Skyward Inn by Aliya Whitley – Book Review

Skyward Inn is a sci-fi retelling of Jamaica Inn and is told from the POV of Jem and her son Fosse. Although both live within the same vicinity of each other, Fosse has been looked after by Jem’s brother Dominic ever since she went off to fight a war against the Qitan race. Earth won and the Qitan surrendered, but tension is obviously still there. We see that there is very much a detached relationship between Jem and Fosse. Since coming back from the war, Jem has been running a local Inn along with her lover Isley in Devon which is within the Western Protectorate. Things are not all plain sailing as Isley is of the Qitan race who have not been fully accepted by the Western Protectorate. Isley is the only member of the Qita race in Devon. Thus throughout the story rises the issue as to whether Isley has been fully accepted or whether the past wars tension is ready to burst.

Fosse’s perspective focuses on him trying to come to terms with who he is as a person. He has a lot of resentment and anger inside of him due to his mother. One day he comes across a group of strangers who offer him a fresh outlook on life. However, they aren’t all what they seem and bring a formidable danger that would change the lives of Fosse, his mother, and the whole community. His POV is very much a coming of age story.

Skyward Inn was a pretty good read . The story was very well balanced in its compelling narrative and focus on issues such as what it means to be part of a community, a sense of belonging, and issues within ones family. This was what really grabbed me about the story and made me want to finish it.

In terms of the writing style, it was probably the strangest, unique, and trippiest novels I’ve ever read. There were so many times where I was confused at what was going on and had to double back to make sense of things. The most confusing part for me was when after shit goes down on Earth, Fosse decides to go to Qita. There we see the evolution of Fosse and he must make important decisions about which direction he will ultimately head towards. I had to double back a few times just to get my bearings but once it was so emotional and compelling.

Even though it’s such a confusing story at times, I just wanted to continue reading because I was drawn in so much by wanting to discover what was going on. I also liked how the novel touches on current events such as Brexit and xenophobia. I recognised it instantly and thought it was very well incorporated.

Overall, if you’re a fan of speculative sci-fi then I definitely recommend this novel! It was a very compelling and interesting read that confused the absolute f*** out of me, but I still wanted to understand what was going on. It’s a short read that literally goes from 0-100 with a snap of a finger. The world building is fascinating and full of wonder. If you let yourself you’ll be instantly drawn into it like a black hole.

Thank you so much to to Hanna and Rebellion books for sending this to me. The book is out now in the US and it’ll be released in the UK on the 18th!

Published by Adeel Reads

Just a fellow avid reader who loved recommending books he has enjoyed :D

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