Review: Imprison the Sky by A. C. Gaughen

Imprison the Sky by A. C. GaughenImprison the Sky
A. C. Gaughen
Bloomsbury YA
Published on January 22, 2019

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About Imprison the Sky
Stolen from her family as a child, Aspasia has clawed her way up the ranks of Cyrus’s black market empire to captain her own trading vessel–and she risks it all every time she uses her powerful magic to free as many women, children, and Elementae from slavery as she can.

But Cyrus is close to uncovering her secrets–not only that Aspasia is an air Elementa with the ability to sail her ship through the sky, but that she is also searching for her lost family. And if Aspasia can’t find her younger siblings before Cyrus does, she will never be able to break free.

Armed with her loyal crew full of Elementae and a new recruit who controls an intriguing power, Aspasia finds herself in the center of a brewing war that spans every inch of the ocean, and her power alone may not be enough to save her friends, family, and freedom.

My Review
The most difficult part of Imprison the Sky for me was the fact that Aspasia captured, transported, and sold slaves. I know she herself was also a slave and that she was tortured by her actions. I know she refused to take women or children as slaves. But I still had a really hard time with that part of her character.

(In a weird way, that made me more deeply examine my feelings about some historical heroes who owned slaves, too. I found it wasn’t easy to dismiss the slave-capturing part of Aspasia’s personality, and yet I’d kind of dismissed that part of history for some of the historical figures whom I’d admired. So I think it was a good thing for me to think through, because that’s not something that should be dismissed.)

I think Kairos might be my favorite part of Imprison the Sky. I was so excited to see him come on scene. He’d been one of my favorite characters from Reign the Earth. If you’ve read and remember the first book in the Elementae series, you’ll already know he’s Shalia’s brother. He made a great partner to Aspasia, someone to temper her emotional flares and ground her without trying to control her.

I didn’t hate Aspasia, either. I liked that she was so protective of her crew. The way she used her power to protect them was awesome. I liked that she tried to save as many people as she thought she could.

On the whole, I’m glad I read it. I enjoyed a lot of things about the book, and especially loved the relationships between the crew members and the slight sky pirate feel it had. Imprison the Sky was definitely a fun read.

Imprison the Sky on AmazonRecommended for Ages 14 up.

Cultural Elements
Aspasia has had both male and female lovers before. I don’t remember a lot of physical details of the characters. One character (Kairos) is from a desert kingdom.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Used infrequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between boy and girl. Kissing between two girls. Aspasia references her past sexual experiences and what motivated them (curiosity, lust, etc.). One character is open about his virginity. Later in the story, two characters start spending nights together, at first just cuddling. Eventually they have sex – it’s not a hugely detailed encounter, but we know what happens.

Spiritual Content
Some characters have magical abilities, like Aspasia’s ability to control the wind. This clashes with some of the spiritual beliefs of some cultures in the story, and makes the Elementae (gift-bearers) an object of persecution and experimentation.

Violent Content
Battles between Aspasia’s crew and others – pirates, slavers, etc. Some graphic details of injuries, death, and peril.

Drug Content

Imprison the Sky on Goodreads

Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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