Saturday, 2 October 2010

Review: Finding Sky by Joss Stirling

Finding Sky by Joss StirlingFinding Sky by Joss Stirling (review copy) - "You have half our gifts, I have the other..."

When English girl Sky, catches a glimpse of bad boy Zed in her new American high school, she can't get him out of her head. He talks to her with his thoughts. He reads her mind. He is the boy she will love for ever. Dark shadows stalk her past but a new evil threatens her future. Sky must face the dark even if it means losing her heart.
From Amazon UK

This book was just so good! There are quite a lot of YA paranormal romances around these days, a lot of vampires, werewolves and angels. I love them all, but in Finding Sky, we have something new; Savants. People with special abilities. You know that question people sometimes ask - if there's any super power you could have, what would it be? A fair number of responses you could come up with are found in the pages of this book.

There was something strangely unique to this storyline, even though at it's very basic level, it's not completely different from other stories we know. Girl moves to new place, makes friends, and is drawn to this rude guy who isn't all he seems. Boy and girl fall in love, then bad stuff happens. How many books can you think of that that sounds like? The thing is, it works! How many of those same books are huge among their fans? And I think Finding Sky will be the same. But as I said, there's something strangely unique about the story. Could it be the characters, who seem like they've stepped out of a movie and into the pages of a book, they're THAT lifelike? OR the beautiful scenery? Or the whole idea of what the Benedicts do, that leads to the conflict? I have got to say, that is just genius! Superheroes in their own right!

Although I've just said "superheroes", do not think Spiderman, Superman, Batman, or any other "insert here"-man. They have ordinary lives too. Zed is the bad boy at the school; staggeringly gorgeous, never looks twice at any girl in town, and treats everyone like crap - yet there's something else to him. Think Alex Fuentes, but with a special ability. Ok, I know to some, liking Zed to Alex Fuentes is going to cause them to think, "Yeah, right!" But I'm serious. Really.

Then there's Sky. She's short, has a silly name (Sky Bright - she's heard it all before), and has a dark past she's blocked out. She has her quirks; she daydreams and enjoys thinking of things in storyboard/comic form, but she also has a mind of her own. For a good part of the book, she doubts what she is being told. Special powers? Yeah, ok. She's Zed's Soulfinder - the one and only for those with special abilities, mate for life? Oh, come on, life is not a fairy tale. This is all just some clever ploy to make a fool out of her. And I love her for it! This is the first time I've really seen a YA paranormal romance protagonist really fight against believing the impossible, and it's so refreshing!

There are lots of other characters that are awesome, but if I went on about them, it would take too long. I will just say bom-chika-wow-wow about Zed's brothers, Trace, Uriel, Victor, Will, Xavier and Yves! Sally and Simon, Sky's parents, are lovely and wacky. And Sky's friends Tina, Nelson and Zoe are just too cool! Love them all!

I've touched on the plot and the conflict. I really can't go into anymore detail without spoiling the book for you, but it's just brilliant! I can only think of one series of books that comes anywhere close, but that's only by a little bit. Seriously, brilliantly unique, and I really hope there are more books that follow, because there are so many avenues to go down!

Like what else can the Savants do? Why are they called "Savants"? Who else is in the Savant Net? What happened before there was a Savant Net? There are just so many places Stirling could take this, and I want more! Especially more of those Benedict boys!

If I was to give one criticism, there's a little less of what I'm going to call romantic description than I'm used to. A kiss in this book can last one sentence, where a kiss has had it's own paragraph in other books. I can understand the attraction of Zed, but there isn't a huge deal about how awesome it is being with him. Though there are lots of cuddles, which is always good. It's not a big deal, and doesn't ruin the book, just a tiny niggle.

All in all, a fantastic debut novel, a brilliant addition to YA paranomal romance, and a book you should all pick up! I will definitely be keeping an eye out for further books by Joss Stirling - who happens to be one of us Brits! Yes, a brilliant YA paranormal romance by a Brit! Who'd have thought it?

Thank you to OUP for sending me a review copy.

Published: 7th October 2010
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Buy on Amazon UK
Buy on Book Depository
Joss Stirling's Website

Other Reviews of Finding Sky:
Narratively Speaking
Portrait of a Woman
Girls Without a Bookshelf

23 comments:

  1. Wow - I really want to read this now! Thanks for a fantastic review.

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  2. No probelem, thank you! :) It's really good, I really enjoyed it! I hope you do too, if/when you read it :)

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  3. This is the second really good review of this book I've read and I'm starting to come around. I've read what feels like a long run of paranormal romances that I just found really disappointing so I'm a bit cautious but...I think I'll put it on my wishlist.

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  4. Awesome! It's a brilliant book, I was really surprised! I hope you enjoy it if/when you read it :)

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  5. This definitely sounds promising. Hope they will release it here in the U.S. I enjoyed your review. You gave just enough information to hook the reader. I will add it to my TBR list.

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  6. Thank you! :) It's a great book! I really hope you enjoy it if/when you read it. If they don't publish it in the US, you could always order it from the Book Depository. :)

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  7. you are tagged in a game: http://splashofourworlds.blogspot.com/2010/10/notable-quotables-2-we-are-tagged.html#more

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  8. Ooh, I'll have to check this one out! Though I do love 'romantic description'.

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  9. Yiota - Thanks for tagging me, I shall check it out.

    Julianne - I love some romantic description too! But it's only a minor niggle, the story itself is brilliant! :)

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  10. i'm a really picky reader, but this looks like a really good book! :)

    check mine?
    www.fateitis.blogspot.com

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  11. It is, it's brilliant! I hope you enjoy if/when you read it! :)

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  12. I saw this book today in the bookshop and really wanted to buy it but then i i decided against it because i wanted to find out more about it , now reading this review i will defintaly go out and buy it thanks :) alway i wanted to know if you know if there will be a sequal ?

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  13. That's great! I really hope you enjoy it! I don't know if theres's going to be a sequel, but I can find out! :)

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  14. This one sounds really interesting! I've never heard of it, but I love the cover. Thanks for the good review!

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  15. No problem, and thanks! :) It's a great book, and the cover is gorgeous! I hope you enjoy it if/when you read it! :)

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  16. It is great isn't it? And quite a refreshing take on paranormal romance.

    P.S There is going to be a sequel ;)

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  17. Yeah, I loved it! A brilliant take on PR! Glad to hear there's going to be a sequel, thanks for the heads up! :)

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  18. It was soo good glad there is going to be a sequel it wa ovious there would be thou :) will have to keep an eye out for it ! Go England all books seem to be American writers good we gotten a good one in ! :D xx

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  19. It was amazing! And it is brilliant that it's an English novel :) It's all good!

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  20. This is a great reveiw!!! I read the book the other day and completly agree!!!! So glad that there will be a sequel! Also glad that England did something good for a change cuz it always seems to be the American writers! xx

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  21. Thank you! I'm with you! Such a great book, and great to see something come out from England! :)

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  22. great review i've just read the book and i thought it was amazing and i can't wait for the sequel which is going to be called stealing phoenix which is mostly about yves!!so fingers crossed she is going to do a book about each brother :)

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  23. Ooooh! Awesome! I am so looking forward to reading the next book! This one was just sooo good! :)

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