Publication Date: September 2011
Series: 1st in the Skyship Academy series
Acquisition: BEA 2011
A devastated Earth's last hope is found in Pearls: small, mysterious orbs that fall from space and are capable of supplying enough energy to power entire cities. Battling to control the Pearls are the Skyship dwellers—political dissidents who live in massive ships in the Earth's stratosphere—and the corrupt Surface government.
Jesse Fisher, a Skyship slacker, and Cassius Stevenson, a young Surface operative, cross paths when they both venture into forbidden territory in pursuit of Pearls. Their chance encounter triggers an unexpected reaction, endowing each boy with remarkable—and dangerous—abilities that their respective governments would stop at nothing to possess.
Enemies thrust together with a common goal, Jesse and Cassius make their way to the ruins of Seattle to uncover the truth about their new powers, the past they didn't know they shared, and a shocking secret about the Pearls. (from Goodreads)
Such a fantastic read for me! I've always been a huge science fiction fan and recently I've discovered my love of dystopian stories. Nick combines both these elements perfectly so it was pretty much a win win situation for me. What really drew me in was how easily these two worlds fit together.
Jesse Fisher lives in what was once The United States of America. After a devastating attack, Earth has been rendered almost inhabitable. The government has reformed and priorities have shifted. It's only been through the saving grace of Pearls that so many people have been able to survive. These strange and powerful orbs began falling from the sky soon after the attack. Seeming to be made of pure energy, each Pearl can power a Chosen city or a Skyship for months. These Chosen cities and floating Skyships are havens where, for the right price, people can live in safety and comfort.
As with a lot of dystopian tales, there are many layers to the new world we find our characters in. Jesse has to contend with the world of the surface and the world of the sky and things aren't always as they seem. Also, in true science fiction fashion, the Pearls also have some secrets of their own. I really can't say much more without giving away too much! Definitely a book that you do not want to see spoilers of.
I really loved the characters in this book. Jesse isn't the strongest or the best at anything but he doesn't let that stop him. Cassius finds out that being the strongest and the best doesn't mean all that much if you've been lied to your entire life. As for other supporting characters, some seem pretty black or white, good or bad...but I have a feeling I might be wrong about them. There is just so much mystery to this story it's hard to tell who's going to come out on top in the end.
This strange world full of floating cities, barren landscapes, magical Pearls, lies and mystery got me hooked from page one. A fantastic debut and I'm supper excited for book 2!
5 / 5 Stars