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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New and Refreshing
One of the best new books by a new author I have read in years, can't wait to see more in this world and by this author. You can tell it is a first book, and the author is still perfecting their voice but all great authors have this on their first big work, this is an issue even with works like Game of Thrones and Philosopher's Stone, and we all know how well that worked...
Published 3 months ago by Andrew

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3.0 out of 5 stars Lucy Saxons first book is pretty good. She certainly has a lot of potential ...
For 19 years old, Lucy Saxons first book is pretty good. She certainly has a lot of potential talent which I’m sure will improve as she writes more.

The plot of TBTS is fairly good, it has a dystopian ‘overthrow a terrible government’ feel to it but different and in a completely new world. However, at the start of the book, Cat’s...
Published 16 days ago by Laura Ashforth


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New and Refreshing, 20 Jun 2014
By 
Andrew (Norwich, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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One of the best new books by a new author I have read in years, can't wait to see more in this world and by this author. You can tell it is a first book, and the author is still perfecting their voice but all great authors have this on their first big work, this is an issue even with works like Game of Thrones and Philosopher's Stone, and we all know how well that worked out. Can't wait to read more.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Lucy Saxons first book is pretty good. She certainly has a lot of potential ..., 3 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Take Back the Skies (Hardcover)
For 19 years old, Lucy Saxons first book is pretty good. She certainly has a lot of potential talent which I’m sure will improve as she writes more.

The plot of TBTS is fairly good, it has a dystopian ‘overthrow a terrible government’ feel to it but different and in a completely new world. However, at the start of the book, Cat’s objective is to escape her life, but we don’t get enough detail on it to know exactly what she’s escaping from- she dislikes her father, but doesn’t every teenager at some point and her mother still lives and she’s ill, doesn’t she mind abandoning her? I felt it needed more on her father cruel behaviour so that she felt forced to leave rather than seemingly like a stroppy runaway teen.
After Cat leaves there is too big a gap in the plot where nothing really happens. She just lives happily on the Stormdancer with nothing building in the background and you wonder what the rest of the story is going to be about. It leaves you bored just waiting for the plot to pick up.
Once things do pick up, sometimes you’re left thinking, really? The main characters have snuck in to a secret government building and to avoid being caught hide in a cupboard, where they begin talking. Surely, they couldn’t be at all surprised when they’re shortly after discovered and hauled out.

The characters I think could’ve been better developed with more stand out individual characteristics, you had the stereotypical enigmatic male with a dark past he doesn’t wish to speak of. He didn’t seem in anyway different to past heroes. The heroine was a usual stubborn girl wanting to escape her life and finds herself falling in love with the first boy she encounters.

The language used seemed unnatural and forced almost. The dialogue just didn’t flow but seemed disjointed; it needed to be more conversational.

The world building was good; Lucy has built an odd and new world with hopefully opportunity for later books set in it. It was easy to slip into the world and imagine it and want to be aboard the Stormdancer.

The end of the book I feel isn’t satisfying, you’re left hanging and angry that the end just isn’t nice. After finishing, I liked that the end was different and sort of angered me because it made it stand out but I felt saddened by it in an already quite dark book. It didn’t change and end lightly, which was surprising.
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3.0 out of 5 stars An Okay Adventure, 1 Sep 2014
By 
Book Gannet (Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Take Back the Skies (Hardcover)
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I wanted to like this book. It has a lot about it that I usually enjoy -- skyships, a girl in disguise, adventure, a hint of romance -- but sadly that wasn't quite enough for me this time around. Cat is an okay character, though I have to admit I do find the rich girl suffering such terrible hardship that she longs for the carefree life of the dirt poor a tiny bit wearing as a plot trope. Especially as in the opening chapter she was thinking about the children being sent off to war and how she'd like to join them, so she stows away on a completely different ship in order to escape all that.

