October 25, 2021

ARC REVIEW: A Light in the Sky (Clashing Skies #1) by Shina Reynolds

A Light in the Sky (Clashing Skies #1) by Shina Reynolds
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Release Date: November 9, 2021
Format: eARC
Publisher: Wink Road Press

I’ve always loved pegasus since the 1997 animated film Hercules came out, so when I saw the cover and read the premise of A Light in the Sky by Shina Reynolds I knew I had to jump at the chance to read the book. The author did not disappoint - once I started reading, I could not stop (I think I finished it in about 5 hours or so?)

Aluma Banks has always dreamed of the freedom the sky offers, gliding on the backs of Empyrean Steeds (essentially a fancy name for pegasus). Flying is in her blood, as her father was a war hero who has since retired from service. She thought she would never get the chance to prove her worth, but when disaster strikes her father she is thrust into training to join the ranks of the Empyrean Calvary and swear her allegiance to the king. Long-held secrets come to light and Aluma must realize her own strength and become a light to save her people from the threatening dark.  

I wasn’t a big fan of the budding love triangle in the book. It was a bit cliche, and I didn’t feel like it was necessary to move the story forward. I want a strong female protagonist who doesn’t need a love interest. I don’t know if I’m just burnt out by love triangles (I’m looking at you, Twilight) but I was more invested in how Aluma is driven by her father-daughter bond. 

While the blurb compares the book to Red Queen and The Scorpio Races, I was actually reminded more of The Hunger Games. Both books are led by very strong female protagonists and both involve governments where most of the population is suppressed in favor of the ruling class living in luxury. The prince definitely reminds me of President Snow - I love when an author creates a layered villain that you both hate and want to learn more about.    

I definitely recommend that young adult fans of the fantasy and dystopian genres check this book out. There is some violence in the book, but I would be open to suggesting it for some more mature middle-grade readers on a case-by-case basis. I’m eager to hear news about when the next book in the series will come out because I really want to know what’s next for Aluma and the others. Thank you to the author, NetGalley, and Wink Road Press for allowing me to read A Light in the Sky early. I voluntarily read and reviewed the book; this does not affect my opinion of the book or the context of my review in any way. 

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