Wednesday, January 31, 2018

What I Read: The Sky is Yours

Part of the reason that I asked for this book off NetGalley is that the cover design is SO COOL.

I am, occasionally, a fickle creature of shallow tastes. Come at me, pro.*

Smith has done a beautiful job with world-building, from imagining how, exactly, a crumbling city with economic issues baked in from creation would fare under the natural disaster that is two fire-breathing dragons laying siege to everything to the remains of English (and new slang) in post-apocalyptia. She also juggles an impressive number of narrative voices well, from over-read, over-wrought heiresses to foreign trophy wives to educationally stunted teenagers to a woman raised by garbage and vultures. As a technical feat, The Sky is Yours is a laudable effort.

As a plot-driven story, it fell a little flat for me. Smith shows off all those characters well, but we spend a lot of time in perspectives that provide nothing in terms of back story or development for the central three or four (depending on if you want to count Sharkey or not). And while I'm usually a patient reader who's ready and willing to linger in long asides and parentheticals for the sake of language—and Smith's wordplay is nothing less than delightful—I still found things dragging in the middle. Characters that are set up to get to certain places take longer than necessary to get there; entire scenes happen on the page that could have just as easily been implied off screen. Nor am I entirely sure what to make of the end, but that's not anything that would ruin the experience.

Still, as soon as I finished it, I suggested it as a selection for Feminist Science Fiction Book Club, and if I'm willing to recommend a book to other people, that means something. I have a reputation as a book sommelier to uphold.

*Not a typo.

No comments:

Post a Comment