This first novel by a young writer is a fast paced exciting fantasy adventure which is aimed at the dystopian fans but has a slightly younger feel to it than the Collins and Westerfeld novels.
Cat is 14 years old and virtually an orphan. Her mother is dying and her father is abusive. She regularly escapes from her family compound to explore her city but on discovering she is to be married to a boy she despises, she disguises herself as a boy and stows away on a trade ship with a kindly crew. Discovering that the world outside the only place she has ever know is not a war-torn demoralised place as depicted at home on the news, opens her eyes to new possibilities. So far so good. But in the space of a week Cat goes from a runaway to a leader of a rebellion and the story jars at this point. How has a 14 year old girl been able to persuade a group of seasoned smugglers to rise up and lead a rebellion? The romance between her and the moody older teenage boy on the ship is predictable.
There is a core of a good story here but I think the fact that this was written by the author when she was 16 shows. The timeline of the story is unrealistic, some of the events jar. Cat needed to be slightly older, the timeline needed more attention to make it a more realistic story arc. There are a lot of good ideas in this story but they needed more work. The writer is apparently planning a series of books set on this world, which has huge potential if she doesn't rush the plot and character development. Find out more about Lucy here: http://takebacktheskies.co.uk/
I also had a copy courtesy of Netgalley where some of the letters of the words were missing - especially fs. This sometimes made reading it difficult - or diicult in the case of this book!
Due for publication on 5th June 2014.
This title was provided free by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review