Book Review: Pilgrim of the Sky by Natania Barron

pilgrim of the sky cover

View from the window seat:
Madeline Angler just wants to move on with her life after the apparent suicide of her boyfriend Alvin Roth. When Maddie discovers that Alvin is alive, her life changes as she travels to another world in search of him. His disappearance opens Maddie to an existence she didn’t know was real, and soon she has to confront the fact that Alvin isn’t who he said he was. He might be dangerous enough to destroy the Eight Worlds.

The first half of Pilgrim of the Sky is slow, and I almost put the book down and walked away, but I’m glad I saw it through to the end. Must of the slowness is due to the fact that Maddie, our heroine, is completely in the dark about what’s actually happening and who she is. Multiple characters lie to her or conceal information, making her understanding of the importance of her role in these events difficult to grasp. Thus for the first half, Maddie’s a pretty passive character because she doesn’t know who to trust or how to act. That said, once she does discover what she is and who everyone else is around her, the pace really picks up. The story becomes one revelation after another, and full of action as Maddie fights to stop Alvin from doing something terrible. She starts acting on her own to save her loved ones, and becomes a stronger character because of it.

The concept of gods as faceted individuals living across eight connected worlds is a fascinating one, and one I found to be unique and original to read amongst the plethora of myth-retelling that’s so popular today.  This book isn’t a retelling of any particular myth from a particular country;  the author takes aspects of familiar gods and plays with them in a new, different way. The twains, as they’re called in this book, are fascinating in their differences from each other. You can see similarities between them, but Barron does a good job of making them individuals with differing desires.

Overall impression:
Despite a slow start, Pilgrim of the Sky is a fresh, interesting take on mythology.

Rating:
6

Note: I received this e-ARC from the publisher  via NetGalley.

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