Monday, March 23, 2020

The Cerulean by Amy Ewing

Sera belongs to the Cerulean, a mystical group of women that reside in the City Above the Sky,a floating island that is tethered to each planet it chooses to connect too. The Cerulean have magical blood, blue hair, and silver skin. Their society is entirely matriarchal without any males existing on the island and their island is controlled by a deity- Mother Sun, who is said to be the protector of all Cerulean. When Sera is chosen to sacrifice herself to the tether so that the Cerulean may move to another planet, she throws herself off the island. But the sacrifice goes wrong and she survives, falling to the planet below her and being captured by one of the richest families in Kaolin, a deeply patriarchal soceity for a mystical creatures show. With the help of mystical creatures and the children of her captor, she escapes and seeks her way back to the tether in order to help the Cerulean move. Meanwhile, back in the city, one of Sera's mothers and her best friend seek to uncover the truth about her death and realize that the government of the Cerulean is hiding some dark secrets.

I first picked up this book because I recognized the author, Amy Ewing, who wrote one of my favorite series, The Jewel (10/10 would recommend-but to a mature audiance for depictions of violence and sexuality). I had high hopes for this book, but I was rather dissapointed.
1. The casual lesbian representation was on point!! Women got married in threes to have children and there were lots of general descriptions of lesbianism on the island. Even one of the main charecters down on the planet was a lesbian. This made me super happy. However, the main charecter comes to the realization that she likes boys when she falls to earth and sees a boy for the first time. I have nothing against boyxgirl romance, but THERE WAS NO CHEMISTRY. There was nothing in common between the two, no interests, conversations, moments, NOTHING, aside from some vague sexual desire which could have only been curiousity about males in general. Meanwhile, she was very emotionally intimate with her best friend Leena, and they have a history and inside jokes and a connection and. . . you get my point.
2. The world-building down on the planet was not very good. I had a hard time knowing where the charecters were at any given moment and the societal descriptions of Pelago were basically non existant. There was no explanation on the great fued between Kaolin and Pelago. The general soceital structure of Kaolin was only briefely introduced and not clearly explained.
All in all, a meh book- good fantasy, but the boyxgirl romance was very badly done.

Reviewed by Claire Skye, Grade 9
Glendale Central Library

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