ARC Review: Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

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Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield — her brother, fighting with the enemy — the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.


**** Huge thank you to Wednesday Books for sending me a copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review ****

Apparently I’m in the minority with this one but I just did not enjoy this as much as I should have.The promise of a viking inspired YA fantasy was so exciting but overall I found this to be really, really boring. I honestly feel like I read a completely different book than everyone else.

So prepare for an unpopular opinion!


The beginning of “Sky in the Deep” was amazing, full of action as we meet Eelyn, the MC, as she fights in a battle against the rival clansmen called Riki. It actually gets quite violent and gory, which is expected when reading about a viking-esque battle so I liked it! However, after the first few chapters this action is almost non-existent. Once Eelyn reaches the Riki village she is forced to stay in it’s so painfully boring, we just watch her as she goes about random chores etc. This goes on for pretty much the entire book too. And of course the pacing was just as slow, it’s hard to make chores all fast paced and exciting.

Also the plot….what plot exactly? No. Seriously. What was the actual plot of this story because I sure as hell did not know? There are two rival clans the Aska and the Riki, Eelyn is an Aska forced to live among the Riki. Okay, got that. And what else is there? Oh there’s some bad guys that come along and everyone has to fight them! And that’s it! That’s the plot! I was so frustrated with this because I like a little more substance in my stories and “Sky in the Deep” was just really…..shallow.

And the “bad guys”? What exactly made them the bad guys? They killed people from rival clans? Oh no! Well honey, I’ve got news for you: the Aska and Riki do the same damn thing. So is everyone bad guys? Apparently not. None of this made sense to me, I like to have a bit more explanation sorry.

As for the world building, I liked what little I got but there wasn’t much. The two rival clans each support a god and that’s one a big reason for their fighting and there’s a tiny bit of backstory into the origins of clans. However, why did their gods desire them to fight exactly? What’s their (the gods) beef with each other? Are there other gods? Seriously, why were none of those questions answered?! I would have liked a bit more insight into the workings of their world and I would have liked more viking-ness too.


Since the plot itself is so lacking I would say that this book is more on the character driven side, but I still found the characters to be bland and uninteresting.

Eelyn is your typical strong YA heroine and honestly there wasn’t anything all that memorable or great about her. She was just there to drive the plot forwards with her capture. I wouldn’t say she was a “Mary Sue” or “Special Snowflake” but she was just kind of “blah” and not all that interesting.

Actually NONE of the characters were all that interesting, no one was complex or developed whatsoever. Everyone was completely forgettable and lacked depth of any kind.

Iri, Eelyn’s brother who is supposedly her driving force for most of the book, was so freaking bland. What was so great about him? I could have cared less if Eelyn “saved him” or not. And Fiske, the love interest, give me a break. There was absolutely NOTHING appealing about him whatsoever, unless you count being shot with an arrow and kidnapped as a turn on. Then he’s great.

The only characters a even moderately liked were Inge and Halvard, because a loving mother character and adorable 7 year old character are always going to warm my heart.



While I did appreciate that the romance wasn’t exactly a central focus, it was still present. I liked that it wasn’t full of the usual tropes: insta-love and love triangles, but I wasn’t too impressed by it. It felt like romance for the sake of romance because I felt it came out of nowhere. Why in the world would you fall in love with the grumpy guy who shot you with an arrow and kidnapped you? To each their own I guess. I thought Fiske was a bland, unappealing love interest and there was zero chemistry.

in conclusion

What I Loved:

  • What little world building there was
  • First few action-packed battle chapters

What I Didn’t Love:

  • Non-existent plot
  • Slow pacing, no action
  • The “Bad Guys”
  • World building could have been more developed
  • Characters lacked complexity and depth
  • The romance was there for the sake of having a romance (also zero chemistry and I hated the love interest)


Overall I’m really disappointed with this one, when you advertise your book as being “viking inspired” I expect lots of brutal action scenes and more world building to really get that viking feel. Not watching a main character do a bunch of chores and fall in love. However, it seems that everyone else on the planet loved this one except for me so go check it out if it sounds appealing to you! I just feel disappointed with myself that I didn’t enjoy this one.

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The Sassy


21 thoughts on “ARC Review: Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

  1. Kelly | Another Book in the Wall April 30, 2018 / 10:30 am

    I haven’t read this one yet, but I can definitely see why some of those things would be annoying. I can’t stand it whenever “bad guys” are deemed as villains simply because they kill members of rival clans. Sounds hypocritical to me. Great, detailed review, Heather! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek May 15, 2018 / 12:53 pm

      It really is hypocritical, I mean at least come up with one other reason they’re the villains because just killing people doesn’t cut it especially when the “heroes” do the same thing! I could rant forever about it, haha! Thanks Kelly! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Bentley ★ April 30, 2018 / 11:24 am

    Oh Heather, I’m sorry this one was a miss for you. I’ve heard some mixed reviews about it myself. I think the lack of a real plot really kills my interest in this book though. I’ve heard it’s slow, and sometimes I can deal with slow, but not when the characters and plot don’t make up for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek May 15, 2018 / 12:54 pm

      Thank you Bentley! I agree with you on the slow plot/pacing, I can handle it if the characters or more complex but this one just didn’t have that going for it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Norrie April 30, 2018 / 12:57 pm

    I can forgive an almost non existent plot if i like the characters (like Turtles All the Way Down… i liked that one). But this one sounds like it’s lacking in that department too. I’m sorry it wasn’t as good as it should have been.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jessica April 30, 2018 / 4:06 pm

    I’ve heard a lot of great things about this book, but based on your review I can understand why you didn’t like it. The lack of plot and character development is bound to make a reader bored… This makes me a little more hesitant to read the book. Awesome review!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Zezee April 30, 2018 / 7:09 pm

    Oh no! I don’t usually like it when I story kicks off with as much action as this one did because that excitement doesn’t often continue as the story progresses, but I liked reading those fight scenes and seeing how badass the MC is. That sucks that it doesn’t continue that way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek May 22, 2018 / 12:56 pm

      I agree, it builds expectations. If the story would have had that action continue it would have been much different but it was way too slow and tedious for me. It went from battles to chores, not very exciting!


  6. Justine April 30, 2018 / 9:16 pm

    Oh no! I had a feeling about this, but I picked it up anyways. From your review, it doesn’t sound that well developed and I’m not sure that will sit well with me lol ><!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek May 22, 2018 / 12:56 pm

      Still, I hope you have better luck with it than I did! I just wasn’t invested in the plot or characters so that really took away from the experience for me!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. dawnabron May 1, 2018 / 6:21 am

    I agree with everything you said especially about the nothing-specialness-of-this-book-except-the-setting but I rated it 3.75 simply because I was able to read 95% without skipping pages. You’ve made some really good points that’s making rethink my rating.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek May 22, 2018 / 12:58 pm

      Thank you! It’s always nice to know I’m not too much of a black sheep on books like this, it’s such a bummer that an awesome setting like this was sort of wasted.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. onespeculiar May 1, 2018 / 7:24 am

    great review Heather! i wasn’t interested in the book when i first heard about it, but it’s good to read a negative review about it and why it wasn’t a hit for you!

    Liked by 1 person

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