Wednesday, January 19, 2011
ARC Review: The Floating Islands by Rachel Neumeier
Release Date: February 8th 2011
When Trei loses his family in a tragic disaster, he must search out distant relatives in a new land. The Floating Islands are unlike anything Trei has ever seen: stunning, majestic, and graced with kajurai, men who soar the skies with wings.
Trei is instantly sky-mad, and desperate to be a kajurai himself. The only one who fully understands his passion is Araene, his newfound cousin. Prickly, sarcastic, and gifted, Araene has a secret of her own . . . a dream a girl cannot attain.
Trei and Araene quickly become conspirators as they pursue their individual paths. But neither suspects that their lives will be deeply entwined, and that the fate of the Floating Islands will lie in their hands. . . .
Filled with rich language, and told in alternating voices, The Floating Islands is an all-encompassing young adult fantasy read.
Imagine being told you couldn't attain your only wish, something you had been dreaming about. That's the problem the two protagonists face in The Floating Islands by Rachel Neumeier. This novel was a cross between the past and future, highlighting the lack of women's rights and also showing a world where you live on a floating island and men fly with wings...only a few men, though.
Trei comes to the island after the death of his three family members. On his way to the island, he sees the Kajurahi, the men who have wings to protect the islands. As soon as he sees them, he wants to be one. He wants to be able to soar above the clouds, and let go of the sadness that is pushing him into the ground. Trei is a great character, who learns to overcome a disaster and start his life again. He was a great friend and support for his cousin, Areana, also, making him my favourite character of the novel.
At first, I did not like Areana. I thought she was stuck-up and rude, but when I read on and got to know the thoughts that she was battling in her head, it was hard not to feel sympathy for her. Her dream to become a chef was unattainable because of the lack of rights given to girls on the island, and she resented it.
Overall, I enjoyed the split point of view, which swapped every chapter. It was a nice book about new friendships and battling with your internal desires, although the plot didn't seem entirely new. There were elements from other stories melded with the new imaginings of the author. I'm giving this book a 3.5 mask rating.