Eclipse the Skies – Maura Milan – ARC Review

Title: Eclipse the Skies
Series: Ignite the Stars #2
Author: Maura Milan
Genre: YA, Science Fiction
: September 3rd, 2019 (Albert Whitman & Company)

: Ia Cōcha never thought she’d be working for the Olympus Commonwealth. But that was before she found out her trusted brother Einn was trying to tear apart the universe. Now, Ia, the Blood Wolf of the Skies, has agreed to help the Royal Star Force on one condition: when she finds him, she gets to kill Einn herself. 

Brinn Tarver has just come to terms with her Tawny identity when the public lashes out against her people, crushing her family. At her breaking point, she starts to question everything she believes in—including Ia. 

After the death of his mentor, Knives Adams is doing his best to live up to a role he didn’t ask for as Aphelion’s new headmaster. Still, with each new step deeper into war, he feels torn between his duties and the pull of Ia’s radical—sometimes criminal—ideas. 

As they fight to keep darkness from eclipsing the skies, their unpredictable choices launch this breathtaking sequel to explosive new heights.

Thank you to the publisher,  Albert Whitman & Co., for providing me with an ARC of this book at BookCon in exchange for an honest review.

With Einn’s betrayal and the revelation of his plans to destroy the universe, Ia now finds herself fighting on the side of the Commonwealth. Brinn has accepted her Tawny identity, but public opinions on refugees are still the same, and with the Refugee act abolished, violence in the streets is rising by the day, placing her family at risk. Knives is now headmaster of Aphelion following Bastian’s death, a position he never asked for and with war on the horizon, he finds himself caught between his duties and the weight of expectations placed on him as an office and following Ia’s more unconventional tactics.

The world-building was definitely better in this sequel. Between Myth and Nowhere and Knives’ brief venture to the Harix Corridor race, I felt that we were able to see a lot more of the Commonwealth and understand a little more about how things work. Character wise, Ia and Brinn really steal the show, and I particularly loved Ia’s arc as we see a far more vulnerable side of her during her healing process as she slowly regains her confidence to face Einn once more. The plot twists and unexpected betrayals were fantastic as were the new side characters introduced, Goner and Vetty. As with the first book, the refugee crisis is still brewing and has only grown worse, and the author has done a great job at depicting this and how it affects the characters, particularly Brinn.

I have the same complaint in this book as the last, however. As Einn’s betrayal did not feel enough of a reason for Ia to side with the Commonwealth, Faren’s death is hardly a reason for Brinn to go over to Einn’s side. Brinn as a whole acted very out of character, trauma aside. Also, the queens were kind of…pointless? I thought they would play a significant role in this book, but they got hardly three pages of screen time and neither of them really did much.

This book appears to be the end of the series, but I still have so many questions, chief among which is how on Earth the remnants of the star force even found Knives on Myth. That scene just felt way too convenient. And that’s not even taking into account that ending – it was really not necessary for Ia to stay on that ship, and compared to the others, her final scene was a huge letdown, especially since I was so hoping for a happy ending. The somewhat vague and open ending does leave scope for a follow up novel, but was very annoying to me as a reader. Still, there is hope for a sequel or a novella, and there are supposed to me some major changes from the ARC to the final version, so I have my fingers crossed and will reserve judgement on the ending.

Overall, Eclipse the Skies took a much more serious tone than Ignite the Stars did, and I found myself missing Ia’s dark humour and banter. It was however, quite the adventure, and I really enjoyed the action scenes and those marvellous final battles. Sci-fi has never been my go to genre, but with this being another addition to the excellent novels I’ve read this year, I might just starting looking into some more! An entertaining read, I would definitely recommend this book for sci-fi and fantasy fans.

Eclipse the Skies releases on September 3rd, 2019.

Do you plan to read this book? Let me know in the comments below!
Other reviews in this series:
Book 1: Ignite the Stars


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