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The Sky: The World Paperback – September 7, 2010

17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This book is the very reason that it's a good thing for readers that indie publishers exist." - Book Reviews Weekly

"The world in 'The Sky: The World' is complex and breathtaking...It sucked me in, I loved it, and it was quite the wild ride." -Novel Addiction

"Inventive and full of surprises." -Innsmouth Free Press
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Reliquary Press (September 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984183353
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984183357
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,124,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jessica McHugh is an author of speculative fiction spanning the genre from horror and alternate history to young adult. A 2013 Pulp Ark nominee, she has devoted herself to novels, short stories, poetry, and playwriting. Jessica has had sixteen books published in six years, including her bestselling thriller, "Rabbits in the Garden," and the first book in her edgy YA series, "The Darla Decker Diaries." More info on her speculations and publications can be found at JessicaMcHughBooks.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dean C. Mcmillin on October 10, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The story is set in a Victorian era alternate world; not really steampunk because the tech is based on invisible crystals and not steam, and the whole worldview is ... different. It's a society where the citizens are obsessed both machine and human perfection, and where naturally conceived children are apt upon. Almost like a Victorian age Gattaca or something. There's tension in the whole setting, because in a world where perfection is not only worshipped but expected, heroes can fall very hard.

Protagonist Jack Racine is one of these fallen heroes. He's also kind of a douche, really, though his self-loathing makes him strangely sympathetic. Almost every time he's faced with a new clue or challenge, his first reaction is to retreat into a bar/opium den where he gets drunk, stoned, and has sex with various beautiful women who are friends/acquaintances/loved ones of his, which he later can't really remember. Somehow, though, the author makes him compelling and I did really want to see if he would be redeemed by the end.

On the other hand, whenever the author goes into an expository mode (such as the section covering Dr. Azaz's backstory, which was brilliant) the book is truly enthralling. Authors are always warned to dole out exposition in little drips and drops, but here the author ladles it on and at times and it really works great. It's actually in the backstory stuff that her storytelling skills are at their height.
The mythology behind the world is brilliant and original, and the ethereal crystal technology is both fascinating and kind of creepy. This is a fascinating setting where nothing is without danger and every miracle has a price.

I was kinda expecting a steampunkish adventure full of swashbuckling and dogfights, but I didn't get that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By BusyMom on July 10, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A lot to like with this book. There's a scoundrel for a leading man, a lot of sex and a lot of drugs, and it's all set in this alternate timeline where a creepy mysterious "impure" magician in an ivory tower sets the rules for a precocious Western World on the edge of a tomorrow that would-be today. It's a bit of a who-dun-it, with a lot of snappy dialogue and imagery so well-worded that it might as well have been cgi. This is a mystery, an adventure, a love story, and a redemption tale. Did I mention the witty banter? This book has it in spades. Captain Jack Racine and his crew are like characters straight out of a WWII era movie, only they're not. They're out of the McHughinverse, as they should be.

The first chapter is a little tough to chew through, because there's so much going on, so urgently in this familiar-yet-strange reality. Stick with it. The narrative voice is consistent, and though I personally didn't think I was up for 3rd person, eventually I got used to it. (That was strictly a mood thing, nothing to do with the writing.) I enjoyed understanding more and more what happened in that first chapter as the book moved on. I don't think there's any other way it could have been done!

I understand there's a reformat going on to deal with a technical issue, so perhaps inquire to that status before you dive in, but do dive in, at some point in the near future. McHugh's created a truly unique world here like no other. There's a lot of steampunk going around these days, but this isn't that. I did use that shelf tag because I think it will appeal to readers of the genre. This is wholly unique, borrowing nothing quantifiable from any steampunk trope I can name.

Don't miss this. Rarely do we get to see inside the imagination of such an inventive mind. I suspect McHugh's a bit of a Dr. Azaz, herself, truth be known. But what do I know? I'm just a triap trying to keep my secrets in a ruthless world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jamie Ratliff on November 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
The story takes place in 17th century London as a new science emerges from a reclusive Doctor Azaz. This science allows the creation of airplanes and eventually controls reproductive life. Airplanes play a role in the story and introduce us to the main character Jack Racine. Jack is the brother of Toby Racine, who had a stellar career the service but dies suddenly in a plane crash that should not have happened with the new technology. Jack, the black sheep of the family, enjoys drinking, women, and laudanum. Upon his brother's death, Jack and his aerial flying team, The Sherwood Six take off to find answers, which leads to Jack meeting the mysterious Dr. Azaz who has an important task for Jack that will forever change his life. I read a lot of struggling authors and sometimes it's hard to get through some of the books. This was not one I struggled with.

The Sky: The World was very enjoyable, and I am surprised that it's not been picked up by a bigger publishing house. It is currently published by Reliquary Press, an indie publishing house. For me, this book is the very reason that it's a good thing for readers that indie publishers exist, otherwise we might not get the chance to read great stories by great authors like The Sky: The World by Jessica McHugh.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T. R. Stoddard on June 1, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Everything about The Sky: The World drew me in: the cover art, the name, and the mysterious Doctor Azaz. I wanted to get to know Jack Racine and therefore it immediately jumped to the top of my "to be read" list. I have always been intrigued by the steampunk genre, but had yet to read anything in it. If they are anything like The Sky: The World, I will be sure to read more. The characters are engaging and believable, no character being all good or all bad. Egyptian Mythology is worked so well into the plot, you can almost believe that this world exists. Even while I wasn't reading it, parts of the book were always in my mind. And to me, that is the mark of a good book. Something that not only makes you think, but something that makes you think of it long after you put it down.
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