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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

MEN in YA: Skyship Academy: The Pearl Wars by Nick James (Review)

Genre:Young Adult, Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction, Thriller
Publication.Date  September 8th 2011
Published By:  Flux
WebsiteNick James

The Pearl Wars- Goodreads
My review copy:Review copy received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Where to get: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | Book Depository

"A definite must-read!"—JAMES DASHNER, New York Times bestselling author of The Maze Runner

     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.

"It should have burned right through you, Jesse. You should be dead right now."
My eyes dart open and I force my head up to look at the skies. A ball of energy hurtle down from the stars, lighting up the sides of buildings as it crashes down. Past the Bio-Net. Past security.
A Pearl, and it's headed straight toward me.

"Sometimes sympathy's not such a bad thing. Missions aren't easy when feelings are involved. Trust me."
I sit next to her."What's that supposed to mean?"
She shrugs. "Just saying. Emotion compromises a person. You've gotta choose between your brain and your heart." She smiles. "Heart should always win, I think."

     The first book in the Skyship Academy series is full of breath-taking action, totally unexpected plot twists, intrigue and jaw-dropping surprises! The narrative is addictive and absolutely captivating. It took me merely 5 hours to read this book, and I am NOT a fast reader at all. Nick James' writing style is approachable and easy to digest. I was so absorbed in the story, so eager to find out what will happen next, I didn't even notice the pages turning. I didn't make a conscious effort to start another chapter. It was kind of like being in a trans. It's insane how extremely well written this book is, especially when you take into account the fact that it only took the author 6 months to write it! Nick James is a born writer, he has a talent for words. I am a fan.
Rows of shattered windows pass by above me in a blur, faster and faster until I'm mere feet from smashing into the ground. This is it. All I can do is close my eyes and pray.
      It's year 2095 and nothing is the same as it was before. America has been attacked. No one knows by who or why, no terrorist organization ever claimed responsibility for the bombings. But someone had to pay for that, people demanded revenge and so the American government retaliated, targeting countries and organizations that had been troubling US for a while now. The bombings and the chemicals almost drove the planet to extinctions, raising the temperature dangerously. That's when the Pearls started falling from the sky. Pearl energy helped power the Bio-Nets that protected and cooled the Chosen Cities. Chosen Cities weren't for everyone, though. Those who couldn't afford living in them, or simply didn't agree with the government's policy, were forced to live in the blazing chaos of the Fringes. Skyship Academy was formed as the government opposition, trying to collect Pearls before the Madam's people (the leader of the Unified Party) got to them. A never ending fight for the Pearl energy.
"Did I ever tell you I served in Operation Blackout?"
"Several times, sir." In fact, during school lectures he never shuts up about it. The defining moment that turned the tides of the Chinese-American war, he says.
Alkaline nods, crossing his arms. "Best day of my life. I guess some of us are just born for battle."
I glance at the door. Some of us were born to get out of this room.
     Jesse Fischer is training to be a Skyship agent. Cassius is Madam's protégé. They are born enemies. When their paths cross one day, something weird happens. An unexpected connection is made between them. Their meeting trigers a chain of dangerous events that no one has been prepared for.
"You know, you can't keep doing this, acting like a baby when things don't go your way."
      It's official, I am a total nerd. I went crazy for this book! Some scenes were so deliciously nerdy that I had a goofy smile stuck to my face, earning suspicious glances from my husband. This book is like a perfect cross between Star Wars and like a dozen nerdy TV shows from Space Channel. It's just as addictive as Buffy The Vampire Slayer and just as phenomenally complex as Matrix. It's an EPIC read, one that every YA fantasy/sci fi fan should have on his/her book shelf.

     The characters were top notch.  I'd LOVE to see this book being adapted into a movie (or even better, a TV show!) one day. That would ROCK! I don't see any other option, it's just a perfect movie/TV show material! I loved Jesse and Cassius, they're the opposites of each other and yet they have so much in common! The twists involving these two were just crazy, I didn't see them coming at all, but once they happened I was like: awww.. of course! (=total mental-face-palm moment) I really connected with both of the MCs and had so much fun following their adventures. My only regret is that, unlike Jesse's POV, Cassius' wasn't in the first person. I think that would've been even more awesome. I'd like to get into Cassius' head and see what he thinks!

     The Pearl Wars turned out to be a really great read. It's one of my favorite 2011 books for sure. I had a lot of fun reading it. Dripping with tension and suspense, this book had me on the edge of my seat. I was impressed by the complexity of the plot. There are layers upon layers of well thought-out and detailed world-building. The intrigue turns out to be so much more than what you'd expect from the back-cover blurb, and you'll be pleasantly surprised at how brilliantly all the plot threads come together in the end. The ending is quite a tease and I can't wait to read the next book in the series. It's definitely one of the most anticipated 2012 releases for me! 

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Thanks to the fabulous:
ME ^___^
We have a copy of The Pearl Wars up for grabs. Open to Internationals! :D
The giveaway will be posted tomorrow, together with the author interview with the brilliant Nick James!
Don't forget to stop by and enter!

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This review is posted as a part of the MEN in YA event (Nov 20th - Dec 20th)
For more awesomeness (reviews, interviews, giveaways, guest posts) please click the banner below!

