Book Review: Toward A Secret Sky by Heather Maclean

Toward A Secret Sky
Author: Heather Maclean
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Released: April 4 2017
Review Source: Blink

Shortly after 17-year-old Maren Hamilton is orphaned and sent to live with grandparents she’s never met in Scotland, she receives an encrypted journal from her dead mother that makes her and everyone around her a target. It confirms that her parents were employed by a secret, international organization that’s now intent on recruiting her. As Maren works to unravel the clues left behind by her mother, a murderous madness sweeps through the local population, terrorizing her small town. Maren must decide if she’ll continue her parents’ fight or stay behind to save her friends.

With the help of Gavin, an otherworldly mercenary she’s not supposed to fall in love with, and Graham, a charming aristocrat who is entranced with her, Maren races against the clock and around the country from palatial estates with twisted labyrinths to famous cathedrals with booby-trapped subterranean crypts to stay ahead of the enemy and find a cure. Along the way, she discovers the great truth of love: that laying down your life for another isn’t as hard as watching them sacrifice everything for you.

Toward A Secret Sky is about a girl who just lost her mother to only find out that it wasn't because of natural or earthly causes. There's more to the story than she realizes, yet she's still stuck in her grief before she realizes what is taking place.

This book is set in Scotland, which I absolutely loved. I am someone who wants to travel and this book made me feel as though I had traveled to Scotland. Maclean's writing was so descriptive that it really made you feel as though you were in Scotland, and it made you feel as though you were experiencing the whole story as if it were happening to you. While this is great it did make the description of the food a bit disgusting. While I'd love to go to Scotland I've realized that I wouldn't love their food.

This story did not grip me as well as I would've hoped. I had assumed that I would be hooked since page 1, and that I'd be thrown into the story right away. I feel as though the denouement just didn't grip me as well as I would've hoped. The action of the story happened too late into the book. The build up of the characters and the arc of the story was long drawn for me and made me feel as though the book were too long in the long run. I'm also not sure if this was because of my age. Weird thing to say, I know. But I've realized that if the writing is more attuned to a certain age level - like preteen or midteen - then I lose interest fast. Don't get me wrong I love Young Adult novels. But for some reason a certain writing style within YA will make me lose interest quick.

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