Sunday, 27 February 2011

FANTASY REVIEW: The Sky: The World - Jessica McHugh

Release Date: 20/09/10


In 17th century London, an elusive stranger named Doctor Azaz introduces a new science called picoepistemology to the world, thereby leading to the invention of aeroplanes, the capability for regenerative materials, and a new means for reproduction. Over 200 years later, the mysterious Doctor continues to work from his ivory tower and witnesses, firsthand, the plane crash that takes the lives of Air Chief Marshal Toby Racine and his pregnant wife. Captain Jack Racine, polar opposite to his brother Toby except in aerial talents, doesn't buy the police's explanation of Toby's crash and decides to take matters into his own hands---after he downs a gin and a few drops of laudanum, that is. Joined by his aerobatics team, The Sherwood Six, Jack sets out to discover the truth behind Toby's death. But in doing so, he discovers that Toby was on a secret mission from Doctor Azaz and that the good Doctor would like vice-ridden Jack to pick up where his brother left off. The Sky: The World takes readers on an adventure from London to Egypt , from 1848 to 1584 and back, and through the delicately complex world of Jack Racine, The Sherwood Six, and a god amongst men: Doctor Azaz.


Whilst not every author manages to sign a deal with one of the big houses, some of the smaller independent ones like Reliquary Press have managed to score some serious talent. That’s what occurs within this title by Jessica McHugh, the writing is imaginative, the dialogue is the type that readers will love and when backed with a decently paced plot as well as some outstanding characterisation makes this a difficult title to put down.

While the title was one that I wouldn’t normally seek, I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the writing and with so much happening in a novella format in such quick succession. It was enjoyable, it was a title that gave me a satisfying read and above all else it was a title that mean’s I’ll have to look at the independent a little more often.

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