“The Other Side of the Sky” by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Source: Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Prince North’s home is in the sky, in a gleaming city held aloft by intricate engines, powered by technology. Nimh is the living goddess of her people on the Surface, responsible for providing answers, direction—hope.
North’s and Nimh’s lives are entwined—though their hearts can never be. Linked by a terrifying prophecy and caught between duty and fate, they must choose between saving their people or succumbing to the bond that is forbidden between them.
I quite enjoyed the blend of fantasy with science fiction. I particularly enjoyed the ongoing discussions of what is magic vs what is science. So many YA books walk that very weird line of science fiction and fantasy. So what exactly makes it one or the other? [There’s no real answer but the closest we came is: science, you can explain; magic, you can’t.]
The story is just a delightful blend of so many things I enjoy in books: a chosen one forced into a situation not of their choosing; a world of technology vs a different and perhaps more primitive world; fate, destiny, & prophecy; an isolated person (royal figure or religious figure) finally meeting someone who truly knows and understands their struggle. The story really explores those ideas in a wonderful way.
Amie and Meagan sure know how to write a story. I quickly grew to love & care for North and Nimh. I understood their struggles and cheered for them even though that meant some opposition to the other party. There’s no way for them both to win.
The story is perfectly plotted. Each side of the story kept moving along at a great pace. I didn’t grow bored or annoyed at having to switch perspectives. The revelations towards the end were a great way to elevate the stakes in a way I hadn’t seen coming.
Even though the story was pitched as a forbidden romance, I didn’t find the romance to be overbearing as a non-romance fan. Sure, there’s some tension between our leads but nothing over the top or ridiculous. It’s realistic & relatable. North & Nimh found someone who truly understand their struggle. Who wouldn’t want to hold on to that?
The bottom line? Delightful read. Don’t let the romance keep you away if it’s not your thing.