Saturday, January 29, 2011

Book review: Finding Sky

Finding Sky
Can one girl find the strength to battle the demons of her past in order to embrace the future with her soulfinder?

Finding Sky by Joss Stirling (Oxford University Press)

When Sky Bright catches a glimpse of moody bad boy Zed, she can't help but instinctively feel drawn to him.

Beyond his good looks, there just seems to be something that is uncannily different about him - something that she is observant enough to pick up on.

Zed, for his part, discovers that he is able to communicate telepathically with Sky, thereby making her far different to any other girl he has ever known. 

He also reveals that she is a Savant and is gifted with the special powers and abilities (examples including telepathy and being able to see into the future).

Beyond that, Zed also tells Sky that she is his soulfinder - his other half whose gifts are the other half of his. Unfortunately for Zed, things aren't that simple or easy for Sky.

She's a mystery unto herself and is haunted by the nightmares of a disturbing past she has little to no recollection of. Trusting Zed would mean giving more of herself than she wants to and will prove to be the ultimate test when danger lurks nearby.

Will she be able to embrace her still waking power and be brave enough to conquer the demons of her past in time to save those that she loves? 

It's up  to both Zed and Sky to work together to figure out just what happened in her past if she wants to have a new future.

Review:

I recently read and reviewed a book called Never Let Me Go.  In my review, I mentioned that one of the biggest things that hurts the book (it's a wonderful read by the way), is the fact that it's been misrepresented and made out to be a science fiction novel, which it is not.

This misrepresentation gave me pause for thought and made me reflect on just how many outside factors could hurt a book in terms of drawing readers in.

In the case of Finding Sky, the problem I had is that the synopsis of the book sounds like it's a Twilight rip off.

Now I've read Twilight back in the day and would probably not have been too bothered about this, but I know that there are a lot of people out there who loathe the series and would steer clear of this book because, at first glance, it does seem to come across as being a Twilight-inspired novel. 

This is really a pity because the book is anything but a carbon copy of Twilight. In fact Finding Sky is a tantalizing and refreshingly different offering in an, dare I say it, overly done and often clich├ęd genre that paranormal romance seems to have become.

And I for one, enjoyed it. Far more than I thought I would actually.

It usually takes me a couple of chapters to really get into a book, but with Finding Sky, I found myself gripped from the first page.

The first chapter starts off with Sky having a flashback to her being abandoned at a gas station with no recollection of the people who ditched her there or how she managed to find herself there.

My curiosity flared from the first page and just blossomed into a full sense of urgency to read this book. And things certainly only become more intriguing throughout the book.

Following the flashback, we next meet Sky where she and her dotty, distracted and artistic parents are just about settling in their new home in Colorado and where Sky is set to start a new year at a new school. Feeling decidedly like a lost English school girl, Sky is not sure what to expect.

Surprisingly enough, she settles in quickly, makes a new friend or two and adapts well to the small, snowy town of Colorado.

Then she meets Zed Benedict.

Smoulderingly gorgeous he may be, but her first few encounters with him leaves her with nothing but a bad taste in her mouth. At first glance he comes across as being an insolent, aggressive rebel and makes no bones about leaving Sky with this impression.

The great thing about Sky as a character is that she doesn't instantly fall for Zed. Sure she finds him attractive, but when he gives her attitude, Sky shows that she actually takes exception to it and doesn't take it lying down.

For me this is such a refreshing and much needed change from the girl meets boy and ends up instantly smitten without having spoken two words to said boy scenario.

A not so instant love connection for me shows that there is a lot of character development that has been thought out and put down to paper and it just so happens to be the case with Joss Stirling's Finding Sky. 

The relationship between Sky and Zed develops at a realistic pace, which makes the romance between them seem all the more real and sweeter for it.

Another thing that I also loved about this book is Sky's reaction to when Zed tells her that she's a savant.

It irritates me so when female characters accept the out-of-the-ordinary and the supernatural so easily and without a fight, especially when the story is set in a world where it's not the norm for it to occur.

Sky blatantly refuses to accept anything savant related for an appropriately long-enough time for her to actually really come to terms with it. And when she does come to terms with it, she still does so with a strong reluctance that almost does the exact opposite of what the too-accepting characters do (which, perversely enough, is also a little annoying).

Finding Sky not only focuses on romance, but the paranormal aspect ensures that the book is locked, loaded and jam-packed with action.

In fact, and this is one of the problems I had with the novel, there was almost too much action in one go, which at times, made the post action scenes seem a little too angst-filled.

Joss's introduction into the world and gifts of Savants are certainly very interesting.

The idea behind being a Savant and having these enhanced gifts, is not so much focused on having physical strength, but draws more from psyche and what your mind is capable of when you have gifts like telepathy, and clairvoyance amongst others.

She doesn't give much away, but leaves enough room and opening for a continuation of the series.

The writing, for the most part, is quite beautiful. It's not as blatantly lyrical as most YA novels are, but then, perhaps it wasn't meant to be.

All in all,  I found Finding Sky to be a great read and think it's a great set up for what I hope is the start of a great new book series.

Rating: A solid 3.5/5 

Special thanks to the lovely Leanna from Daisy Chain Book Reviews for sending the book my way. :)

6 comments:

Leanna (Daisy Chain Book Reviews) said...

You are very welcome, and I'm so glad you enjoyed this one!

I agree that there was something very unique and refreshing about this one. It's a good debut - something a little different, for sure!

Great review, doll! :)

Straylights said...

Sounds pretty interesting. I think I might like that there was so much action in the book. I get bored with too much introspection ya know? :) I think if I had just read the synopsis to the book I don't think I would have tried it, but your review has me interested! =D

Splendibird said...

I've read this but not reviewed it - I should because, like you, I felt it had been publicised in entirely the wrong way. I thought the writing was strong, the protagonist interesting and the storyline pretty original. Also - seven hot brothers, Joss Stirling and Alyxandra Harvey should just write all books in the future because all books should contain groups of seven hot brothers. Seriously, I agree with all that you've said and think that this could turn out to be a great and unpredictable series - not something you see that often in paranormal YA.

Aisle B said...

I wondered how this one would turn out and from the sounds of things, it turned out better than thought.
I love a heroine who thinks and does not fall into a "woe is me, I think I'm in love" but acts on intuition instead.

Love your review and writing most. Girl you might want to consider writing your own since you do have an incredible way to GRAB the MOMENT.

Just a thought... maybe you should :)

brandileigh2003 said...

Good to hear that it is refreshingly different than T.
Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

Clover said...

I've only sort of skimmed your review as I'm hoping to read this book for my love month in February.. It does sound interesting through, the difference in what the book is and how it's been marketed.