The Compulsive Reader: Kick the Tires, Light the Fires!: Breaking Sky by Cori McCarthy

Friday, February 27, 2015

Kick the Tires, Light the Fires!: Breaking Sky by Cori McCarthy

Almost three years ago, I met a writer in a coffee shop. She looked very writer-ly. She had a Jane Eyre t-shirt, a blonde faux hawk, lots of pens, and a single-minded focus on her Mac. That writer was Cori McCarthy, and she was drafting a novel that was then called Nyx. Then it was called Redline. Then it was called some other things. I knew only a few things about this story: It was near futuristic, it had a Starbuck-esque protagonist, and there were teenage fighter pilots.

I tried to control my excitement.

(We weren't really good friends yet, so my demands that I MUST read the manuscript RIGHT THAT SECOND might have come off as a bit weird.)

Fast forward three years and I'm now thrilled that Nyx/Redline/Sex & Jets is Breaking Sky, Cori's phenomenal second novel, our Mach 10th. She's worked hard on this novel, and it shows--it's thrumming with action and emotion, and it's the sort of story that sticks with you. And!!! Today it was announced that Sony has optioned Breaking Sky and is developing it for film! Sexy near-future YA Top Gun, anyone?

Breaking Sky opens with Chase Harcourt, call sign Nyx. Chase is an excellent pilot, but a careless person. Her love for speed pushes her to take risks, and she's constantly turning her back on an unpleasant childhood, the uncomfortable reality of her parentage. On a routine flight, Chase sees something that shouldn't be possible, and in her relentless investigation, she blows open a huge military secret that has the potential to push America from a Cold War with Asia to World War III.

This novel has so much energy--and not just in the flight scenes, which are written so well. Chase is a character who does things, who goes after what she wants, and can't sit still. I admire her for that, even though she's not exactly a nice person. Chase is actually not nice most of the time, but she's achingly real. McCarthy slowly peels back her many layers to reveal what makes Chase tick, and what drives her to search for speed. Once you see who Chase really is, you can't help but feel for her, and feel deeply.

The supporting characters are also excellent; Chase's tortured RIO Pippin, headstrong and domineering (in a lovable way) Sylph, and steady Tristan, who might just be the only pilot as talented as Chase. The tensions between them all pull you in, and McCarthy balances their interpersonal drama with the high stakes international politics and war games brilliantly.

And stakes--they are high! McCarthy's plotting is tight, the consequences are massive (and devastating). This is a book that will get your adrenaline pumping; the action is eerily realistic, and the emotions are true. This book is funny, sexy, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful. You should get a copy ASAP.

Also, that cover? Iconic.

You can get a signed copy if you order from our local indie! Cori will sign and personalize it, and I will ship it to you! Check it out here.

1 comment:

LinWash said...

I've been WAITING for this book!!!!