FicCentral received a free copy of this book from Itching for Books.
Series: Broken Skies #1
Publisher: Skyscape on March 10, 2014
Genre(s): Dystopian (YA), Science Fiction Suspense (YA)
Thirty years ago, there was the Collapse. A massive war fought with biological weapons and followed by plague. Almost everyone died.
Ten years ago, the aliens showed up. They made one of our cities their own and that's where they stay, for the most part anyway.
One year ago, I killed two men and went a little crazy.
Today, the aliens took my brother and I will do whatever it takes to get him back even if it means partnering up with the enemy, an alien boy who makes me think things I shouldn't and makes me feel things I don’t understand.
Jax has heard the stories, seen the remains of what the world used to be, but she was born after the end, after mankind turned on itself and destroyed most of civilization. And then the aliens arrived.
The humans and aliens seem to live in relative peace, rarely interacting with each other and each occupying their own areas. So Jax is shocked to see a group of them take her brother — even more so when she finds herself in the presence of one who just might be able to help her get him back. After all he’ll never survive out there by himself, and she’ll never get into the alien city without his help.
They’ll have to escape the compound where Jax and Jace have been staying, find their way to the city where Lir’s kind live, and somehow get in to find and save Jace. But their biggest obstacle will be overcoming their prejudices and learning to trust each other. And after that? It seems there’s more to the aliens, to the humans, to everything around her than she ever imagined.
C L I F F H A N G E R. Have I mentioned how much I hate those? After a perfectly paced journey with just the right amount of danger and adventure, everything seemed to be building up to something incredible, and then — Nope, no more story until the next book. Sorta ruined the 5-star thing I had planned.
I’m not your typical sci-fi fan. Most of the time I don’t even give science fiction a second glance, but something about this story caught my attention, so I figured I’d give it a shot. And before I knew it, I was hooked.
Since civilization collapsed, society has devolved, with some humans roaming the countryside in lawless bands, and others coming together in settlements centered around archaic ideals. While seemingly secure from the aliens, the disproportionate ratio of women to men has resulted in assigned matches in the settlement where Jax and Jace have been living, with women expected to be docile and subservient. And Jax is anything but that.
Jax’s character is complex, certainly dependent upon her brother and then on Lir, but also fighting to be independent. She’s not so fierce that she’s unbelievable; she’s simply determined and unwilling to let anything stand in the way of her saving her brother. She’s also got a few issues, made apparent by frequent panic attacks, stemming from an attack before the story begins. And while she defended herself, she’s guilt-ridden by the necessary loss of life. The only person whose touch she can even stand is her brother’s, although she soon discovers contact with Lir isn’t at all unpleasant.
Lir is a bit of a mystery and a bit of a contradiction. Like all the aliens, he appears almost human. If it weren’t for his odd hair and eye color, it would be hard to tell the difference. At times he’s overly formal, but when he’s relaxed, he’s much like any human teenage boy. And it doesn’t hurt that he’s incredibly easy on the eyes. Unfortunately, I’d probably ruin a lot of the fun you’ll have reading it if I give away much about him, and I suspect we’ll learn quite a bit more in the next book, but suffice it to say, he’s an incredibly interesting character that is easy to love.
I think what I like most about the book is that it isn’t rushed. While I’ll certainly complain that I have to wait to find out what happens next, the pacing throughout the book is perfect. It would have been easy, and probably a little expected, if Lir and Jax had almost instantly admitted their attraction, but it would have taken away from the rest of the story in the worst way. It makes sense that even though they’re working together, they don’t entirely trust each other, and while it’s clear there’s something strong developing between them, neither are in a place to just throw caution to the wind and go with it. Jax is hellbent on saving her brother from Lir’s people, and Lir is desperate to get home and away from the humans who make no secret of their hatred for his species. Their unlikely pairing is necessary, but they’re not naive enough to walk blindly into it. And as more and more about both societies is revealed, their relationship becomes not only more necessary, but more threatened.
Broken Skies is a captivating read, and it’s appeal crosses genres. Whether you like sci-fi, dystopian, paranormal, or just anything with a hint of romance, check it out; it’s got something for everyone.