I’m still kind of reeling from this book. Chandler Klang Smith’s The Sky Is Yours starts out like a commentary on the consumerism of society. A society crashing and, quite literally, burning into oblivion. However, it quickly becomes apparent that this isn’t ALL that’s going on. Smith leads the reader through a rabbit warren of emotions with her characters.
At the beginning, nearly all characters are rather detestable. When your choices are between a spoiled teenager and a criminal boss, it’s hard not to just throw your arms up in the air and call the whole book terrible. However, something Smith does REALLY well is show how characters change and grow. From Duncan to Swanny to Sharkey, and even Abby, you see very definite changes in voice and thought in all the characters. You start to want them ALL to be redeemable. You want them all to become the lead characters you expect out of books.
Smith also paints a fairly desolate picture of a Postapocalyptic-style cityscape. While the apocalyptic event isn’t widespread and normal, the aftermath is very similar. You have a privatized world where the criminals live in a walled city with no door. The fact that any of the characters survive it is astounding. However, Smith really sucks you in with descriptions of open markets, deserted streets, and smoldering ruins.
She intersperses scripts, video game flow charts, and poetry in her prose, using them to illustrate how the minds of her characters view the world. While this can be jarring for some, they generally introduce a new area of thought and are well-executed. I really enjoyed the video game sequence toward the end.
The ending will make you rage…or at least it made me rage. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that anything else just didn’t make sense. And even if we were spotty on some details, we have resolution for the MC…the rest of the characters are really a supporting cast and following them any further would feel more like Smith was prolonging the end of the book for the sake of prolonging it.
This book evokes strong emotions about characters that are not (or are barely) likeable, and it will definitely make you think. If you feel up to having your brain exercised, you can grab your copy of The Sky Is Yours by clicking the image below.