Saturday, March 14, 2015

*YA Book Review* Breaking Sky by Cori McCarthy

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Released: March 10, 2015
Source: NetGalley
Format: E-Book, 416 pages
Genre: YA, Science Fiction

Chase Harcourt, call sign "Nyx," is one of only two pilots chosen to fly the experimental "Streaker" jets at the junior Air Force Academy in the year 2048.
She's tough and impulsive with lightning-fast reactions, but few know the pain and loneliness of her past or the dark secret about her father. All anyone cares about is that Chase aces the upcoming Streaker trials, proving the prototype jet can knock the enemy out of the sky.

But as the world tilts toward war, Chase cracks open a military secret. There's a third Streaker jet, whose young hotshot pilot, Tristan, can match her on the ground and in the clouds. Chase doesn't play well with others, but to save her country she may just have to put her life in the hands of the competition

Set in the near future (2048) where the US is isolated and alone in the world, Breaking Sky has all the elements of being the little sister to big brother Top Gun with perhaps a bit of Ender's Game. But, instead of hot shot Navy pilots led by Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer, Cori McCarthy introduces readers to a trio of teenaged pilots who are on the front lines of America's hope of staving off the Second World War, and the red drones operated by Ri Xiong Di that have left America digging for small miracles.

Breaking Sky's main character is Chase Harcourt, better known as call sign Nyx. Chase is a daredevil with quick reaction times, a bit on the reckless side, and a show-off. But, she is also one of the best pilots at The United Star Academy where teen phenoms do everything that adults do. Chase isn't necessarily a character who will go down in literary history as another Katniss, but she has her moments. She has some issues with relationships. She likes to fool around, but never let's anyone get close. Her father is one of the most notorious fighter pilots to ever live, while her mother is as useless as a mosquito on a hot summers night. What's a girl to do?

Chase, along with her RIO (Radar Intercept Officer) Pippin, flies an experimental jet called the Streaker. Chase main competition comes from Leah "Sylph" Grendine who may be the better pilot, but not as daring as Chase. While on a mission that leads to Chase breaking the Sound Barrier, Pippin and Chase discover a secret. A secret that if it gets out, could put the entire program at jeopardy of being revealed to their enemies.

Apparently Canada has been flying the Streaker jets as well, and a pilot by the name of Tristan, may give Nyx a run for her money in an upcoming competition. Do I need to tell you where the romance plot comes from? Do I need to mention that after years of fooling around, Chase aka "the Love Vampire" finally finds someone that allows her to open up even when tragedy hits her in a harsh manner?

Breaking Dawn is a story that is really not all that hard to follow, or understand. This is a world that is under the thumb of a major menace named Ri Xiong Di who brought the US almost to its knees because of what "they" thought was America's over extravagances. While some may say that Breaking Sky is a rip off of Top Gun, I will have to disagree. Mostly. There is a brutal scene that is reminiscent of Top Gun, but that is all. While there's no dog fights with enemy jets, I do love that Chase seems to have a knack for showing the red drones whose boss.

I would have liked to see a bit more about the rest of the world, but I do understand that that truly isn't possible when the US has been isolated for so long. I liked the secondary characters, mostly Brigadier General David Kale, Pippin, Riot, and Sylph even though she's a bit hard around the edges at times. I love that the author is a military brat, and that her father and others served in the US Air Force. I do believe her experiences helped the story along and made the scenes in the sky even more realistic.

**I received this book for free from (Sourcebooks Fire) via (NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

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