Friday, September 11, 2015

Under the Empyrean Sky by Chuck Wendig

4 Stars
I should have immediately wanted to read Under the Empyrean Sky. I mean, it takes place in corn country – a place where I’ve spent my entire life. Need proof? Here’s a picture of some family members in my grandfather-in-law’s backyard:

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(Please note that due to TROLLS the part of said family members is being played by Mitchell and Momma June of Honey Boo Boo fame. See Trolls, I make the fat jokes before you can. Ha!)

I no longer live in that hometown, but check out my view on the way to my kids’ various baseball games and practices:

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Yeah. This world seemed really realistic to me.

Many thanks to The Real Dan for putting this one on my radar. I had completely zipped past it because the title didn’t perk my interest, but after seeing Dan’s high rating and realizing this was a book written by Chuck Wendig of Atlanta Burns fame I figured it might not be the typical Mary Sue type of YA dystopian fare. I was right. If you’re looking for instalovin’ crybabies, Under the Empyrean Sky probably isn’t the book for you. Buuuuuuut, if you’re looking for a lot of action that all takes place in a world that hasn’t been done before, this might be a winner. Full disclosure: There’s also a leeeeeetle love – I mean there just has to be some drama in these somewhere, right??

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(*sings they found love in a corny place – they found love in a coooooorny place*)

Where was I? Oh yeah, the world. The “world” I keep speaking of is probably one we’ll live in the next 5 or 10 years. A new breed of corn was created by Monsanto the muckity mucks of the world and it pretty much took over . . .

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Now the rich live in hovercrafts of a sort above the Earth’s surface while the poors all live at ground level with only a couple of job options: (1) constantly harvest this inedible corn for the bigwigs so they can turn it into fuel, or (2) work as Big Sky Scavengers on land boats and harvest anything of value they find amongst the overgrown fields. Cael and his buddies went for door #2 and, although still poor, they’ve been able to make ends meet. When they come across a vegetable garden that has somehow managed to survive amongst the aggressive corn they think they’ve found their golden ticket . . . but they have no idea what they’ve really discovered.

I ran the gamut of these types of books back in the Divergent, Hunger Games, Maze Runner, etc. days so I’m pretty ruthless when it comes to rating them. This one was good. Solid story, solid characters, solid dialogue. And really? Who doesn’t love corn? I mean just look:

Cats love it . . .

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Dogs love it . . .

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(^^^Corn dog. Ha!)

Bruce Willis really loves it . . .

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Even if you don’t love eating it, you can murder people with it instead . . .

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“That’s life in the Heartland.”

ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 
 Thank you, NetGalley!

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