March 14, 2022

The Other Side of the Sky (The Other Side of the Sky #1) by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner

The Other Side of the Sky (The Other Side of the Sky #1) by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner
Rating: 4 Stars
Release Date: September 8, 2020
Format: Audiobook (library)
Publisher: HarperTeen

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The main characters of The Other Side of the Sky by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner literally live worlds apart. On the ground, Nimh is the Divine One, descended from the only god who did not ascend into the Cloud Lands so many years ago. Touching Nimh is a big no-no, as it will strip her of her divinity and her powers. In the sky (or the region referred to as the Cloudlands by those on the ground), we have Prince North. North believes the secret to the technology required to repair his floating kingdom lies on the ground his ancestors abandoned so many years ago and is determined to go there to find it. Nimh and North find themselves linked by prophecy and fate, and they must choose between their heart and their duty. Can they fulfill the prophecy and save both their people in the process?


The characters were a highlight of the book. The struggles that Nimh and North go through felt so real. For example, Nimh’s position has caused her to suffer from a lot of self-doubts, and the rules surrounding the “divine one” have forced her into isolation. Her saving grace is the Bindle Cat. I’m a big fan of animal companions, and this badass feline is no exception. Without the Bindle Cat, she would have had no physical contact since the day she was chosen at 5 (she’s about 15 when we meet her in the story). I don’t think I could have ever gone that long without physical contact, but I’m in awe of the dedication and discipline that Nimh possesses that allowed her to do so. The contrast between the issues that North and Nimh must face as a result of their positions of power was also very intriguing. Despite both of them essentially being born into their positions, the problems they must contend with are vastly different. 


The blend of sci-fi and fantasy was exciting. The council’s response to the failing technology keeping them aloft reminded me of how many politicians today respond to the issue of climate change. It’s very much an “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” approach even when they know very well that it’s in the process of breaking. The approach to and normalcy of queer relationships in the story was cool. For example, North has a blood mother and a heart mother. Despite how widely accepted the queer relationships are, the issue of “lineage” and “bloodlines” remains relevant. I feel like that made it feel more authentic for me because it introduced very real and relatable concepts that exist in our world today. 


The ending of the book is a total cliffhanger. Holy wow! Talk about an author (or authors) pulling the rug out from under you. I have to read Beyond the End of the World now to figure out how everything ends. Overall, The Other Side of the Sky is a great choice for readers who enjoy epic fantasy with an almost dystopian sci-fi feel. I would happily recommend this book to readers at the young adult level and above.  



ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Amie Kaufman
Amie Kaufman is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of young adult fiction. Her multi-award winning work is slated for publication in over 30 countries, and is in development for film and TV. Raised in Australia and occasionally Ireland, Amie has degrees in history, literature, law and conflict resolution. She lives in Melbourne with her husband and daughter, their rescue dog, and an extremely large personal library. She is the host of the podcasts Amie Kaufman on Writing, and Pub Dates.



Megan Spooner

New York Times bestselling author Meagan Spooner grew up reading and writing every spare moment of the day, while dreaming about life as an archaeologist, a marine biologist, an astronaut. She graduated from Hamilton College in New York with a degree in playwriting, and has spent several years since then living in Australia. She’s traveled with her family all over the world to places like Egypt, South Africa, the Arctic, Greece, Antarctica, and the Galapagos, and there’s a bit of every trip in every story she writes.

She currently lives and writes in Asheville, North Carolina, but the siren call of travel is hard to resist, and there’s no telling how long she’ll stay there.

In her spare time she plays guitar, plays video games, plays with her cats, and reads.


 


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