Sky in The Deep
Sky in the Deep is a YA to New Adult historical fiction book based in a fantastically positive outlook on how the vikings could have lived. The daily interactions of these vikings are expressed in a much different way than the typical barbaric and mysterious way we commonly read and watch vikings portrayed to have existed as a society and culture.
The author, Adrienne Young, built this world beautifully and gave just enough detail to not totally lose the reader. The opening battle scene brings you into the story, into the emotion of our main character, Eelyn. The characters were, for the most part, well rounded in back story and present mind set. The plot of the story was very fast paced and had a lot of high points for me. I do, however wonder if the author struggled with making this book a YA or an adult book and how much she wanted to possibly not lose an audience for war and politics so then decided to go heavy on the romance and shorten where this story could have gone in the end.
I feel like the Real Star of Sky in the Deep was Eelyn’s relationship with her brother, Iri, followed by her relationships with her family and society and her people but then all of a sudden things got wrapped up in a nice bow at the end as a love fairy tale. This is what almost brought the book down from a 5 to a 3 star rating for me. Why did it need the love and romance and why did he have to change his life for her? I didn’t really understand the point for all this turmoil and self finding and self-growth in the main character, Eelyn, for her to then get a fairy tale ending and abandon that she could be strong in herself and who she grew to become with the Riki? I don’t like that in books, it detaches me from the story after the fact because it isn’t what I am looking for in book like this with this subject matter. I want to see the hero not only overcome struggle and grow, but grow after the book has ended.
However, with all that negativity being said I enjoyed the hell out of this book. I loved the fight scenes, I loved Inge. Inge was a beautifully written character, one of the most vivid characters I have read in a long time. I loved the Rike people, and their God Thora. I loved the back story of the gods Thora and Sigr. The first 1/3 to half of the book was the strongest for me. The author took her time and it worked. I feel like if she could have added another 100 pages to the second half of the book and took her time with the second half, especially the ending battle with the Herja, I would have understood her conclusions better and enjoyed it all more cohesively.
Overall I would recommend this to the reader who is looking for a light viking story, who prefers romance and hope to the bitter endings of battle and war.