By: Melanie | June 7, 2014 | (21) Comments

DNF Review: Take Back The Skies by Lucy SaxonTake Back The Skies by Lucy Saxon
Series: Take Back The Skies, #1
Publisher: Bloomsbury Australia
Release Date: June 5, 2014
Genres: Science Fiction, Steampunk, YA
Pages: 378
Source: Received in exchange for review
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Catherine Hunter is the daughter of a senior government official on the island of Anglya. She’s one of the privileged – she has luxurious clothes, plenty to eat, and is protected from the Collections which have ravaged families throughout the land. But Catherine longs to escape the confines of her life, before her dad can marry her off to a government brat and trap her forever.

So Catherine becomes Cat, pretends to be a kid escaping the Collections, and stows away on the skyship Stormdancer. As they leave Anglya behind and brave the storms that fill the skies around the islands of Tellus, Cat’s world becomes more turbulent than she could ever have imagined, and dangerous secrets unravel her old life once and for all...

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There’s something really exciting about reading a book that was written by a teenager. I mean, how awesome is that? A nineteen year old wrote a book at the age of sixteen got her book published. While I ended up DNFing this book, it’s still amazing to think of how Lucy Saxon managed to do this.

I hadn’t really heard of this book until late May where all the hype started to brew, and I think that this is a good example where hype takes a turn for bad. However, Take Back the Skies isn’t necessarily a terrible novel itself. With time, I would have been able to finish this book, but when you’ve got exams and homework piling up by the minute and the TBR stack multiplying, I just couldn’t waste my time reading something that wasn’t appealing to me. To get to the point, I’m just going to list the reasons which led up to me DNFing this novel. I read up to around halfway (not sure, as it was a physical copy) and did a little skimming for a few chapters after that.

1. The writing is incredibly juvenile. Yes, I get it, a teenager wrote this, so what do you expect? But the hype that went around with this book made me think that it was a really good book and the writing was highly advanced. Honestly, I expected much better writing skills to be in this book. I’ve read a few reviews after I finished reading the book myself, and many said it would appeal to a younger audience. I definitely do agree; in fact, I think this should have been marketed as a middle-grade novel. Being a 14 year old myself, I still struggled to see eye with the main character’s view, nevertheless the writing. Furthermore, I was not a fan of the constant exclamation marks and telling vs showing.

2. The love interest and romance were both infuriating. I’m sorry but the romance here, it doesn’t work. We get to meet the love interest early on in the novel however the romance doesn’t really begin until later in the novel (I read bits of it whilst skimming). I don’t have a whole lot to say about the romance other than what I did read, wasn’t anything close to chemistry, but Fox, the love interest himself was an ass. I didn’t like his personality at all and he also happened to be really sexist. There are several references made throughout the book and it had me fuming up by the second. He protects Cat because she’s a girl. Like seriously? U. G. H.

3. So many plot holes and fail world building. I didn’t get half of the things that happened in this book and why the government people treated the commoners so terribly. Also, the world building fell completely flat for me. We don’t really get to know much about Cat’s world and like I mentioned before, there’s only telling and not much showing.

In all, I am very disappointed with Take Back the Skies. I am not going to be continuing with the series. However, kudos to the author for writing such a unique idea.

~Thank you Bloomsbury Australia for sending me this copy!~

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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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21 Responses to DNF Review: Take Back The Skies by Lucy Saxon

  1. Argh damn. It always sucks when you go into a book really excited but you ending hating it. Now, I’ve seen more bad reviews than good reviews so I don’t know how soon I want to read this. But that cover! It’s just so gorgeous. I’m sure I’ll get to it eventually but I’ll make sure to remember all this before I go into it. Lovely review! 😀

    I’ve always wondered, do you prefer being called Melanie or Mel? Or do you have a different nickname?
    Laura Plus Books recently posted…Book Review: The Year of the Rat by Clare FurnissMy Profile

  2. Oh, a shame that you ended up DNFing this one! I have heard the writing is more middle grade, but I’ll go in expecting that and hoping I’ll be able to read it. Thanks for the honest review Mel!
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Criticism between bloggers – We’re all in this togetherMy Profile

  3. Jules says:

    Ooops, looks like I’ll have a problem with this if the romance is a meh. I need it to be good, if it has one. 🙁

    But the author is impressive. I tried writing, but I just gave up after chapter two, haha 😀

    Hope your next read is better Mel 😀
    Jules recently posted…Book Review: Kiss the Sky by Krista and Becca RitchieMy Profile

  4. Tanja says:

    Well I, too, am happy to see that teens are writing books and even though this one doesn’t sound awesome still it seems like a nice try. I really hope that Lucy will continue with writing as the best thing about it you only get better once you start 🙂 Great review, Mel 🙂
    Tanja recently posted…Mini-reviews: Grave Mercy and Dark Triumph by Robin LaFeversMy Profile

