(Cover picture courtesy of Goodreads.)
A secret she must never share. A secret that two warring species are determined to control. A universe’s future at stake.
Twenty-year-old Cassiel Winters joins Earth’s new space academy in hopes of finding her brother, one of Command’s top pilots and her only family, who’s been reported MIA. But she quickly realizes she may not be cut out for life in space, where female cadets are outnumbered, competition’s fierce, and she’s already failed her hand-to-hand combat test once.
Even the station’s most respected officer, Lt. Damian King, probably can’t help Cassiel pass the second time around – so why is he so interested in her progress? If only one of her freaky déjà vu visions would offer an answer instead of mysterious messages like hide.
When Cassiel’s manipulated into a perilous mission, she encounters a warrior species bred to protect the universe from an even greater threat. And she learns that her secret visions are at the heart of it all.
Now Cassiel must fight to control her own destiny and race to save her brother – even if it means pretending to be the pawn of Prime Or’ic, the cold-as-steel Thell’eon leader. Even if it means risking her life, facing hard truths, and making the ultimate sacrifice.
[Full disclosure: I received a free ebook copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]
If I had to describe Sky’s End in one word, it would be disappointing. Lesley Young had such an amazing premise here that I couldn’t help but request it from NetGalley. I mean, a young female space cadet in a mostly male world working to find a way to save her brother (who is missing in action) sounds like a great sci-fi premise. Throw in some marauding aliens bent on wiping out humanity and you have an apparent winner. Except Lesley Young had some problems with not only what she was writing about, but how she wrote.
There are a lot of awkward phrases throughout the book, but not enough to annoy me. What annoyed me was that some things were described in ridiculous detail (mainly the Thell’eons) and things like Cassiel’s surroundings weren’t described at all. It was akin to be dropped into a dark room with a bunch of talking heads at some points in the story. Okay, so I could ignore even that, but all of the futuristic technology that is named but never explained really grated on my nerves. I don’t like it when authors talk down to their readers, but sometimes it’s okay to explain the things your main character casually mentions.
The plot was truly confusing at some parts. Why they sent Cassiel out on a mission knowing she’d be captured by the Thell’eons is a mystery to me, even though there was sort of a weak explanation about how they like human women. The plot twists that I don’t want to reveal involving the real threat to the universe were also ridiculously confusing. I re-read certain scenes twice to make sure I wasn’t missing something and still didn’t completely understand what was going on. I think Lesley Young definitely knows where the plot was going, but that she had a hard time getting the message through to readers.
Cassiel was an okay character, I suppose. I could feel that she truly loved her older brother and wanted to find him, that she was confused about the Prime Or’ic and Damian and that she wanted to do the right thing in the end. Yet at the same time, I didn’t really feel her emotions. Throughout the course of the story Cassiel gets angry, sad, happy, etc. but I never really could connect with her on that emotional level I can with most characters. I’m not sure if it’s something on my end or the author’s, but it definitely affected the way I felt about the whole story.
Overall, I’d say that Sky’s End really just wasn’t for me. There was such an awesome premise, but Lesley Young never really did live up to it. I finished the book and just felt confused and let down by the ending. The plot twist completely blindsided me and not in a good way. It was more of a “Huh? Where’d that come from?” way.
I give this book 1.5/5 stars.