Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Book Review AND Giveaway: Toward a Secret Sky by Heather Maclean

Book Summary 
Shortly after 17-year-old Maren Hamilton is orphaned and sent to live with grandparents she’s never met in Scotland, she receives an encrypted journal from her dead mother that makes her and everyone around her a target. It confirms that her parents were employed by a secret, international organization that’s now intent on recruiting her. As Maren works to unravel the clues left behind by her mother, a murderous madness sweeps through the local population, terrorizing her small town. Maren must decide if she’ll continue her parents’ fight or stay behind to save her friends.

With the help of Gavin, an otherworldly mercenary she’s not supposed to fall in love with, and Graham, a charming aristocrat who is entranced with her, Maren races against the clock and around the country from palatial estates with twisted labyrinths to famous cathedrals with booby-trapped subterranean crypts to stay ahead of the enemy and find a cure. Along the way, she discovers the great truth of love: that laying down your life for another isn’t as hard as watching them sacrifice everything for you.

Flo's Review
Toward a Secret Sky has many different elements -- fantasy, romance, mystery, adventure. And, of course -- COVER LOVE. Look at this beauty!

toward a secret sky, heather Maclean
So pretty!
I was talking with a friend this past weekend about books that try to be one thing when they would be better as another. This is how I feel about Toward a Secret Sky. The romance felt a little much to me. I struggle with insta-love to begin with, and I felt that so much of this novel was Maren talking about how attracted she is to Gavin. To me, there was almost more about Maren and her feelings for Gavin than about the story line. There's certainly nothing wrong with that. I just feel like it was more a romance story with a fantastical setting than a fantasy story, and I was expecting more of a fantasy story. In the end, despite the fact that Maren is also motivated by her mother and her friends, she really just does everything for Gavin. I wish I'd gotten more personal drive and character growth: I wish she'd more come into her own, so to speak, to where her big decision at the end is motivated by herself and who she has become and not by him.

The story was creative and the scenery sounded absolutely beautiful. I loved reading about Gavin's home and about Aviemore. I also do appreciate that this is a standalone novel, in the world of so many fantasy series. 

Toward a Secret Sky comes out April 4th, 2017.

Thank you to Blink YA for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Now, about that GIVEAWAY
I ended up with two ARCs of this book, so I'll give away one! To enter, leave a comment here (with your email address so I can reach you) for 1 point, follow/RT the contest tweet on Twitter (@booknerdsblog) for another point, and/or like the Instagram (@booknerdsacrossamerica) for another entry. US only and ends at midnight on publication day, April 4th. Good luck!

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