Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Sky Inside


Dunkle, Clare B. 2008. The Sky Inside.

Where to start? Loved it, loved it, loved it. Not very descriptive though, is it? Enthusiasm only takes you so far I suppose. Why did I love it? Maybe this will clarify: Science fiction dystopian thriller. While I don't love all dystopian novels, chances are good that I'll at least give it a complete read through if you throw out the words dystopia or utopia. Listen to this description on the jacket and the back cover:

The ads had started running on midmorning television the summer after Martin's fourth birthday. "Wonder babies are here!" they announced...Never had the arrival of the stork brought such excitement. Overflowing with charm and intelligence, Wonder Babies were like nothing the suburb had seen before. But that didn't turn out to be a good thing. (back cover)
Martin lives in a perfect world. Every year a new generation of genetically-engineered children is shipped out to meet their parents. Every spring the residents of his town take down the snow they've stuck to their windows and put up flowers. Every morning his family gathers around their television and votes, like everyone else, for whatever matter of national importance the president has on the table. Today it is the color of his drapes. It's business as usual under the protective dome of suburb HM1.

And it's all about to come crashing down.

Because a stranger has come to take away all the little children, including Martin's sister, Cassie, and no one wants to talk about where she has gone. The way Martin sees it, he has a choice. He can remain in the dubious safety of HM1, with danger that no one wants to talk about lurking just beneath the surface, or he can actually break out of the suburb, into the mysterious land outside, rumored to be nothing but blowing sand for miles upon miles. (inside jacket)
Do you see why this one had to come home with me from the library? It just screamed out "read me, read me, read me NOW!" It had me hooked from the beginning. Martin and his sister Cassie and his "toy" dog Chip are characters that had me interested (or should I say invested???) almost immediately. Martin especially. It would have been really easy--almost expected--for the characters to take a back seat to the premise, but that isn't the case in The Sky Inside. Yes, the premise had me at hello. But I really and truly came to believe in Martin.

I don't want to spoil one minute of the book for you by describing the plot or the premise. Half the fun of novels like these is experiencing the unveiling slowly one page at a time as all the details come together to reveal the big picture. It is good, you should definitely read it.

The author has the prologue and first and second chapters of the novel on her site. Read them!

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

3 comments:

Ink Mage 7:17 PM  

I so want to read this--especially after your review! I was even going to pick it up from the library today, but it wasn't quite in yet. :-(

Bourgette 8:37 PM  

I loved it! Chip stole the book. Read my review at http://bourg.info/2012/04/09/the-sky-inside-by-clare-dunkle/

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
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4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
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