Finished this book early this morning. Finally. I have so much to do with the holidays coming up and this book was difficult to get through. Anyway, check it out.
Title: Breaking Sky
Author: Cori McCarthy
Genre: Science Fiction
ROTS Setting: CU, Near Future
Synopsis: Set in a dystopian-esc America which has been backing into a lonely corner by Chinese drones, Chase “Nyx” Harcourt must battle daddy issues, cat fights, a psychotic psychologist turned school counselor, not being told about extremely classified information she doesn’t need to know, and not having her newest boy toy have a break down because she just wants him for his body……and she hasn’t even left the ground yet in one of only two super jets.
Recommendation: Even factoring in how I hate teen/high school drama, I still don’t recommend this book. Mild spoilers ahead.
– – Spoilers – –
Ok, I say I don’t recommend this book, but I don’t hate it. I just didn’t like it. I can see how a younger, more casual, less literate reader might like it. Anyone else and I begin to question their taste in books.
My first problem is with the premise. They explain that only teenagers (or Olympic athletes) are physically and mentally capable of flying these Streaker super jets. To me this is a very weak excuse to put high school kids in “multibillion dollar” jets. It is specifically pointed out due to the endurance needed to fly at fast speeds, and under high G’s, but also their “impulse-swift reflexes.” The latter is a direct quote from the book that is used at least three times word for word by three different people, but is never explained. I’d like to point out that physical prowess and quick reflexes aren’t exclusive to teenagers.
Another problem I had was anything to do with the military……so nearly every aspect was affected as it is a fundamental part of the book. I would say it’s the frame in which everything else takes place. It’s a “junior” Academy, so it is going to be inherently less strict and conforming. But they have a top secret project going on at this top secret base that the enemy can’t find and stays totally secret from everyone with a total student population of over a thousand and an approximate 250 students arriving/graduating every year. Base security is super lax and I’ve heard of public high schools with more discipline. It’s even mentioned how graduates have difficulty transitioning to the real Air Force Academy because of how casual this place is.
Chase, the main character, has multiple personality disorder…..well not actually……diagnosed.
Her call sign is Nyx, which is the first personality you meet. It’s the bad-ass fighter jock that doesn’t care about anyone or anything. Utterly superficial and devoid of feelings. She uses boys to help her keep her humanity numb. If she starts feeling anything she drops the kid and moves on to the next one. She’s got daddy issues from her entirely absentee father who she thinks actively despises her. She’s got mommy issues because her mother is a neglectful, drugged up, gold digging prostitute. Nyx lives to fly because that is her drug of choice and everything in her life is designed to get her there including warping reality. She’s a high school bitch…..and I don’t use that word lightly.
Chase is the other personality. It’s the timid, non-bad-ass, emotion filled version of Nyx. She uses Nyx to hide from all her feelings and her parental issues. She is controlled by her emotions and completely incapable of flying because of them.
Neither personality actually grows- they just change which is dominant and how much the other personality bleeds through to the surface. Like two pieces of paper moving back and forth across each other. Still two dimensional and neither piece of paper actually changes.
A third personality eventually emerges because of a boy, of course, so she can fulfill his wants and needs. It’s a slight blending of Chase and Nyx that I refer to as Princess Barbie. It’s basically the happily-ever-after version that completely ignores everything that isn’t love and flowers and unicorns.
The few people that are mentioned are pretty flat. The amount of people not mentioned shows how selfish and self centered all of her personalities are. Her co-pilot, Pippin, is probably the most real character and of course (SPOILER ALERT) he dies. Her rival and fellow super jet pilot, Sylph, seemed pretty real until her sudden left turn into butterflies and roses Friendsland. Her eventual love interest, Tristan, is a mythical combination of cocky, comedian, horny, dark, brooding, broken, redeemed, perfect, enslaved, fantasy, foreign, CANADIAN (oh ya!), trendy, enlightened, understanding, devoted, and mind-reading. Basically the perfect boy-man for Chase/Nyx/Princess Barbie.
Let me repeat myself. This is NOT a military or action or dystopian novel. This is a high school drama/romance novel that wears fighter pilot for a tiara and dystopian like a pair of vintage shoes. Every aspect of the setting, storyline, characters, logic, and reality are subservient to its whims.
Now that I got that off my chest I think I’m done with this review. If you pick this book up I really look forward to hearing your reactions. I’m sorry to report that they are turning this book into movie. However, this is a one-shot book. I haven’t been able to find any hint of a sequel, so that’s some good news. You might think otherwise with how this book ends but it’s for the best.