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I Belong

Review: Breaking Sky by Cori McCarthy

Breaking SkyTitle: Breaking Sky

Author: Cori McCarthy

Genre: YA Dystopian

Series: N/A

Publication Date: March 10, 2015

Format: Hardcover, 416 Pages

ISBN-10: 1492601411 (Sourcebooks Fire)

ISBN-13: 978-1492601418 (Sourcebooks Fire)

Reviewed by: Zed


Fly to the last drop of fuel. Fight to the last drop of blood.

Showoff. Reckless. Maverick. Chase Harcourt, call sign “Nyx”, isn’t one to play it safe. In the year 2048, America is locked in a cold war – and the country’s best hope is the elite teen fighter pilots of the United Star Academy. Chase is one of only two daredevil pilots chosen to fly an experimental “Streaker” jet. But few know the pain and loneliness of her past. All anyone cares about is that Chase aces the upcoming Streaker trials, proving the prototype jet can knock the enemy out of the sky.

But as the world tilts toward war, Chase cracks open a military secret. There’s a third Streaker, whose young hotshot pilot, Tristan, can match her on the ground and in the clouds. And Chase doesn’t play well with others. But to save her country, she may just have to put her life in the hands of the competition.

Quick & Dirty: A strong but lonely and flawed female protagonist striving to prove herself amongst the other teenagers in the air-force. Great characters but not so great storyline.

Opening Sentence: Speed turned her on.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

I haven’t read many books set in the Air Force, especially not one where the cadets are teenagers training for a war. I’ve seen a lot of great reviews about this book, I’ve even heard that it is being considered for a TV/film but I didn’t think it was all that great. It’s an unusual story and I guess as a movie it would be cool to watch in terms of racing streaker jets mixed in with teen romance, but in all honesty, there are so many other fantastic books out three that Breaking Sky wouldn’t be my first choice at a movie adaptation.

Although Breaking Sky is categorized as YA I thought there was some mature content and sexual innuendos suitable for older teens. Especially when it comes to Chase’s (aka Nyx) romantic conquests.

She could only imagine what Tanner would say. Actually, she could imagine exactly what he would say. “I’m the heartbreaker, is that what you’re hearing?”
“I believe Tanner Won used the term ‘Love Vampire.’”
“Jesus Christ.”

Nyx is suitably named after the daughter of chaos. Her short term relationships result in broken hearts everywhere and although she does feel bad afterwards, she prefers to keep everyone, including her best friend and co-pilot Pippin at arm’s length. But things change when Arrow arrives, and Chase is forced to deal with her deepest and darkest fears.

Considering the depressing topic of an impending war I was glad for the diverse characters, my favourites being Pippin, arch rival Sylph and of course the infamous Nyx. Initially, Arrow was fun to read about, particularly when we didn’t know much about him, just that he was the pilot of the Phoenix, and the only other teenage pilot who was faster than Nyx. However, when he became more of a main character, I wasn’t too impressed at his almost perfect character, sociable smart and charming. Without a doubt Nyx’s volatile personality outshined his.

“Why do you always use my whole name? It isn’t natural. You don’t see me yelling out, ‘Hey, Eugenia Ritz Crackers’ every five seconds.”
“I’ve asked you repeatedly not to call me ‘Crackers.’”
“Forces of habit.” Chase popped her knuckles while Ritz adjusted her glasses.
A good, old-fashioned standoff.

Dystopian books tend to be too fantastical to be believed, but Breaking Sky hits on a topic that probably isn’t too far from a possible future. There are and always have been wars between powerful countries, and to think that we could be at war again is scary but, unfortunately, could be true. The topics are relevant and it was interesting to see how young adults were dealing within such a tense environment and under enormous pressures.

There was a lot of flight-related language and pilot situations that I couldn’t quite grasp. Even though there was a lot of action and eventful scenes, the linkage between events wasn’t great and often bored me.

Overall, an action packed read, an ending that hints at a series but not one I’m likely to invest in.

Notable Scene:

“According to you, moving on from people is my forte.”

They picked their way through the mud before Pippin spoke.

“True. But, Chase, you don’t even care about them in the first place.” His word burned while his shoulder bumped hers in a forced friendly way.

She wanted to point out that he was wrong. She cared. She cared about everything so much that she often felt exposed. Falling. Grasping at the sky. That’s why she needed the speed. It made the very air something that she could hold on to.


FTC Advisory: Sourcebooks Fire provided me with a copy of Breaking Sky. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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