The first novel in an exciting new series, Every Sky a Grave is a thrilling space epic following a powerful woman who can destroy planets with a single word but is suddenly faced with an adversary that threatens the entire known universe.
Far in the future, human beings have seeded themselves amongst the stars. Since decoding the language of the universe 8,000 years ago, they have reached the very edges of their known galaxy and built a near-utopia across thousands of worlds, united and ruled by a powerful organization known as the Ascendance. The peaceful stability of their society relies solely on their use of this Deep Language of the cosmos.
But this knowledge is a valuable secret, and a holy order of monastics known as the First House are tasked with monitoring its use and “correcting” humanity’s further development. Elyth is one such mendicant, trained as a planetary assassin, capable of infiltrating and ultimately destroying worlds that have been corrupted, using nothing more than her words.
To this end, Elyth is sent to the world Qel in response to the appearance of a forbidden strain of the Deep Language that was supposed to have died out with its founder over seven hundred years prior. What she finds on the backwater planetoid will put her abilities to the test and challenge what she knows of the Deep Language, the First House, and the very nature of the universe.
Every Sky a Grave will be released on July 7, 2020. Preorder Now!
“Indeed,” the Paragon replied, “our House cannot exist without the Deep Language. That, however, is not true in reverse. The Deep Language exists of its own accord; it is there, in the very fabric of the universe. We merely discovered it. Our ability to speak it, however, could be considered something of a technology. And the truth of its concepts undergirds the Ascendance’s greatest of all technologies.”
I had such a difficult time reading this book that I was glad when it finally ended. It had some really interesting ideas. Which is why I picked it up in the first place. I like the idea of using Language as a control mechanism. I like the idea of Language being corruptible.
I just did not care for the execution. It started off incredibly poorly. The first seven percent of the book was a fight scene that just. would. not. end. And I have no idea who she was fighting or why she was fighting. Now, I don’t mind fight scenes; they’re not my favourite thing, but I can get into them. But I have to know who the character is and why they are fighting in the first place. I have to be invested. This book dropped me almost immediately into that fight scene. And I may not remember who or why she was fighting because it took me two weeks and two separate attempts to get through this. I would read a paragraph and have no ability to retain it because I had no emotional investment, and it was just ‘a boring fight scene’. I personally feel like the first 10% should do everything it can to get you invested in the character and story, and this book did not do that.
And then the fight ended at the end of chapter one. And chapter two immediately started another.
I cried. No lie, actual tears were shed.
But, I powered through. And even after that I didn’t like what I saw. The main character crash landed on a planet, leaving a burning pile of spaceship behind, after she was shot down. She didn’t know who was after her or why. And I was like “oh no, is the whole book going to be her trying to escape capture and surviving in the wilderness? No, she just gave herself up to the first guys that showed up, after trailing them for a while.
And then she escapes them and crash lands in the wilderness again? Why does it repeat itself?
And the worldbuilding feels like it only works on the most superficial of levels. I had so many questions and for the most part, none of them were answered. And each question spawned a dozen more. I’ll admit that a few of my questions might have been answered in the parts I skimmed – and I skimmed them because I could just not make my brain care even a little bit about what they were doing or saying. I tried my hardest to read every bit of worldbuilding there was. But there were a lot of info dumps (most of them in clumsy ways, sorry).
Even the ending was unfortunately lackluster. I feel like my mind was supposed to be blown by the events that happened in the end of the book. It wasn’t. It was entirely predictable. And honestly? A little boring. Every Sky a Grave was just not worth the read for me. I will not be continuing this series.
ARC received from the publisher on Netgalley. This did not affect my review.