  5. Nara says:

    haha I actually agree with your points here, but I enjoyed it a lot more than you did! Maybe because I was just really in the mood for a light, easy read. My expectations of the book were pretty dang low, to be honest. It just seemed like it’d be a pretty juvenile read from the offset, so when I found that it indeed was pretty basic, I was like, well that’s okay.
    Nara recently posted…Discussion: Don’t Read This Post. It’s For Your Own Good. (But seriously, read it lol)My Profile

  6. I read this one and was very disappointed too. I had the same complaints as you did. I hope her future novels will be an improvement. I think she is a talented writer just needs more practice in crafting her world. It didn’t come through well to the reader.
    Kristen@My Friends Are Fiction recently posted…BEA and All the Books I Never Knew I HAD to HaveMy Profile

  7. Faye had been rating about this one for a while. I really have trouble reading books with juvenile writing. Even if I still consider myself a kid, it’s like I’ve never acted/thought the way some heroines in YA have. Horrible romances make me roll my eyes and possibly read aloud with weird voices. Sorry you didn’t enjoy this one, Mel! 🙁
    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings recently posted…Review: Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahanMy Profile

  8. Totally feeling your feels here, dude. Like 110%. To the max. I really tried to read this one because the hype got to me (and that gorgeous cover. THAT gorgeous cover) but I JUST COULDN’T PLOW THROUGH IT. The writing, while not horrendous, was so telling-than-showing and read like fanfiction to me. I absolutely agree that it was juvenile and that was the main reason why I had to DNF it because it was giving me a splitting headache. Plus, things happened too conveniently for the MC :/ like wow, there has been a conspiracy for almost a decade, the crew has been hesitant to do anything, this girl comes along and now they all want to start a rebellion the next day? Come on now D:

    In any case, great review!! Super agree to everything <3
    Faye D’Social Potato (@kawaiileena) recently posted…Review: Riot by Sarah Mussi – RANT ALERT!!!My Profile

  9. Zoe N. says:

    Yeah…I’ve heard some pretty “meh” reviews on this one. 🙁 The fact that the writing is incredibly juvenile and that there are so many plotholes makes me really wary of it. I think I’m going to skip this, just because everything you’ve mentioned will probably bother me as well. Thanks for sharing, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3
    Zoe N. recently posted…Dangerous GirlsMy Profile

  10. I’m so sad to see all the negative reviews of this book 🙁 it just gives people the idea that teenagers can’t write, and I know SO MANY fantastic teen writers.
    Emily @ The Loony Teen Writer recently posted…What Happened This Week: handwriting challenge and TFIOS hit theatresMy Profile

  11. I haven’t seen much hype for this one, just a bunch of really negative reviews, so I’ve put off reading it for now. I don’t mind books aimed at a younger audience, but I like to know in advance so that I’m in the mood for that sort of read. I’ll give this a go, I’m intrigued to see if I feel the same as you, Mel!

    Mands @ The Bookish Manicurist
    The Bookish Manicurist recently posted…Stacking the Shelves (17)My Profile

  12. Wow, that is cool that a teen wrote the book. But juvenile writing is like the worst for me. I can’t get into the book with that type of writing. And plot holes? No thanks. The cover was pretty epic though.
    Jennifer Bielman recently posted…Stacking The Shelves #80: Heir of Fire!!!My Profile

  13. You missed nothing. Trust me. DNF’ing it probably saved a very very headdesking moment when it just got weirder and weirder. I have zero good things to say about this book! I feel BAD about that, though! Because usually I can find something . Ugh. I do admire the author for just being a teen writer, but I still don’t think that excuses the writing to be slacker than general, you know what I mean? Plus I’ve read socks dropping books by teen authors and they just take the cake. (Did you know Kody Keplinger wrote her book when she was only 18?!!)
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #22My Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Wow, I never knew that! I need to read her book now! Glad to know I didn’t miss out on much–though Blythe told me the ending and I was pretty impressed by the author’s gutsyness

  14. Uh oh. I’d heard some great buzz about this title, but juvenile writing and frustrating romance are not for me. Thanks for the review, Mel!
    Wendy Darling recently posted…Ruin & Rising Tour: Grisha Food Chat with Leigh Bardugo + series giveaway!My Profile

  15. This book has been getting a lot of ax! This was the one written by the 16-year-old, right? It’s quite hard to finish a book that just hurts your brain. I’d have thought this will get a 1 from you.
    Dre @ Sporadic Reads recently posted…Review 176 : The Fault In Our Stars by John GreenMy Profile

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