Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Chasing the Valley: Skyfire by Skye Melki-Wegner

Chasing the Valley: Skyfire by Skye Melki-Wegner is the concluding volume of the Chasing the Valley trilogy. I have previously reviewed the first book, Chasing the Valley, and the second book, Borderlands. It has been a journey I have enjoyed a lot; I don't think I've read anything quite like it before. This review will contain spoilers for the earlier books.
What if you achieve everything you’ve dreamed of – and it turns into a nightmare?

Danika and her crew of refugees finally reach the Magnetic Valley. Will it be the safe refuge and land of freedom they had imagined? When a runaway girl is shot down before their eyes, Danika and her friends realise that this new land is no paradise. They must try to fit in at all costs – even if revealing their secrets will mean a death sentence.

The conclusion to the Chasing the Valley trilogy will reveal explosive surprises and terrifying new dangers.
Skyfire picks up only moments after Borderlands left off. I don't think it's a spoiler to say that it opens with the sky (in the distance) literally on fire. The crew has reached the promised land of the magnetic valley but it is not the verdant utopia they were lead to believe. (I suppose there wouldn't've been much story if it were.)

The country they find themselves in is an improvement on what they left behind but not as much as they had hoped. There are strange laws about what people with certain proclivities (magic) can and can't do in society and the ruler is a three hundred year old man with a singular proclivity. The crew quickly learn that no one likes to question the ruler or speak against him at all (always suspicious). Have they stumbled out of the frying pan and into the fire? If you mean a literal fire (in the sky), then yes. But enough about the plot.

I'm a bit conflicted with how this series finished off. On the one hand, all three books have very different settings and new problems to go with them. The new setting isn't actually the part I feel conflicted about. It's the way in which the story escalated book to book. The personal stakes were already pretty high (death if they didn't flee in book one), but by the third book new revelations up the ante to the point of them needing to save the world.

But the thing is, it was all actually foreshadowed from the start. So although some elements seemed to me to come from left field, they didn't, not really. I have no doubt that the author had planned out the entire series before book one was done.

It also ended in a place where I wanted to know what happened next. Sure, the world was safe (that's so not a spoiler) and everything was probably going to be  OK... but that doesn't mean that the next step was obvious. I would like there to be more books about Dannika and the others, but I suspect there might not be.

Oh, and the thing I complained about in my review of Borderlands — someone not picking up an important object — was actually resolved. Not quite the way I would' have liked it to be, but in a way that made sufficient sense given the plot. So yay.

Anyway, Chasing the Valley is an excellent series. All three books have been very close to being five stars for me, but just not quite. Skyfire is the same. Obviously, that still makes it a really good series. I highly recommend it to everyone.

4.5 / 5 stars


First published: July 2014, Random House AU
Series: Chasing the Valley, book 3 of 3
Format read: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Challenges: Australian Women Writers Challenge

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