February 3, 2012

Title: Pilgrim of the Sky
Author: Natania Barron
Publisher: Candlemark & Gleam (December 10, 2011)
First line: “Just one last box.”

From the publisher: Just when Maddie Angler thinks she’s over the death of her longtime boyfriend, Alvin, she discovers that he’s not only alive, but he may just be part god. And a killer. Now it’s up to her to unite Eight Worlds she didn’t even know existed in the first place, before chaos reigns.

**note** This book was given to The Book Hookup to read but it did not in any way influence this review.

Jag’s Review: This was my first foray into the world of Steampunk and I have to say I was absolutely intrigued by the genre.

Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction, fantasy, alternate history, and speculative fiction that came into prominence during the 1980s and early 1990s. Steampunk involves a setting where steam power is still widely used—usually Victorian era Britain or “Wild West”-era United States—that incorporates elements of either science fiction or fantasy.  source

When Maddie’s long time boyfriend Alvin disappears it’s assumed he has committed suicide and she begins to move on with her life.  Moving on proves difficult when,with the aid of his challenged brother she soon discovers that Alvin just wasn’t who she thought he was.  He was a lying, unfaithful cad and more…which she discovers when she slips through an antique mirror into one of eight parrallel worlds.

What I liked about the book: The book was very well written and I absolutely fell in love with the descriptions of the Steampunk parallel world.  I’ve never read this genre so I relished the imagination the author put into this alternate world.   I enjoyed it so much I wish that the entire book took place there because it was when Maddie left this ‘third’ world, the book started to lose it’s lustre for me.

What I didn’t like about the book:  One of the things I couldn’t quite understand was Maddie’s obsessive search for Alvin, he was a complete tool. He cheated on her, lied to her, gah I would’ve just kept him ‘dead’.  I also found that there was waaay too much packed into this one book…too many secondary characters, too many alternate worlds, too many motives. It proved to be really confusing and at times it felt like things were moving too fast and at other times, they dragged.  I think the pacing was very problematic.  In the end, it just became really complex and difficult to follow.

Overall: I think this book started off really promising, it was well written and imaginative but it fizzled out for me.  The author is without a doubt talented but I think this book tried to be too ambitious.  It tried to be too much to too many, steampunk, mythology, romance.  In the end I felt like this could have been two books if the author had the notion to expand and explain things better.

I’m putting Pilgim of the Sky on my bottom shelf.

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