Review: Sky Thieves

cover-sky thievesTitle: Sky Thieves
Author: Dan Walker
Series: Sky Thieves #1
Genre: Children’s/MG Fantasy
Age Range: 11+
Available: Now


Love Pirates of the Caribbean? Then prepared to be swept away by this new swashbuckling adventure series.

Talented debut author, Dan Walker, creates an imaginative world where thieves sail the skies in flying galleons-an action-packed adventure of epic scale.

Zoya DeLarose has no idea her life is about to change forever when a band of sky thieves ‘steal’ her away from her orphanage, landing up in the clouds, on board the Dragonfly’s deck. There, Zoya discovers a world of meteorite storms, sword fights, midnight raids, floating islands, and long lost treasure. But with a deadly enemy closing in, will Zoya find the strength to face her fears and unlock the key to her destiny, or will she fall from the skies with no one left to break her fall?

Source: ARC from Oxford University Press via Amazon Vine

The mere mention of sky ships was enough to grab my attention, so throw in a feisty heroine, floating islands and deadly peril and I was excited to read this book. Sadly, it didn’t live up to my expectations. It’s not a terrible book, but it’s all a bit light and flimsy for me (or the young reader I used to be).

For example, Zoya, our feisty heroine, starts the story as an orphan breaking into the headmaster’s office to steal her own locket back. That locket is pretty much the only thing Zoya shows any emotion for during this book – and only at the start. Whatever happens – kidnap, peril, death, danger – she doesn’t seem to feel any of it. Even when she does, it doesn’t last more than a few lines. Her adventure is exciting and amazing and yet she felt flat.

The whole book was for me. The sky thieves are familiar stock caricatures, their motives are predictable and there is absolutely no organisation on that ship. Zoya arrives and no one bothers to show her around or assign her duties, she just sort of bumbles about figuring it out for herself, when she isn’t messing about with her new friend, Bucker, who is the worst lookout in the world. No one seems to have a history before becoming thieves and the world isn’t particularly well developed either.

Which is a shame, because this could have been great. Sky ships! A floating pirate island! Holographic weather maps, meteorites, a big bad pirate looking for lost treasure, sky battles and some stuff about rare and powerful crystals… There are some really good ideas here, and if you’re looking for a quick read that will offer a bit of easy entertainment, then this will likely do the trick. If you (or a young reader you know) prefer to be drawn into a world and live the action with the characters, this doesn’t do that. It’s fun enough, but add a little more depth and it could have been amazing.

Sky Thieves is Out Now.
Visit Dan Walker for more details.


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