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About the Author
Evie is the Blogger behind Bookish. She enjoys reading many different genres, especially YA, Paranormal, Contemporary Fiction and Fantasy.
She loves talking to authors and is always happy to welcome them for interviews, and guest posts. She also likes spreading the love for awesome books and  chatting with fellow book-worms.
You can find Evie here: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Shelfari | The Library Thing


Renu said...

This sounds SO good! *scurries off to add to Shelfari tbr shelf- Plus, can I just say how much I ADORE reading your reviews, they're always so much fun! ^_^

Asheley (@BookwormAsheley) said...

first of all, YOU HAD ME AT MATRIX!!!

second of all, i've had my eye on this book since i first saw the cover. how interesting! and now that i've read your review, i just added it to my TBR!

if you read it as fast as you say you did, it sounds like it is phenomenal. i can't wait to get my hands on a copy.

thanks again, evie, for the brilliant words!

Evie said...

@Renu :) awww thank you so much sweetie! I can't tell you how happy it makes me to hear something like that! <3 <3 <3

@Asheley you're too sweet, hun! :) Thanks so much for your kind words! I'm 100% sure you'll love this one, it's unbelievably good, like all sorts of awesome :D

Thanks for commenting girls! :D

Shadowrose96 said...

This sounds really good! I'm impressed, only 5 hours to read?! Great review! I wanted to read it before but you've managed to get my inner geek going. I'll definitely end up reading this one.

Jen D. @ Not Now...I'm Reading! said...

Great job on this review Evie. You definitely made me want to run to the closest book store and pick it up. I love when someone gets this excited about what they've read!

Andra said...

DUDE!?!?! How haven't I heard of this before!!! It sounds absolutely fantasmic!!! Hon, this review literally has me DYING to read it! Wonderiffic review great :D

tattoogirlreads said...

I was interested in reading this before I saw this review. Since you're pretty much cheerleading for the book I guess i'll have to pick it up SOON

Barbara E. said...

The cover grabbed my interest, and I'm glad to hear that the book is a great read as well. I enjoyed your review and I'm looking forward to reading The Pearl Wars.

Bookish in a Box said...

This sounds amazing! I love sci-fi dystopians, and anything with a nerdy element has me hooked. So glad you enjoyed it!

Julie W said...

I have been DYING to read this book!! I can't believe you read it in only 5 hours! I am definitely getting a copy of this book to read now! Thanks for the very, very awesome review!! :D

Novels On The Run said...

I love your comment, 'some scenes were deliciously nerdy'...ha!!

You make this sound such a fun read!

Now I have another book for the tbr leaning tower of pisa pile:D


marybelle said...

I had in mind to read this book & series, now I KNOW I will.


Sarah E. said...

I'd have to agree with a previous commenter about the cover art catching my eye! I immediately put it on my to-read list.

I find that I've been really interested in the dystopianesque books lately. And you used a bunch of words that I love to see in reviews: nerdy and epic, to name my two favorites :P

Stepping Out of the Page said...

Great review - this one sounds very different and amazing! I'm definitely going to put this on my to-read list. I love this sort of genre. (I'm a new follower, so hi!)

roro said...

Great review

Aleksandra said...

Great review :) I'm a total nerd, too, so I'm sure I'll love it, too :) I mean, I had a smile plasted on my face most of the time while reading both Geek Girl & Ready Player One (because all the nerdy things in them, I loved, too) so although this one is different, sounds just like a book for me :D Also, I absolutely love when everything comes together in the ned perfectly, so now I can't wait to get my hands on a copy!

Kathy said...

Mention Buffy and you have my attention. I don't generally love Science Fiction, but this sounds like one I might enjoy.

Bhand35 said...

love it! love it!! love it!!! thanks for the review

Bee said...

AMAZING review. I'm not big on sci-fi (I've hardly read a handful) but this sounds like something explosive and enjoyable.

Loving the quotes you've provided :)

Ning said...

This sounds amazing. I love sci-fi when I find the occasionally amazing one that doesn't go over my head hahaha. Will pick this one up soon!

Raine said...

I usually steer away from apocalyptic stories because it depresses me big time but after reading your review about the book, made me think of checking this one out. I hope to find who has a copy. :D The cover seems to have some steampunk feel to it too. It's a genre that I've started to explore. :) From the looks of just reading the review, I think the book does have a possibility of being turned into a movie or a TV series or whichever medium best translates the book. I think it would be great. :)

Stephanie Verhaegen said...

Wow. This sounds totally awesome. Love the quotes. It sounds like a really exciting read! Thanks for the review.

Enbrethiliel said...


Am I the only one who got the impresion from the cover that this would be a UK novel? Not that it matters or anything. =P

Thanks for the review, Evie! Now I want to read this, if only because it doesn't have some girl torn between Jesse and Cassius. LOL! ;-)

Grace Lo said...

This sounds so interesting! I thought that this book would be a bit steampunk judging by the cover, but although I have nothing against steampunk, I tend to lean towards sci-fi.
Did I mention how much I like books that take place in the future? And the fact that it's a cross between Star Wars and other TV from geek-dom makes it even better!

Jaime Lester said...

I love it when a YA book is written from a male perspective. I love it even more when it is believable. This is a book that I might have passed up at some point because of the cover and because it is sci. If I passed it now though, I would give it a chance. Elizabeth Norris Unraveling gave me an interest in sci-fi. This sounds like just the sort of book to make me love it. Thanks for the review!

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