Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Book Review - Unwrapped Sky by Rjurik Davidson

Unwrapped Sky tells the tale of the city of Caeli-Amur and it inhabitants. The Houses who rule Caeli-Amur have guarded their power jealously. But in the bowels of the city a group of seditionists are plotting to take control and overthrow the Houses. As events unfold and spiral out of control, and violence and terror erupt, only one thing is for certain... the city of Caeli-Amur will change forever. 

Review - 

Where do I begin... perhaps with an opening statement?

I LOVE this book!

Seriously... it was that good. Any review will not even come close to expressing just how much I enjoyed reading Unwrapped Sky, but I suppose I will give it a shot anyway! 

Unwrapped Sky is an original, riveting, and mind bending read. Wielding beautiful and poetic prose, Davidson weaves an epic tale of power, class and revolution that crosses over genres ranging from fantasy through to steampunk and new weird. I loved so many things about this book. Davidson's use of language had me savouring each and every page, and I adored how his wordplay filled me (a English and History teacher) with warmth and fuzziness as I worked through the story. 

The city of Caeli-Amur and the world building in Unwrapped Sky are incredibly well done and detailed. I fell in love with Caeli-Amur early on, and as I read I could easily visualise myself strolling down its streets taking in the sights, smells, and sounds. Davidson's characters are fascinating and diverse, and his use of points of view drive the story brilliantly. The reader views the revolution from all sides and from all levels of society, and his characters are as 'grey' as possible. This made them incredibly interesting and accessible to me, and I really enjoyed how there was no one true protagonist or antagonist. Did I mention the Minotaur's? No? Well there are Mintotaur's as well... FREAKIN MINOTAUR'S! This was a entirely new level of awesome for me... and I found Davidson's use of different races wonderful and gripping. The magical system in Unwrapped Sky also blew my mind! As a magic system nerd (Sanderson is my Lord!) I supped happily and heartily on Davidson's thaumaturgy, with its system of mathematics and ideograms (the harvest of Minotaur body parts for magical works was both gory and strangely satisfying). The story in Unwrapped Sky also moves along at a nice place. It does become slow in some parts, but I found that I didn't mind those sections as they were still beautiful to read and integral to the overall story. The action was well written and gripping, taking me on an emotional roller coaster ride of laughs, cheers, and tears. 

Arguably, however, the best part of Unwrapped Sky is is breadth and scale. Davidson has taken on everything in this book. Caeli-Amur is firmly sat in a wider history that stretches (yet remains relevant to current events in the book) far into the past. Add to that everything ranging from philosophical discourse and revolutionary and class theory through to freedom and love and machinery and myths, and you barely scratch the surface of what Unwrapped Sky has to offer. And it works! It works bloody well! 

Unwrapped Sky has raced up to the top echelon of my favourite books of all time... it has satisfied me on so many levels that even now I find myself going back to certain scenes and chapters just to reread them and enjoy. I suspect it will also become one of the books I read once every year just so I can relive its beautiful and fascinating story. 

A truly magnificent story, and from a fellow Australian too (bonus points solely for that). I cannot wait for the next instalment!

5 out of 5 stars! 

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