Title: Pilgrim of the Sky
Author: Natania Barron
Publisher: Candlemark & Gleam
Just when Maddie Angler thinks she’s over the death of her longtime boyfriend, Alvin, she discovers that he’s not only alive, but he may just be part god. And a killer. Now it’s up to her to unite Eight Worlds she didn’t even know existed in the first place, before chaos reigns.
Pilgrim in the Sky is a surprising, gripping and somewhat profound contemporary fantasy. It begins in our world, takes us on a shocking journey to another, and just when we think we have it all sorted it, we find ourselves one level deeper again.
I loved it, not only because it’s a very different story but because it stretches your mind with metaphysical themes—alternate worlds, beings that are connected, the same yet different, linked, like the eight points of a compass through time and incarnations. Pilgrim in the Sky takes you on a journey that gets deeper and more fantastical the further you read, but at its core is the simple but profound premise that love is strength in times of darkness and despair, and that one should never underestimate those we consider challenged.
There’s little I can say about the story without spoiling the surprise, so I will instead simply assure you that it is riveting, unpredictable and has a deeply moving end. The pacing is excellent, drawing you seamlessly from one scene to the next but with enough breathing spots to enjoy the scenery. And what wonderful scenery it is, described in evocative detail but never overdone. Second world is like and unlike our own. Imagine a Victorian style America with their own Queen Victoria, an America where the west wasn’t won and where the rich have mansions that float in the air held aloft by huge balloons. Yes, the visuals are stunning.
The characters are all richly drawn and Maddie is as gutsy as we want our modern heroines to be. Luckily, she learns quickly.
It’s well-written, well thought through and tightly edited, structurally speaking, though it could do with another pass by a proofreader.
I recommend it for all contemporary fantasy fans especially those who like a touch of the metaphysical in a story or who are into Greek mythology. 4 stars (I took one off for the proof errors)
US Kindle store