic conclusion (that almost made me cry).
But I just struggled to get fully invested in this book in a way that I didn’t for book 1. The writing as good (but for a few parts where it felt clunky, which I knew would be there after the first book) and the action scenes were great. I just couldn’t get into it so much and I don’t know why.
More than that, though, I wasn’t too keen on the fact that one of the three minor sapphic characters is killed. It’s all very well creating a world where sexuality isn’t a big deal, but then when all your main characters are straight, your relationships are all m/f, and you kill off one of your only non-straight characters? Well, it all feels a bit like lip-service to me. And it was pretty disappointing, in all honesty. Just because you’ve written out homophobia in your world, doesn’t give you a free pass to fall into homophobic tropes.
So, I guess, in the end, that was what made me like the last third of the book less than I might have (especially given how epic an ending it was). Regardless, it was a good book and a great conclusion to the duology. It was just that small part that let me down.