Title: The Cerulean
Author: Amy Ewing
Pub Date: January 29th, 2019
My Rating: ★★★★☆
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Synopsis from Goodreads:
Sera has always felt as if she didn’t belong among her people, the Cerulean. She is curious about everything and can’t stop questioning her three mothers, her best friend, Leela, and even the High Priestess. Sera has longed for the day when the tether that connects her City Above the Sky to the earthly world below finally severs and sends the Cerulean to a new planet.
But when Sera is chosen as the sacrifice to break the tether, she doesn’t know what to feel. To save her City, Sera must throw herself from its edge and end her own life. But something goes wrong and she survives the fall, landing in a place called Kaolin. She has heard tales about the humans there, and soon learns that the dangers her mothers warned her of are real. If Sera has any hope to return to her City, she’ll have to find the magic within herself to survive.
I was fascinated by the City in the Sky and its culture, but together with MC, I was curious about the mysterious world that she could see from the edges of her planet. Too bad the mysterious world turned out to be quite similar to our world, filled with human species living according to some bizarre and narrow-minded patriarchal rules. Quite a difference to the utopian Sapphic society in the City in the Sky. What’s more, the two human nations living on this planet are not fond of each other, one is prosperous and seems to be more advanced, and people there have light skin. The other nation is homophobic and sexists and is struggling with natural resources, and the people are dark skinned. It wouldn’t matter much if it wasn’t so common to see such distinctions in YA fantasy, and if the colour of our skin didn’t have such a huge impact on our lives, giving some of us privileges and others disadvantages.
I was fascinated by the City in the Sky and its culture, but together with MC, I was curious about the mysterious world that she could see from the edges of her planet.
A lot of reviewers don’t agree with the idea of a straight girl coming from an all-female society, where each girl has three mothers. They tend to highlight that Sera is the only straight girl in this society, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that she’s the only one. We never got any information about what’s the sexual preference of all the woman in the society, who knows if there are many more straight women in her society… Also through half the story, I had a theory that maybe she was selected in the Choosing Ceremony because of her orientation because the Mother Sun knows that she will never find romantic love on her planet, so she gave a chance to find one on the planet. Maybe all of the previous chosen ones were straight too… Now that I’m thinking about it, I realize how naive that was, it’s just cruel to send someone on the forced journey where you sure you’ll die during the fall, to an unknown world in a hope that they will find romantic love there. Overall I think the subject of Sera’s sexuality wasn’t important enough in the story to make it worthwhile, and the story wouldn’t hurt if it was never mentioned. I assume though that it was introduced with the next books in the series in mind.
I realize that the topic of sexuality and race could be handled much better, but I have to also say that I was interested in the story. The mystery of the City in the sky, the culture of Sera’s society, its history and traditions, and the need to find out what went wrong during the ceremony kept me reading. I cared about Sera’s character, and I wanted to know what will happen to her. POVs other than Sera didn’t interest me that much, but in the end, all of those people stories involved Sera. I didn’t care at all for Leo, I didn’t feel like he was a well-developed character, and his intentions seemed naive and childish. The need to impress his father wasn’t constructed well enough so that I imagine his intentions and justifications behind all his questionable actions. Through the story witnessing Leo’s decisions, I never felt any empathy or care for him. Agnes was fine, she had her moments, but the author committed the horrible crime of describing her as “not like other girls” *eye roll*
Taking into consideration my whole experience with this book, I must say I enjoyed it. I was entertained and engrossed in the story. I was curious about the magical aspects and mysteries behind The City in The Sky and its history. I was intrigued by the history of Leo and Agnes’ mother, what happened to her, why she married their father, why did she migrate from her country. There’s still a lot of unknowns, and I’m keen to read more about this world that the author created.