Hi everyone! Today I’m sharing my review for The Endless Skies by Shannon Price, which releases today! I’m doing so well with my ARCs for the second half of the year, now I just need to catch up on ones that I missed back in January and February!
The Endless Skies
by Shannon Price
Release date: August 17th 2021
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Rating: ★★★☆☆ .5
High above the sea, floats the pristine city of the Heliana. Home to winged-lion shapeshifters―the Leonodai―and protected from the world of humans by an elite group of warriors, the Heliana has only known peace.
After years of brutal training, seventeen-year-old Rowan is ready to prove her loyalty to the city and her people to become one of the Leonodai warriors. But before Rowan can take the oath, a deadly disease strikes the city’s children. Soon the warriors―including two of Rowan’s closest friends―are sent on a dangerous mission to find a fabled panacea deep within enemy lands.
Left behind, Rowan learns a devastating truth that could compromise the mission and the fate of the Heliana itself. She must make a decision: stay with the city and become a warrior like she always dreamed, or risk her future in an attempt to save everyone she loves. Whatever Rowan decides, she has to do it fast, because time is running out, and peace can only last so long…
The Endless Skies is a YA standalone fantasy, which isn’t something we get much of but I actually kind of wish it was the first in a series, mainly because there were so many plot threads left unanswered. It’s also release day today (August 17th) so if you’re interested in this one today’s the day to pick it up!
I did really like how interesting the premise was, I can’t say that I’ve ever read a book with winged lion shifters so I really enjoyed that aspect. I also thought the idea of an illness that only affected the children of this race made the entire plot feel more urgent, because no one likes to hear about children dying even if they’re only fictional.
This is a multiple POV story, with perspectives from Rowan, her sister Shirene, and her best friend Callen who is also in love with her. I definitely liked Rowan the most, but Shirene and Callen (Callen especially) seemed a little bit flat. Callen’s only personality trait is that he’s loved Rowan for a long time, and pretty much refuses to believe that she feels any differently. Shirene’s POV felt a little pointless and was really only used to give us information about what was happening back at home while the others were on their quest for the cure, but I feel like other than that it didn’t really add anything. For once, I actually think maybe only a single POV would’ve worked a bit better. I also didn’t really like or understand the inclusion of the love triangle, it didn’t really add anything to the story and I don’t think it was believable that Rowan had these two guys to choose from, because neither really had much personality, and there was no real connection that I felt between any of them.
Like I mentioned earlier, I definitely think this could use a sequel because there are a few different plot points that I feel were just kind of abandoned or rushed, including the storyline with Ellian and Isla, what happened with Shirene, and how everything played out with the cure, which was the whole point of the quest in the first place.
I also kind of hope that if there isn’t a sequel in the works, then maybe some standalone companion novels about the other shifter races.
While I enjoyed the world building and what we saw, I was also wanting a little bit more. I was a bit confused by the name of the island and the city and the way it was referred to sometimes, and I think a map would’ve helped a lot when it comes to the island, the land the humans live on, and what I think is another continent with the other shifter races. I also wish a little bit more had been spent on fleshing out the humans, since the disease is from humans in the first place. It feels like they’re medieval humans, but then they show up with airplanes, trains, and guns while the lion shifters fight with swords and bows, which threw me off a bit.
The pacing for this book was a little slow in the beginning, but then once the action really started the book moved so quickly. It really only takes place over the course of a few days, and there’s a LOT packed into those few days.
I still really enjoyed this, and I think a lot of people are going to have a lot of fun reading this book. I would especially recommend this to either people new to fantasy, or people who are a little bit younger looking to expand their reading as there isn’t anything too graphic.
Thank you so much to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Are you interested in reading this book? It releases today, go check it out!