Science fiction has been creeping into mainstream media a lot more lately. Dystopian stories seem to be all the rage in books and movies, however there’s a newer trend I’ve been enjoying immensely: Aliens. If you’re a fan of the show Doctor Who or the video game series Assassin’s Creed, then you’ll be in for a treat with Megan Crewe’s novel Earth & Sky. It has time-traveling aliens, and the characters explore ancient civilizations and significant moments in history.
Seventeen-year-old Skylar suffers from anxiety episodes whenever something doesn’t feel right. When she crosses paths with an alien boy named Win, she learns two things: aliens are real and her anxiety attacks are actually a gift of heightened awareness, allowing her to sense when a moment in time has been altered. Earth has been a part of an alien species’ experiment, and now the consequences threaten Earth and its people. Together, Skylar and Win travel through time to save Earth before it’s too late.
The novel starts off slow. I’m not particularly a fan of slow beginnings, but I felt this one was necessary for the story. It helps set up the rest of the plot and introduces our main characters. By chapter two, it’s like the whole story bolts off running, never quite slowly down or stopping until the very last page. The quick pace certainly reminded me the sense of urgency the characters were feeling. The story always kept me interested, engaged and wanting to keep returning to the book whenever I had to put it down.
I liked the main characters, Skylar and Win, but I wanted to love them! At times, they felt two-sided, not fully developed. Skylar was either anxious and annoyed or completely confident. She suffered from what seemed like anxiety attacks for years and it felt like she was cured the instant she met Win. I would have preferred it if her character growth was more gradual than sudden. Also, it felt like Skylar jumped at the chance to time travel and agreed to help Win too quickly. I wish it would have taken her more convincing to help him instead of totally acceptance that aliens and time travelling were real. As a part of the theme of my blog, I would deem Skylar as a strong female character. By the end of the novel, she found determination and bravery within herself, not only to travel so far away from home but selflessly chooses to do all she can to save her planet.
Meanwhile, Win was either caring and sweet or naïve and arrogant. I wished the characters had a wider range of emotions. I understand Win’s hesitation to be completely open about his race and their interference with Earth, but I had hoped after Skylar’s first burst of annoyance that he would have learned his lesson and be more forthcoming with her. Towards the end of the novel, Win makes up for his behavior, acting admirably. He vows to protect Skylar from harm and refuses to accept any praise for all of Skylar’s hard work.
Funny enough in novels I’ve read, I always end up having a favourite side character. In Earth & Sky, I absolutely loved Jeanant. I’m hoping, really hoping, we get to see him again. He’s the man, or rather alien, determined to destroy the technology that is harming the Earth. He is a clever and charismatic character. I also need to mention the noteworthy antagonist, Kurra. She’s both fierce and terrifying. She’s another strong female character. She leads a group called the Enforcers who are determined to stop Jeanant and his loyal followers from destroying their planet Kemya’s time-travelling technology.
While I do like romance in novels (and there was in fact a kiss in this one!), I’m so happy the author didn’t resort to instant love. Too often writers ruin a good story turning the main characters into a couple right away instead of letting a relationship simply blossom. Props to you Megan Crewe!
The time-travelling in Earth & Sky is creative and well-thought out. It addresses paradoxes and being able to dress appropriately for the times in order to blend in. I’m jealous of the characters! They travel to Ancient Rome, seeing gladiators fighting wild animals; 19th century Paris, visiting the Louvre; and 18th century North America, walking among colonists and aboringals. I only wished that each location was explored a little more. The characters seemed to solve each puzzle too easily. I would have liked them to struggle a little more, testing their breaking points or even travelling to the wrong location to explore even more.
Earth & Sky is a part of a trilogy. I’m hoping to learn more about Win’s planet Kemya, and eager to read more about Skylar and Win’s time-travelling adventures. As well, I’m definitely interested to see how Skylar and Win’s partnership grows and strengthens in the next two books.
*Disclosure: An advance reading copy was provided from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions within this review are solely my own, not that of the publisher or the author.