Fascinating, but Odd, Retelling of Book One of Series
I found this retelling of part of Secret Sky from Jackson’s perspective to be a sometimes intriguing one. I have read a few books like this, where in one book of a series or duet the author tells the story from one character’s perspective, and then in another book recounts the same from another characters viewpoint, showing true motivations for actions and other, more subtle shadings. If you read Secret Sky, you know that Jackson is not wholly what he seems when we view him through Em’s perspective; we certainly don’t know why he acts the way he does. We get much more of his story, including what happened in his life leading up to when his and Em’s lives crossed paths (which is about a third of this book) as well as what happened after he left. He is a complex character, but not necessarily a nice one or a decent guy.
I found myself wanting to put this book down at times because I just didn’t like him and what he was doing. Like the other book, I sometimes felt that the pacing was off here. For long stretches, it didn’t feel like much was really happening–just a lot of talking–and then the pacing would pick up again. For it to be a truly good suspense, there needs to be a bit more evenness to the suspenseful actions or it is easy to become bored waiting for something to happen.
I’m feeling oddly ambivalent about this book, and I can’t quite figure out why. I still found the sensual scenes to be a bit cringe-worthy. I was intrigued by the first book, and I think the author has actually done a good job creating a world that is so similar to our own with just this one bizarre fantastical element to it. Take out the Fliers, and the first part of the book could just be about any ruthless businessman we see in so many fictional books. I did like seeing so many of the familiar scenes from Secret Sky from Jackson’s perspective. It really did give a completely different look at what happened in that story; it added richness and fullness, making a complete story.