Monday, April 17, 2017

Toward a Secret Sky ~ Reviewed by Elizabeth Barnes

"Laying down your life for another isn't as hard as watching them sacrifice everything for you."

Toward a Secret Sky
Image result for 3 out of 5 stars

After Maren has lost her mom to a freak accident, she moves in with her grandparents in Scotland. In her mind she believes it to be a new beginning, somewhere to start fresh from all the loss in her life. First her father, then her mother. Then everything she thought she knew gets flipped upside down. Her parents lives were all a lie. Now their secrets have found a way into her life.

Maren comes to find letters, personal belongings that were once her mother's. Hidden messages waiting to be discovered by her, and a secret society who is bend on protecting humankind from the bad in the world. All of this makes her head spin, knowing there was much hidden from her and a gained perspective on what lurks beyond the safety of home.

Gavin is one of those secrets. More than Maren could ever imagine. His presence is felt all around her. Something that connects them both, more than either of them can understand. It's a love that moves along quickly and with an unwavering intensity. It has to ability to destroy the both of them, but Gavin's existence even more. With a firm belief in what he represents, he is jaded by a choice he feels may destroy everything he has worked hard to become.

I really enjoyed the world building in this novel. The story had a good progressive movement, while there is clearly something otherworldly going on, the first few chapters only give you enough to make you want to know more. Even as things are revealed, it's not all at once, but continues to be done at a slow pace. The setting of Scotland was also enjoyable in my opinion. I have always wanted to live there. I found Maren's character enjoyable as she was both flawed and strong. She was dealing with heavy grief, but was always not unwilling to find out more and learn about why her parents were previously estranged from her grandparents.

While I loved his Scottish accent, Gavin's character was a little too hot jumping into this relationship with both feet. It was a bit jarring I think. And then there was the mysterious Graham who I think needed a lot more play time in the book to establish his obsession with Maren. I also felt that there were too many individual story lines happening in this novel. We have the arc that had to do with Maren's mother's journal, and this huge chunk of the novel dedicated to its mysteries, and then there were some chapters dealing with the Maren/Gavin/Graham concept in it's own mini story. It made the novel feel very segmented at times.

Overall, this was a great start to a series, one that I think will intrigue a lot of fans of YA.

Special thanks to NetGalley and the Publisher for the copy!

3 out of 5 stars 

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