About The Sky Woman
Car-En, a ringstation anthropologist on her first Earth field assignment, observes a Viking-like village in the Harz mountains. As Car-En secretly observes the Happdal villagers, she begins to see them as more than research subjects (especially Esper, a handsome bow-hunter). When Esper’s sister is taken by an otherwordly sword-wielding white-haired man, she can no longer stand by as a passive witness. Knowing the decision might end her career, she cuts off communication with her advisor and pursues the abductor into the mountains.
Note: This short blurb I read on NetGalley, is what convinced me I wanted to read The Sky Woman. However, Goodreads has a far more detailed book blurb, that is somewhat spoilerish, for those that want more details (see the link below).
Review of The Sky Woman
In determining the fate of planet Earth (actually the history of Earth at this stage in the story), so many popular disaster theories have been brought into the mix. A series of events has de-populated Earth. Low birth rates, extreme economic decline, cultural collapse, and natural disasters, culminating in the catastrophic eruption of a Mediterranean supervolcano. The Sky Woman takes place on and above a post-apocalyptic Earth, centuries later when the earth is becoming habitable and civilization is making a comeback. This is a fascinating future Earth, where those that escaped the apocalypse live in the sky, in ringstations.
The viking-like village of Happdal that Car-En is assigned to observe seems to be very much like their ancient ancestors. The practices and rituals seem to have Norse influence. Before the discovery of this village and a few other similar pockets of civilization, it was thought that technologically oriented cultures were extinct.
But discovery of such a village challenges the ringstation people and their plans for repopulating Earth. The people of the ringstations are centuries ahead of the people of Earth – technologically. In their lofty position, they think they are trying to do what is best for Earth and for themselves. Many opinions, and therefore, politics, argue for the best way to move forward. Car-En’s supervisor, Adrian, is one such politician and he will use Car-En to further his own agenda. And when I say use, I actually mean abuse. Technology is not always a good thing. I will leave it at that.
There is a second story line developing alongside the ringstation Repop efforts. It is linked the Repop story line through the residents of Happdal. That is the story of the gast. The gast is thought to be a supernatural creature that abducts people and they are never seen again. Happdal daughter Katja is one such abductee. However, Katja refuses to accept her situation and her efforts to go home will reveal a strange truth about the gast. This seemingly supernatural aspect is intriguing and, giving away nothing, I will tell you that I am anxious to see how it will mesh with the ringstaton Repop story line.
I really like the character of Car-En, the unobjective anthropologist. Watching the village people, she gets caught up in their lives which leads her to defy her boss and go off the grid, so to speak, in order to help them. The book blurb might lead you to believe she will become involved romantically with Happdal resident Esper. In fact, the sub-title inludes the phrase “an Epic Struggle of Love….”. It’s not really that. It is just two characters that become a couple, but the romance aspect of their relationship is not part of the story. It just happens. I just wanted to let you know in case you are looking for romance. It’s not really there, except as implied.
Which does not detract from the story at all. The Sky Woman scores on so many points. Great characters (I include the ostensible bad guy Adrian), several intertwining complex stories, a highly imaginative future Earth for a setting and the possibility of exciting future installments.
I also love the cover!
The end of The Sky Woman definitely leaves some things hanging. At the end of the book, there is an interview style Q&A with J.D. Moyer where he states, the next book, The Guardian, is in the works. I do classify this as a cliff-hanger, but because so much was resolved, I deduct only a half of a star, making this a 4 ½ star book. So yes, I’ll round to 5 for the popular review sites.
Through NetGalley, the publisher provided a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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