ARC Review: Imprison the Sky – A.C. Gaughen

This Advanced Readers Copy was kindly given to me at BookExpo 2018, in exchange for an unbiased honest review.

Right. I chose to prioritize reading over studying for my Philosophy exam tomorrow.

My honest answer? eh.


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Name: Imprison the Sky
Author: A.C. Gaughen
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date: January 29, 2019

Synopsis

Stolen from her family as a child, Aspasia has clawed her way up the ranks of Cyrus’s black market empire to captain her own trading vessel–and she risks it all every time she uses her powerful magic to free as many women, children, and Elementae from slavery as she can.

But Cyrus is close to uncovering her secrets–not only that Aspasia is an air Elementa with the ability to sail her ship through the sky, but that she is also searching for her lost family. And if Aspasia can’t find her younger siblings before Cyrus does, she will never be able to break free.

Armed with her loyal crew full of Elementae and a new recruit who controls an intriguing power, Aspasia finds herself in the center of a brewing war that spans every inch of the ocean, and her power alone may not be enough to save her friends, family, and freedom.


Book Cover Comments

I felt like the pink wisps were more, sort of, glowing magic than wind, but I get that its hard to conceptualize something that has no color nor visible form. But that blue is beautiful!


The Actual Review

“Eh.”

That was my opening line for this book’s predecessor’s review. Wow. I’ve just realized how in sync my thought was. I copied and pasted Reign the Earth’s review to reuse the formatting and to compare the review. But I seriously didn’t know I was on this much of the same wavelength.

So, yea. That sums up my experience with this book. But honestly, if I wasn’t given the ARC, I probably really wouldn’t have given this book a go.

As much as the fact that the book, in general, was an “eh”, it was definitely much much much much much better than the previous book. Gone are the attempts to figure out what to do with this newfound power and confusion. Gone are the midly-trying-to-struggle-out-of-the-damsel-in-distress-state. Aspasia was a character I could stand better in the sense that, we already know she can do stuff, she knows she can do stuff, and she’s really good at it.

The only thing I never understood was that I always thought these were flying air-ships, little did I know that the flying literally only plays a part in almost none of it; it’s just regular sailing most of the time with a lot of air power to help with wind. Since sailing… needs… wind. Yea. OK whatever.

Like the previous book in the Elementae series, the first half was not too bad, not too great, certainly a much deeper narrative and rich backing story to the MC Aspasia, and the last one-third was certainly the most interesting. Gaughen introduces something new to the table in the Elementae world, the one joker card that is so crucial to everyone, everyone wants it. And how this power will be used will depend on the wielder it falls into… or does it even fall into any hands in the first place…? That’s a mystery that will be resolved at the end of the book.

At first, I didn’t understand the zero connection between the first and second book because of 1. the misleading synopsis and 2. my friend not explaining it well, but now I get it. Yes, Aspasia is Aspasia’s own story, but Aspasia meets someone from Shalia’s side of the tale during the book, and that’s where the two books FINALLY make sense as to why they belong in a series together. Surprise surprise, you’ll for sure see Aspasia meet Shalia (again. Since they already met once in Book one, apparently) but that encounter was not a pleasant one for sure; it was a rocky and violent one of a lot of emotions.

Gaughen continues to use the idea of siblings as the main driver of the plot, which is quite interesting to compare the relationships of different siblings, abusive (namely, first book antagonist and his siblings) compared to Aspasia’s endless hunt for her siblings.

But at this point I’m a little tired of sailing out at sea books; I know its not the focus but, I just wasn’t in for the ride.

Yes, this book has a lot of personal and mental healing when some characters meet other characters, but that’s about it. The book really only got interesting in the last 100 pages. I’m genuinely interested to know what happens next, but then again I’m not that interested. There simply wasn’t much character building/depth or stuff I could connect to. Aspasia sure has a rich back story but I didn’t buy it.


Imprison the Sky, while a better-written book than its predecessor, was still a disappointment; it followed in the same footsteps and repeated the same problems of being an unpleasant read, its potential only attempted to be brought out for the last 33%.

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Joanne Lumiere

Joanne is the narcissistic founder of her book blog, Joanne Lumiere. Born and raised in Hong Kong, this 18 year old brat is currently attending college in Los Angeles, and still doesn't know how to read books with sophistication, and yet she runs a blog.

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