Today I am reviewing ‘Every Sky a Grave’ by Jay Posey which I was invited to receive an e-arc for, and was delighted to have a chance to read. Today is publication day for this book, so please do check it and the author out.
*Disclaimer – I received an e-arc via netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
HER WORD IS HER WEAPON.
Mankind has spread out and conquered the galaxy by mastering the fundamental language of the universe. With the right training, the right application of words, truth itself can be rearranged.
Language is literally power.
Peace reigns now. Order reigns.
For if a planet deviates too far from what the authorities plan, an agent is sent out to correct that. To quietly and with great skill, end that world.
One such agent is Elyth – a true believer.
But on a clandestine mission to stop an uprising before it can truly begin, Elyth comes to realise she hasn’t been told the whole truth herself. There’s so much she doesn’t know. How can there be people whose truth is different to that of the authorities?
Elyth’s faith in the powers that be is shaken just when she needs it most. While on her mission, a dark and unknown presence makes itself known at the edges of the galaxy – and it cannot be controlled, for nobody knows its name…
I wasn’t quite sure what I was expecting when I started this book, especially as I don’t read much Sci-Fi something which I am working to rectify, but Every Sky A Grave grabbed me from the start. Perhaps, because it is a wonderful blend of Sci-Fi and mysticism, exploring the power of language, of words, and the potential for them to be corrupted.
That has to be one of my favourite parts of the book. As a reader and writer, language always has power, and in this book that is taken and made into something more, where the power is something more.
‘It was the language that lifted the human race from the dust… there was power within its words.’
The idea of people being able to talk to planets, and to even use this ‘Deep Language’ – the language of all things – to kill a planet, is fascinating and not something I’ve encountered before. The idea that a planet can be undone through its own fault-lines and core, and the power of language, is quite humbling and I really hope that we will learn more about this in future books, as while well done it never felt as though it was fully explained, although I enjoyed the element of mystery.
There is a lot of worldbuilding in this book, and not all of it is explained. To an extent, the more Sci-Fi aspects such as the spaceships, take a backseat to the rest of the story, which gave the story a very refreshing feeling. We learn more about the First House – the order that uses the ‘Deep Language’ – a secret order, which counterbalances the technological arms of society, and the wilderness that Elyth finds herself travelling through. However, we are given enough to enjoy the wider ‘world(s)’, and it leaves room for exploration in the future books. While also giving us landscapes that are familiar but also different and new, and with a wide variety, and I for one look forward to seeing this developed further, particularly in this beautiful prose.
I found Elyth to be an interesting character, we got to see her develop throughout the narrative, and while she carried the story and was the ‘heroine’, she wasn’t perfect, and her mistakes and decisions that we might not agree with her made her very human, and easy to relate to and care about. Her relationships with the other characters, especially those that are found through the course of her journey were well done and multi-faceted and felt very much a natural part of who she was and the circumstances she found herself in.
It is beautifully written, and the imagery that is invoked catches the imagination and doesn’t let go, leaving you wanting to spend more time reading about this world. Although I will say, there are a few places where it is a little too description heavy, to the point where the pace slowed a little too much. However, for the most part, I found it an excellent blend of description and contemplation, as well as action and exploration, that kept my attention throughout.
This wasn’t quite what I expected, but I loved ‘Every Sky a Grave’ and I will definitely be waiting for the next book and checking out other works by the author in the meantime. I would recommend to anyone looking for something new and refreshing, and who loves beautiful, descriptive writing.
Every Sky A Grave (The Ascendance Series #1) – Jay Posey (Published by Harpervoyager 9th July 2020) – **** (4/5 Stars)
If you’ve read it, or read it in the future, please feel free to shout at me about this fantastic book.