My rating: 1.5 of 5 stars
Thank you, Macmillan, for giving me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. (I apologize for the long delay.)
It’s time to be a big girl now. And big girls don’t cry. — Fergie
On page 12, Eelyn says internally, “There were very few times I’d cried in front of my clansmen. It made me feel small. Weak, like the early winter grass beneath our boots.”
BUT THEN, ON PAGE…
45: The heat of a tear slowly trailed down the side of my face.
50: The tears stung in the cold.
102: I brushed a tear from my cheek.
110: …more tears fell down my cheeks.
120: I stopped trying to hold back the tears that were waiting to fall.
141: I climbed the ladder and went to my cot, tears filling my eyes until I could barely see.
146: My lips quivered, fresh tears springing to my eyes….
191: A sob broke from my chest….
238: I pushed my face into the wet blanket, sobbing.
242: I could feel them now—those same tears that had fallen down my face as a young girl.
263: I wept into his shoulder…
281: I nodded, the tears in my eyes reflecting his.
287: I cried with her.
292: I gulped down the cry forcing its way up from my chest.
298: I bit down on my lip until my eyes watered.
302: Tears stung behind my eyes and I tried to blink them back….
315: I nodded, trying to suck in a breath past the tears coming up in my throat.
I tallied at least 19 sessions of crying in this book, which is supposedly about a badass, Viking heroine. For someone who had killed around 7 people when she was 11 or 12, she sure did know how to use her tear ducts. I know that there can be strength or bravery in showing vulnerability, but Eelyn went over the top! She kept on crying to the point that it almost made me cry in frustration!
To make things worse, I just couldn’t tolerate the romance because…
I don’t care if Fiske is actually a good guy with a kind family; he shot an arrow into Eelyn’s shoulder, overpowered her, and then brought him to his clan against her will.
(Note: If you think that it’s ironic for me to use a GIF of Emma Watson, just know that in the 2017 film, Belle asserted her agency by choosing to take her father’s place as the Beast’s prisoner. Moreover, there wasn’t any violence between Belle and the Beast.)
To be fair, I have to acknowledge the book’s novelty since it’s probably the first YA book inspired by Viking history/mythology. I guess reading it was quite refreshing. Also, I must say that the fighting scenes were fast-paced (and realistically brutal?).
Nonetheless, I really didn’t have a pleasant experience with Sky in the Deep. Unfortunately, it turned out to be an overhyped book that I could add to my What the Heck bookshelf.