Toward a Secret Sky (Toward a Secret Sky #1) by Heather Maclean (2017)
YA Fiction | Paranormal | Romance
“Toward a Secret Sky by New York Times bestselling author Heather Maclean is a new breed of YA novel: an intelligent adventure-quest crossed with a sweeping, forbidden love story. A mix of reality and possibility, this fast-paced thriller will appeal to fans of Stephenie Meyer and Dan Brown as it leads the reader on a breathless flight through the highlands of Scotland, the secret city under London, and history itself.
Shortly after 17-year-old Maren Hamilton is orphaned and sent to live with grandparents she’s never met in Scotland, she receives an encrypted journal from her dead mother that makes her and everyone around her a target. It confirms that her parents were employed by a secret, international organization that’s now intent on recruiting her. As Maren works to unravel the clues left behind by her mother, a murderous madness sweeps through the local population, terrorizing her small town. Maren must decide if she’ll continue her parents’ fight or stay behind to save her friends.
With the help of Gavin, an otherworldly mercenary she’s not supposed to fall in love with, and Graham, a charming aristocrat who is entranced with her, Maren races against the clock and around the country from palatial estates with twisted labyrinths to famous cathedrals with booby-trapped subterranean crypts to stay ahead of the enemy and find a cure. Along the way, she discovers the great truth of love: that laying down your life for another isn’t as hard as watching them sacrifice everything for you.”
Expected Publication Date: April 4, 2017
pooled ink Review:
Maclean’s YA novel kicks off what seems to be a very interesting and action-packed series. Featuring the tireless battle between angels and demons upon the human chessboard, the story races forwards leaving little time for breath. Catastrophe, betrayal, mystery, intrigue, romance, and destiny fill the pages in no shortage but rather warp together to create a plot that spins tighter in intensity and farther from normalcy until it traps you submerged in its world.
Overall it was quite well written and the story indeed was captivating. It held my interest definitely, but for me I didn’t get that little magic spark. So while it may not be on my “favorites” shelf it still was quite a good read. I actually read through it surprisingly quickly. As I browsed NetGalley I stumbled upon this ARC and when I scanned the plot description I knew I had to get my hands on it. I was so glad that I received this ARC and actually the more I think about it the more I would really like to go back and read it again. I definitely know that I’m interested in finding out what happens next on Maren’s journey.
The choice to write Maren into a world surrounded by angels and demons both of whom she could interact with was very interesting. Sometimes it’s easier to write about other paranormal topics such as ghosts, witches, werewolves, or vampires, but I really love it when authors explore the concept of angels and demons. It goes back to the roots of humanity, and whether an author decides to interpret their existence literally or figuratively it always produces a very thought provoking, or at least a very entertaining result. In general I’d describe Maclean’s world in her book as “very cool.”
True this book is quite focused on forbidden romance but other than that much of the story is filled with thrilling chases, cryptic mazes, cunning codes, and dramatic showdowns. Think Romeo & Juliet mixed with National Treasure (2004 movie) and Angels and Demons (by Dan Brown). Yeah, it’s that crazy. When it’s not taking a break and swooning over Gavin it’s all go go go!
I’d recommend this book to those of you who are into demonic battles, soul mates, and worlds within worlds.
Toward a Secret Sky steps out of the soft light and into the pits of Hell. Roaring with demons and guarded by angels, two star-crossed lovers dance between pawns across the chess game of life.
Purchase here: Toward a Secret Sky
Meet Heather Maclean!
Heather Maclean is a Princeton graduate and The New York Times bestselling author and editor of 15 books.
Named one of the ’16 Best Entrepreneurs in America’ by Sir Richard Branson, she accompanied the adventurous business legend on a 50,000-mile trip around the world, alternately helping improve the lives of others (designing sustainable development initiatives in South Africa) and fearing for her own (rappelling out of a Black Hawk helicopter in a Moroccan sandstorm).
Heather began her career at Disney, where she had the distinction of being the first person ever to answer Mickey Mouse’s e-mail.
When not castle hunting in her husband’s native Scotland, she and her clan of 3 kids happily reside in Michigan.