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Bri Meets Books

Children's and YA literature reviews.

Category Archives: action

Mei takes flight with the Sky Village, a series of hot air balloons anchored together. Separated by her parents by the complex war between machine, beast and man, the twelve year old is alone in her new surroundings, as her father goes off to rescue her kidnapped mother. A stranger among the Sky Village citizens, Mei must learn their traditions after a peace treaty between human and bird is severed.

Meanwhile, in the shell of Las Vegas, thirteen year old Rom and his sister, Riley, fight daily for survival amongst the demons and beast that roam the ruins of the city. Rom scours the city for water and bits of technology he can barter, but Riley’s taken by demons – animal-mechanical hybrids, and Rom must travel underground to rescue her. Forced to fight in the demon-battling circuit, Rom discovers an untapped power within himself.

The two soon discover they can communicate through a journal, a book they previously considered a storybook where they read of other children’s and each other’s adventures. Animus, the mysterious being within the book, reveals a startling secret to their genetics: the kaimira gene in their DNA embodies them with beast and mek quailities.

When Animus ask for release, Mei and Riley are forced to confront their new inheritance, and face the remnants of the world: the aftermath of the Trinary wars, in which man, beast, and machine fight for control.

Monk and Nigel Ashland’s The Sky Village oscillates between pulse-raising action, and heartfelt takes on grief and loss. Both primary characters are richly written, and the emotional travails Rom and Mei face come across in sharp paragraphs and gripping situations. The depth of familial love is captured perfectly as Rom helps his sister construct puppets modeled after their parents, and Mei relishes her time with one of her mother’s pets.

Though a teen series, Rom and Mei wrestle with adult situations as both must save those around them by recognizing and controlling their newfound genetics. Throughout The Sky Village profound questions are raised, such as a futility of progress in science, the price of power, and what differentiates man, beast, and machine. The Sky Village is an exciting new entrance into the children’s literature world, and a worthy contender.

The action journeys from the page to the screen with the companion website, where the rest of the novel’s journals and excerpts are revealed.

The Sky Village arrives in hardback July 8 from Candlewick Press.

Review copy provided by the publisher.