Hmm. The beginning is pretty slow and didn't really catch my attention, and though the plot itself picks up and goes in some interesting directions it never quite worked for me. I got a bit bored of how bad and evil the Government and all their workers were, lazy, greedy and plain nasty as they all were, with token madness thrown in at times. I also found the convenient placement of crates and alcoves, not to mention windows, in every place they snuck into both annoying and repetitive. There are some serious security issues underlying all of this top secret stuff which I didn't buy into. Then everything drags out a little more than it needs to, throwing in a few interesting twists before leading to a pretty weak ending.

This book has so much potential, but for me it never quite reaches it. I'd have loved more actual skyship time (that's why I picked this book up in the first place) and more about those intriguing storm barriers. The whole romantic plot just... meh. The Collection idea was good, but I think something more interesting could have been made out of the end of it. Then again, perhaps that might be explored more in the other books, since there was a lot that wasn't explained/dealt with here. However, going on this one and how it ended, I'm not really hooked enough to want to know more. While I liked some of the characters, I didn't really like any of them enough.

That pretty much sums up my entire feelings about this book. I liked it, but not enough. It had the potential to be quite different from the usual offerings in this genre (though at times it was much more steampunk than sci-fi), but in the end it's kind of forgettable. An okay read.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Take Back the Skies, 16 Aug 2014
By 
Sarah (Feeling Fictional) (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Take Back the Skies (Paperback)
Take Back the Skies is another one of those books that has had a huge amount of hype surrounding it but unfortunately in this case it failed to live up to expectations. What makes that sadder is that there is the start of a really good story in there somewhere but it kind of ended up getting lost in the mediocre writing. I actually don't have a huge amount to say about this one so I'm going to keep this review fairly brief but if I had to describe Take Back the Skies in one word then it would have to be forgettable.

There was nothing about the characters that made them stand apart, they're all quite bland and I didn't really come to feel invested in their lives or the story. Cat has lived a privileged life because her father works for the government, she has been cosseted and spoiled but she hates the restrictions her father places on her. She is expected to act like a lady and to marry someone of her father's choosing when she would much rather live life on her own terms. You have to admire her pluck for running away from home and stowing away on an airship but from that point on everything seems to happen far too quickly and easily. The crew have been aware of government corruption for a long time but they are suddenly brave enough to do something about it when Cat comes along when they never would have attempted it before. I found it hard to believe that someone as young and inexperienced as Cat would have so much useful knowledge and be able to be the driving force behind a rebellion that adults had never dared to attempt without her.

There is a "romance" between her and fellow crew member Fox but it felt forced and completely unbelievable. He spends the majority of the book treating her badly yet within a couple of weeks she considers him the love of her life. I just didn't buy it. Then you throw in a poor attempt at a love triangle with another character who seemed particularly weak and insipid and I was about done. To be fair the author does resolve the triangle in the first book and she does it in a completely unexpected way but even though I hadn't felt invested in the romance I found the ending unsatisfactory and actually felt kind of cheated.

To give Lucy Saxon her dues she wrote this novel when she was only 16 years old and to have a book published at just 19 is a pretty impressive achievement. Unfortunately the book reads like it was written by a 16 year old and that wasn't really a good thing. The book might work better for younger readers but when there are so many amazing young adult books out there I would struggle to recommend this to anyone. I just felt like the story could have been so much more if it had gone through a harsher editing process, it just needed that extra something to take it from an okay story to a really good one. This is the first book in a series but if I'm honest I just don't care enough about any of the characters to want to continue reading about them, by the time a year has gone by I won't even remember this book's name let alone any of the plot!
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4.0 out of 5 stars BOOK REVIEW: Take Back The Skies by Lucy Saxon, 19 July 2014
Soon after I had met Lucy Saxon, I began reading Take Back The Skies and the first couple of words hook you onto reading this debut novel! Saxon's novel is superb and if you like a good Si Fi Fantasy book, then Take Back The Skies is just for you! Every chapter is detailed to the point and it really doesn't feel as if you are reading a novel, but watching TV in stead-this is always a good sign that shows that this book is amazing! I really enjoyed Take Back The Skies because I don't usually read the Si Fi genre and when I do, I expect the book to be so gobsmacking that I will HAVE to re-read the book afterwards. I would be more comfortable reading Si Fi books if I had not read a terrible book that was set in the future and it had ruined my opinion on this genre. (I think that it was Insurgent or Allegiant by Veronica Roth.) However, every time I do read a brilliant book in the Science Fiction genre-it reminds me of how good some of these books are out there!

