Sunday, May 19, 2013

REVIEW: SKY by R.E.Palmer

Title:                       Sky
Author:                   R. E. Palmer
Release Date:      Jan 7/2013
Genre:                Sci-Fi/Paranormal
Publisher:           FrontRunner Publications
Page Count:        224
Acquired:            Review Request from Author
Format:              ARC-Paperback
Read On:            Apr 21-Apr 27/2013
Goodreads:         ADD
Purchase:           Amazon/Indigo/Book Depository

Tomas Moone has a secret - he’s terrified if anyone finds out, he’ll lose the girl of his dreams he’s so desperate to meet.

Selene has a secret - she fears if Tomas discovers the truth, he’ll reject her, and the last of her race will be lost forever.

Carly has no secrets – she’s in a coma. If Tomas fails to rescue her, she will suffer an eternity of horror and torment.

For the first time in her career, Shelley has a killer story, but she dare not tell it… no one would ever believe her.

SYNOPSIS: Tomas Moone, is a dreamer, struggling to cope after the death of his father, in a run down London neighborhood. But Tomas has a secret - he’s fallen in love with a girl he calls Sky. But she’s not real. He’s only ever met her in his sleep. Then one night she fails to show, and his dreams take a darker turn. A mysterious woman in black, takes him to worlds beyond his imagination, promising Tomas power and immortality. But there's a heavy price to pay, and he begins to fear for his sanity, as the boundary between his dreams and reality breaks down.


OH Sc-Fi, how I've missed your tantalizing presence in my reading life. I went into Sky expecting the storyline to lean more heavily on the paranormal, and was pleasantly surprised to find that it was Sci-Fi that provided more fuel for the plot. Sky's content was also more plot-driven than character, which was unusually pleasing as well-I tend to be more engrossed in novels that flesh out their characters to the highest extent.

I've read more YA fiction in the last year than I have in all of my 27 years, and success, for me, has boiled down to one very predictable point: the writing. The writing has become KEY: the diversity of words, the obvious effort and thought put into crafting a single paragraph of story or dialogue, the flow of one idea to the next. SO much YA these days seems to have been written as an afterthought; the emphasis on the actual writing ranking low on the priority list. With that said, R.E.Palmer was definitely on his A-game when writing Sky, which is a beauty in it's own right, because in my experience, debut novels tend to fall flat. 

(I know quoting an ARC is a no-no, but I HAD to share this one):
"Thomas watched, as a large snowflake drifted past his nose and settle briefly on the mat, before dissolving. It seemed such a waste, after it's epic journey  across the skies, for this unique miracle of nature to end up as a damp patch on their dirty doormat."


Palmer did his research, and although I read an ARC copy of the book, the writing was solid, and I was able to pick up, very early on, the feel and direction of the plot and it's characters. The only qualm I had in that respect, and I really hope this is due to unfinished editing, was the author's many, many use of commas. It was almost overwhelming. I was pausing in places that didn't warrant one.

I was an instant fan of the lead male character, Thomas Moone. Another thing I noticed that adult YA authors struggle with, is an ability to channel a young voice into their characters-they either end up sounding too juvenile, or way too mature for their age. R.E.Palmer was spot on with Thomas, I hate using the word typical, but in this case it works: he was your typical, hormone-enraged, unpredictably moody, I'm-trying-to-find-myself, 18 year old. With that foundation laid, it made it a lot easier to digest the "out there" scenarios, and moments, that started to unfold. I felt like Thomas reacted in realistic ways, and wasn't overly dramatic about it. I also enjoyed Shelley's role in Sky, the journalist unknowingly covering Thomas and Carly's unbelievable story. I felt like her character should have played into the storyline a lot more, like somewhere in Thomas's past, or dreams, but in the end, I appreciated her actions, and can't wait to learn more about her in the next books. The romance aspect between Thomas and Carly was a little lost on me, I needed some more back story to completely grasp their connection to each other. Though, at the same time, I liked the innocent joy of their "love" for each other.

Sky's storyline had some surprisingly scary elements, there's even a moment that pays homage to an infamous scene in The Exorcist. I definitely enjoyed the first 75% on the book a lot more than the conclusion, the scenes leading up to end were written with amazing build-up and pace. There wasn't too much exposed, too soon, and when truths were revealed, I can't say that I saw them coming at all. However, I began getting confused in the last chunk of the book, it got a little too Inception for me: a dream within a dream within a..somewhere? I had a hard time following a scene that was clearly written with the intent of epic-ness, unfortunately, there were just way too many transitions happening at once for me to fully absorb it. The Epilogue brought me back to solid ground. I thought it was a perfect cliffhanger to sign off at, and I'm looking forward to seeing what R.E.Palmer gives us in Stargazers!

Recommended for fans of: YA fiction, Sci-Fi, Paranormal, Thrillers, and Horror

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