Publisher: Candlewick Press
Hardcover: 416 pages
Genre: Science Fiction / Fantasy
Reading Level: 9-12
First Lines: Hundreds of hot-air balloons bobbed in the wind, their baskets tied together with long stretches of rope. From the ground, the Sky Village looked like a giant net, poised to capture the clouds as it drifted far above.
One Word Review: Spirited
The Trinary Wars, a series of devastating battles for global domination among humans, beasts, and meks (machines), have resulted in a world where chaos reigns. In China, a young girl named Mei is forced to leave her home on land and join the Sky Village after her mother is kidnapped by a brutal band of meks. Before she departs, her father gives her the Tree Book, a mysterious and possibly dangerous creation that allows her to communicate with Rom, a boy struggling to keep himself and his sister alive in the desolate ruins of Las Vegas, where beasts roam free. The first in the Kaimira series, The Sky Village follows both children as they attempt to make sense out of the book and some new found abilities.
A dazzling start to what promises to be a sensational new series, The Sky Village hosts a likable and sympathetic cast of characters, an exciting and fast-paced plot, and a wonderfully rich and believable setting. Occasional illustrations compliment the story nicely by allowing for better visualizations of this fantastical world and its inhabitants. While I enjoyed almost everything about this book, I especially liked the descriptions of Mei's life on the balloons. The Ashlands have created a unique landscape that spoke to the child in me. I could see the sky walkers dancing across ropes from balloon to balloon as Mei watched breathlessly. It was a stark contrast to the dark underbelly of Las Vegas that served as home to Rom and his sister, Riley.
Geared toward middle readers, I think even adult fans of science fiction and fantasy books will be pleased with The Sky Village. I'll definitely be looking for the second installment, when hopefully we'll be introduced Lizard Girl, another Tree Book owner we've yet to meet.