Let's talk about the plot. I personly thought that the plot was spectacular, but with only a couple of things that I didn't really enjoy about Take Back The Skies.But I will move onto that later in this paragraph. There were so many things that I loved about Saxon's book, including the characters, the plot twists and the way that Saxon has just written her book!!! =P This book is so addictive, that every time I went to put it down, I had to pick it back up again because I just needed to find out what happens next. The characters in this novel seemed, to me, as if they were people I have known my whole life and I guess that Saxon gave me a small piece of hope that the characters would all make it through together by the end of the book. She lied. (I am not saying which character it is because I accidently did it on Twitter a few days ago!) I don't really have a favourite part in Take Back The Skies because I did enjoy every single moment of it and picking the best part is like choosing my apple of my eye! But I can choose a favourite character and that is William Michael Foxe, or just Fox as he is mostly known in Saxon's book. So now, I guess I have to say the few things that I did not really enjoy in this book because of some mistakes that I thought that has some impact on Take Back The Skies. Firstly, I did not get a few parts of the book because I thought that they weren't clear enough to me and secondly, I didn't like the way one of the chapters were summed up. Other than that, I think that Take Back The Skies is a brilliant book that needs to be read!

I think that I will be reading the rest of the series, when the books come out, and that I will also be re-reading this book this summer when I have finished the Geekhood series by Andy Robb and also If I Stay which is my current read. (Review for If I Stay will be up this weekend, I think.) I think that Take Back The Skies is well worth your time and I think for a debut author, Saxon has done a brilliant job on writing this book! So go out to your closest book shop or Amazon and buy this book. You will not regret this one bit, believe me! =) Read this book? Tweet me: @Books_Bandit. Comment below. Facebook me: http://www.facebook.com/thebooksbandit or E-Mail me: hardcoregeeks13@gmail.com! VISTIT MY BLOG FOR MORE REVIEWS: http://www.thebooksbandit.blogspot.co.uk/
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3.0 out of 5 stars Whilst I enjoyed some aspects of Take Back The Skies, 23 July 2014
This review is from: Take Back the Skies (Paperback)
Take Back the Skies lured me in with it's possibilities of a feisty heroine and some adventure that wasn't just for the lads. Also, to read that the author is still in her teens and is an epic cosplayer and geek mistress made me want to jump onboard and have a look to see if her age and her established geek streak pours into her writing.

Whilst I enjoyed some aspects of Take Back The Skies, I was left a bit saddened that it wasn't as "big" as it was pitched to be. It has action and adventure as well as a good mystery going on but it didn't grab me in the same way that other books in the genre have. What I did like was Cat's decision to play at being a boy to keep her identity hidden onboard of the Stormdancer but it doesn't last and it's from then on that my interest lagged a bit. I wanted to see more of the rich history that Lucy Saxon has built up in this world and more about the world's around Cat's but not enough of that happened, for my liking.

Interestingly, the other books in the series are not direct sequels. They are all set in the same world and landscapes but switch to different characters in different times, so perhaps they'll be more to see in the future books. For now though I think it was a nice start but wasn't quite enough for me to get my teeth into. Take Back the Skies is the building blocks for future books rather than the big punch to the genre it might appear to be.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love! Love ! Love this book, 30 Jun 2014
This review is from: Take Back the Skies (Paperback)
An ideal summer read for 13+.The first of a six book series set in the world of Tellus.The exciting new world of Tellus, beautifully crafted with a steampunk vibe of skyships and mechanical servants known as Mecha's. Twist's and turns in the plot make it fast paced and a shocking ending left me stunned but I think the author was very brave to end it in the way she did.
I enjoyed this book very much.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Uneven pacing, but it gets much better as you read on, 15 Jun 2014
By 
Peter (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Take Back the Skies (Hardcover)
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I enjoyed this novel much more than I was expecting. Its a debut novel by a sixteen year-old, and at the beginning it seemed a bit like Treasure Planet fan fiction, set in a steampunk universe with steam-powered ships with masts and rigging, and with extending canvas wings to fly through the air. There's lots of brass and cogwheels, and at the heart of every engine are drive chains and the mysterious telium that powers everything. And a clockwork robot servant, of course.

