Thursday, 9 October 2014

Review: Skywatcher by Donna Maree Hanson

Violence and devastation spreads through Magra as the Inspector’s influence grows throughout the once peaceful lands. But Salinda, one of the Inspector’s most important weapons, has escaped. After being rescued by Nils, the last of his race, she is brought to the wondrous subterranean city of Barrahiem. With Nils’ vast store of knowledge and access to pre-Shatterwing technology, Salinda sees a way to defeat the Inspector, but only if she can convince him that humankind is worth saving.

Above ground, Brill and rebel leader, Danton, march for the observatory of Trithorn Peak, the only city yet to fall to the Inspector’s forces. With them are one of Trithorn’s Skywatchers, and a mysterious young woman whose eyes reflect a power not unlike Salinda’s. This misfit crew must work with Trithorn’s remaining Skywatchers to prepare for a desperate battle, not only for the observatory but for the future of Margra. For it is not only the Inspector that threatens their precious lands, and the Skywatchers are the only ones that can save them from the final moonfall.

I received a copy from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. It was available as a pre-order on Amazon but I couldn't wait.

While I found Skywatcher to be less dark than Shatterwing, book one, it was no less compelling, interesting and fantastic in fact it was even more so. Skywatcher picks up where Shatterwing left off. As I mentioned in my review of Shatterwing, all the pieces were in place and they quickly start moving.

I loved the tension as the action built and plot turns I hoped for were dangled before me, either making me wait a little longer or surprising me. Our characters face tough decisions which develop them as people and root them in the story.

The ending brought tons of action. Each player had their part and many overcame their own hurdles in order to do so.

I also loved that the resolution wasn't over done. Too many stories end wrapped up in a huge silky bow. Skywatcher didn't and it was perfect. The ending tied up the main story and gave us a good idea of where the characters will go next without smothering me. It's a dark fantasy after all and a mushy ending would be just plain wrong.

It's been a long time since a book left me pacing at the end, it was that good. I hope somewhere in Ms. Hanson's writing den she keeps a few scraps of notes for further books in the series.

Happy release day, Skywatcher!