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  • Writer's pictureTina S Beier

Skyfarer (Book Review)

by Joseph Brassey

4/5 Stars; Fantasy (light)

This book was exactly what I needed this week. Being stuck at home with a bored toddler all day due to COVID-19, trying to release my own book, and being unable to indulge in any fun substances due to being eight months pregnant, I really needed something fun and easy-to-read to de-stress. Granted, it has a few problems, but nothing that took away from my enjoyment of the book. I flew through this novel – the prose is succinct, quick-paced, and compelling. I loved the combination of magic + tech. It had a slight steampunk feel but I wouldn’t classify this novel as such. The magic-building was great, but the rest of the world-building fell a little flat. The main character, Aimee, is likeable, as she is a privileged rich girl who has realized her immense proficiency in her art and decided to make her own way in the world. I was worried that she would be annoying, but I really liked her. It was a nice break from the “rich-girl” trope we often see. I loved the villain, Azrael. His arc in the novel goes 100% where you expected it to. But I think this is a pro rather than a con to the novel. We know from his second chapter that he’s not as “evil” as his brethren, and part of the enjoyment of reading the book is hoping he’ll overcome his situation and be redeemed. The novel went in a direction I preferred, as unsurprising as the result was – I was rooting for Azrael the entire time. Possibly because he and Aimee have a real “Rey and Kylo” vibe going on (yes, I was a Relyo shipper). The other characters really suffered in terms of characterization. I kept mixing up most of the crew’s names until near the end of the story, as they aren’t given a lot of space to grow personality. There are no scenes of “downtime” with the characters to flesh them out and get to know them. I really hope the second book takes a bit more time to develop them. I would classify the novel as “light” fantasy. There are dark aspects to it (abuse, trauma, war, violence), but disturbing aspects aren’t told in detail. In terms of complexity, it’s no Malazan to Joe Abercrombie, but that’s what I wanted! Overall, I really enjoyed it and will buy the second one. It’s fun!

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