The book begins with Cat (again, I wondered whether the name might be a bit derivative) escaping from her privileged Anglyan family life to stow away on a skyship. This first part of the book races past so quickly that I didn't get a good sense of Cat's reasons for wanting to run away. The description of the shipyard could have been fleshed out a bit more too: there's loads of scope for imagination, but I'd have liked to be guided a bit more to think what this wondrous sight would be like. There's a pickpocket scene a bit later where the heart of this new adventure for Cat is missing: she sets off to pick some pockets, and then she has suddenly been very successful and has a stash of purses and wallets. Its a bit like seeing the cut-scenes from a game, but not experiencing the action.

The plot heads off in a completely different direction after the first hundred pages, and gets a lot more interesting. There are some intriguing discoveries about what the Anglyan government has been up to and there's a new sense of purpose to the action. And then a hundred pages later there are further discoveries that finally bring out the emotional depth that the novel needed earlier on. There's a fair bit of pathos and some moral ambiguity. The last part of the book reads like a rather good Doctor Who episode, with evil villains, much buckling of swashes and daring rescues.

I rather belatedly (at around page 250) realised that the references to different source material (Treasure Planet, Hunger Games, Doctor Who) were deliberate. Even the author's pen-name is a Doctor Who reference. Her skill is in blending the elements of these different universes to create something new.

There's a strong romantic thread running through the story: the characters frequently pause in their efforts to save the world for all mankind in order to discuss their feelings for each other - even when they are hiding in the villain's lair. I was half-expecting the villians to overhear these hormonal teenage discussions.

The ending is pleasingly ambiguous. Its not that it doesn't reach closure: it does, and there's a feeling that the story has come to an end in a satisfying way, but at the same time it's not a perfect ending - there are some "what-ifs" to deal with, and the book is much stronger for this.

There are some problems with pacing, and some of the characters - especially the evil ones - don't appear for long enough to give a sense of continuity. Some parts of the structure of the book only become apparent very close to the end; if one or two of the characters had been referenced more consistently through the story the story would have been stronger.

Saxon's world of Tellus consists of half a dozen islands. Cat's story is the story of one of these islands, Anglya. I wonder what stories she'll have to tell us about the other five islands in the next books in the series?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended as an exciting read, 28 July 2014
By 
SLT (London UK) - See all my reviews
I was initially hesitant about reading yet another book that used the same tired trope of a young girl disguising herself as a boy and running away from home. However in this author's hands the story swiftly dragged me in and I found it absolutely gripping.
Though the story is a page-turner, I found that I wanted to try and pace myself in order to savour the detail and get to know the characters, something I don’t usually do. How could you not be captivated and charmed by them, Fox with his endless banter and Alice's motherly love. After I finished I found myself missing them and can’t wait for the next amazing installment.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fans of the Hunger Games might enjoy, 10 Sep 2014
By 
sb (Lancaster) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Take Back the Skies (Hardcover)
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My nine year old daughter thought this was amazing. It was in parts a little above her reading age but I didn't see the harm in letting her challenge herself. It smacked to me of a spin off from the Hunger Games - a female heroine, young girl who stands up for herself in a dangerous futuristic world where bad things are done to children etc.

Would recommend for young girls who like books about adventure with a dark twist.
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Take Back the Skies
Take Back the Skies by Lucy Saxon (Paperback - 5 Jun 2014)
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