My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Initial reaction: And I’m totally surprised by how much I enjoyed this book, in terms of how fun and engaging it was to guess on certain aspects of the story and the fact that it was written in multiple perspectives very well. I connected with Hugh and Cece both and the story events kept me on my toes in moments. Hopefully I can explain more on my thoughts in the full review, but this is a solid 3.5 stars. Quite enjoyable and recommended.
Katie French’s “Eyes Ever to the Sky” is a very cool read in the scheme of supernatural YA fiction. I didn’t quite know what to expect going into the novel, only that it started with a boy waking up naked, without his memories, in the middle of a huge crater. But Hugh (since this is what he calls himself) has bigger problems than those things, including a supernatural creature with murderous intent that appears not long after him waking up. Luckily, Hugh realizes that he can do things that not very many people can, which lends him to question exactly who he is and what’s going on with him. And to figure if there’s a way to stop said creature.
In the meantime, a girl named Cece is at her wits end with her rapidly debilitating mother, and barely making things work in her household with taking on a number of responsibilities that her mother cannot. She tries to ask for help from her extended fragmented family, but has very little luck due to her mother’s turbulent history with them. I really liked following Cece’s perspective on the whole, and found her narrative authentic as well as compelling for what it offered in her backstory.
The story’s main plot point hits when Cece and Hugh meet and struggle to determine who (what) he is and where he came from. I have to admit that even with some places where there were issues with the narrative that I really enjoyed this story. It was fun trying to guess what was going on and the read kept me on my toes with its balance of action, bit humor, some romantic ties, interesting character building, among other elements that made the story feel fuller than most reads in young adult I’ve partaken in the current year. And I have to say I was impressed by how well the narrative trades between different perspectives, because it handled the transitions well not just between Hugh and Cece, but the multiperspective characters that may have had one or two instances in the narrative, but flowed along with the plot of the story to keep the read on its toes.
I think the major elements of where this read was a little rough for me were the typical instalove and some points of peril where Cece should’ve been a little more aware of what would happen, but I don’t think they took too much out of my enjoyment of the book. Plus, that ending is very much a different ending than I would’ve expected the narrative to take, and I thought it was well done.
Overall, certainly worth the time reading and I would recommend it for those who like supernatural stories that feature young characters that deal with tough situations not only in the normal spectra of things, but also in the supernatural.
Overall score: 3.5/5
Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, self published by the author.