HELLOOO lovelies! Happy Saturday and long time no see. Sorry I’ve been a bit absent, things have been a little difficult for me recently, but I didn’t want to stay away for too long and thankfully the week or so of downtime means I’ve had some time to read! I was lucky enough o receive an e-ARC of Amy Ewing’s latest novel, The Cerulean, and let me just say this novel was a pleasant surprise for me.
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.
When I started this story I was utterly and completely confused by the utopian society that our main character, Sera, appears to be a member of. And I will be going into a bit of detail for a minute to explain why I was confused, feel free to skip to the juicy bits if you’d like. SO. Basically, our main character has three mothers who are identified by the color of the scarf they’re wearing (e.g. Orange Mother, Purple Mother, and Green Mother) which was odd for me because it had me thinking “how do they procreate?” And I understand that this is exactly what the author wants us to think. The society is relatively “boring” and of course, our main character wants more, she wants adventure. Specifically, she wants to see their little disc world disconnect from their current planet and find another planet. Lo and behold what happens next…this isn’t a spoiler as it’s in the synopsis, but she sacrifices herself to disconnect her people from their current planet, but it doesn’t work.
The story is broken into different parts where we follow a variety of characters. Some of those characters were interesting, like Sera and Agnes, a female character we meet when Sera lands on one of the island countries. Agnes is into science and anatomy and wants to break away from her country’s stereotypical woman and be free instead of being into a forced marriage. Admittedly there were certain parts/chapters that I found boring. There is no other word for it other than boring, but there was enough intrigue and action to keep me reading. Another thing that actually kept me reading was the world building. I’m a sucker for some good world building and the way the author made the distinction between the two islands as one being more conservative and close-minded and the other being more open to magic and science and (for lack of a better word) “liberal.”
I try not to read anyone else’s reviews before I get mine up, but I did hear a few people talking about how our main character grew up in a primarily polyamorous sapphic society and how it’s ridiculous that she could be attracted to a man. I personally cannot comment on that because, while I thought it was weird, it wasn’t the main focus of the story for me? The romance was something I honestly skimmed over because I didn’t think it was all that important to the overall story. I felt that Agnes trying to come to terms with her sexuality was more compelling than Sera realizing she liked males even though she’s never even seen one before she came to the planet’s surface? With that being said I’d love to hear what you guys think of this whole situation.
Overall, I enjoyed the story. Were there certain parts I thought could be cut out? Of course. Did the “drama” surrounding this book and the characters affect my enjoyment of the book? Not entirely but it did make me think about it a little more critically, but honestly I enjoyed it just the same because, as I said, the romance played a minuscule part of the overall story to me. Would I recommend everyone go read it? I mean give it a shot if you want! It’s an interesting fantasy with some fantastic world-building, but I don’t think everyone will absolutely love it.