Monday, August 31, 2015
Review: Earth & Sky by Megan Crewe
Author: Megan Crewe
Series: Earth & Sky, Book One
Published Date: 28 October 2014
Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository | Dymocks Australia
I received this book through NetGalley from Skyscape for review.
Seventeen-year-old Skylar has been haunted for as long as she can remember by fleeting yet powerful sensations that something is horribly wrong. But despite the visions of disaster that torment her, nothing ever happens, and Sky’s beginning to think she’s crazy. Then she meets a mysterious, otherworldly boy named Win and discovers the shocking truth her premonitions have tapped into: that our world no longer belongs to us. For thousands of years, life on Earth has been at the mercy of alien scientists who care nothing for humans and are using us as the unwitting subjects of their time-manipulating experiments. Win belongs to a rebel faction seeking to put a stop to it, and he needs Skylar’s help to save the world and keep the very fabric of reality together. Megan Crewe’s latest tale takes readers on a mind-bending journey through time with a cast of unforgettable characters. (summary from Goodreads)
Earth & Sky has an interesting and well thought out concept, but it misses the mark on being a captivating and impacting read.
The great thing about Earth & Sky is that its world building is pretty thorough. The 'science' of time travel and aliens didn't have me confused or unbelieving, though there were times I'd rather Crewe had practiced more showing and less telling. Overall though this alternate world Crewe created has a touch of realness to it so that it wasn't necessary to suspend my disbelief in order to enjoy her fiction. It surely can't be easy to develop and portray a time travel theory that isn't entirely gobbledygook to the every day reader. Time travel offers fun in that different cultures and time periods can be explored and Earth & Sky has that. Crewe's characters experienced revolutions in France, Asia and America, and these add a touch of history and action to the story that I enjoyed. Unfortunately, much of that was overshadowed by the cycling sequence of the exact same events. Sky and Win travel, aim to find Jeanant, the Enforcers show up, fight and banter, they get away by the skin of their nose. Rinse and repeat. Multiple times. By the third time I was honestly over it. It became tedious to the point of being headache inducing and I just wanted something to happen to change it up. But it didn't turn out that way, and then Earth & Sky ended in a lackluster "well, that's it" manner before aiming for a cliffhanger. While a part of me does want to know where the series plans to go, for the most part I'm just not that invested.
I didn't mind Sky and Win as characters though I didn't feel overly invested in them either. Crewe was great at detailing Sky's anxiety however, so that anytime she experienced that 'wrong' feeling a tension built. In this way, you definitely feel for Sky. Plus I really liked the storyline of Sky's brother, Noam. It offers Earth & Sky a different sort of mystery and adds to the empathy for Sky. I think Crewe intended for Noam's story to personalise the mission for Sky, so that it was more than just 'saving the world', and in that she succeeds. But at the same time I can't help feeling it's shoved in amongst everything else and so it doesn't have the full impact that it could have had. I was dissatisfied with how it got left, but hey, maybe it'll get added to in later books. When it comes to Win, I feel like we didn't really get to know him. He's sort of just there to get Sky from A to B and explain what's going on. I'd be interested to read more of this series in the hopes we learn more about Win and his motives. As for Sky and Win's relationship, it doesn't develop into much. It doesn't entirely cross into romance, so it's not exactly insta-love, but even the friendship still feels somewhat forced. Earth & Sky is missing that connection, in many ways.
The world building and time travel of Earth & Sky makes for a solid start, but the story and characters just don't advance from there to make this book something more.