I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.Broken Skies by Theresa Kay
Series: Broken Skies #1
Published by Skyscape on 2015-01-13
Length: 297 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
Reading Challenges: COYER Winter 2014-2015
Plagued by nightmares and panic attacks, seventeen-year-old Jax Mitchell wants nothing more than a life of seclusion with only her twin brother for company. So when he's kidnapped by Earth's reclusive alien settlers, the E'rikon, she'll do anything to get him back—even form an alliance with a teenage E'rikon boy left behind by the same ship that took her brother.
Jax agrees to act as a guide, and in return, the alien agrees to sneak her past the human-proof barrier surrounding the E'rikon city. Too bad it's not that simple. Jax soon finds that she's drawn to the alien boy with bright green hair and jewel-like scales on his back—and he's equally affected by her, the courageous redhead with haunted eyes. But she doesn't know the alien's true motives, and he has no idea that she is much more than she seems.
With the aliens and the humans at odds, the connection forming between the two teens has consequences. What started off as a rescue mission sets in motion a chain of events that threatens not only the remaining humans and the growing alien society, but Earth itself.
Broken Skies by Theresa Kay is a fast-paced, action-packed, dystopian set when humans are near extinction and aliens are colonizing the planet. Jasmine, or Jax as she prefers to be called, witnesses her twin brother’s capture by the E’rikon and finds herself face to face with one of them, an alien boy named Lir. Lir is her only hope of getting into the alien city and finding her brother.
WARNING: There will be copious amounts of fangirling in this review.
In all seriousness, I LOVED this book! I finished it in one sitting, forgoing sleep to see what would happen to these characters. The author created such a wonderful dystopian world (oxymoron?) that I was fully invested within the first few pages of the book.
Jax is 17, almost 18 and is suffering from PTSD after an incident that isn’t really described in detail in the book (it doesn’t have to be, it’s insinuated) where she kills two men to protect herself. This horrific account drives her brother and her to live in a local human colony, where it seems the leader has gone back to the dark ages. Women basically have no say in anything and are used mainly for the purpose of producing more children. Jace, Jax’s brother, is all she has and she relies on him for everything from sleeping at night to intervening on her behalf when she has to be in public. But that all changes when he’s taken by the aliens.
Jax’s transformation is almost overnight. She becomes determined, at all costs to find her brother, her only living relative, the only person to ever understand her. Jax is self-reliant and can find her way in the forest and provide for herself thanks to her brother and late-father’s instructions. And now she’s uses those strengths to give her the courage to rescue Jace. The problem she has only has the support of an alien who is rumored to hate humans to help her.
Lir is an E’rikon, an alien, who supposedly hates humans though no one knows why because they came to Earth after the Collapse when humans were almost extinct. He is quiet, reserved, but seems to know intuitively what Jax is thinking. Unfortunately because he isn’t from her planet and has never ventured far from the alien city he has no way of taking care of himself in the forest and no way to find the city. He has to rely on Jax’s help to get him there, which as the author reveals more and more about his character you see is extremely hard for him. I really like Lir. He was a bit of a mystery, but despite that you can see the trust he has in Jax and watch as his feelings develop for her through her eyes….she’s a bit naive and doesn’t pick up on it though 😉
The majority of the book takes place in the forests and the journey that Jax and Lir takes to find Jace. In fact for a good 50% of the book it is just the two of them and the occasional threats they run up against. There is a lot of character and relationship building between the two and it adds a certain depth to the story. I loved them both and hurt for them as they struggled through the journey. Then once they reached Lir’s city, the prejudice they faced broke my heart.
There’s only one thing I wish there was more about, the Collapse and the E’rikon arrival. The Collapse occurred around 20 years prior to the book’s setting, and all that is said is a virus killed nearly the whole population leaving humans an endangered species. Now they live in like a third-world setting, with little to no electricity or running water. The aliens arrived ten years later, colonized a city and have kept to themselves. I want to know why they came, what was up with the virus, and what prevents the humans and aliens from destroying each other.
The descriptions of this dystopian world, the aliens, and the characters have me fully invested in the story. Told entirely from Jax’s POV, the reader gets a glimpse of just how broken she is, how her trust does not come easily, and the little things she observes as a “mentally unstable” girl. I loved every part of this wonderful story and I cannot wait for book two which the author has disclosed will include some POV in Lir’s perspective 😀 If you enjoy young adult fiction, dystopians, and science fiction with a dash of romance, I highly suggest you check this one out. It won’t disappoint!