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Where the Rock Splits the Sky by Philip Webb ARC {4.5 Stars}

Where the Rock Splits the Sky by Philip Webb is one of the most unique and fun books I’ve read in 2014 (which is saying a lot given the other books reviewed here so far this year!). It combines a spooky alien apocalypse premise with the thrills and dangers of the Wild West and I just could not get enough. I can easily see Where the Rock Splits the Sky being turned into a movie given the amazing places the characters explore and I really just can’t recommend it enough to sci-fi fans who are looking for something fresh and yet reminiscent of a certain space cowboy show we all love ;-).

Note: I received Where the Rock Splits the Sky from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Where the Rock Splits the Sky by Philip Webb ARC {4.5 Stars}

Where the Rock Splits the Sky by Philip Webb
Published by Chicken House on March 25th, 2014
Genres: Genre-bender, Post Apocalyptic, YA
Page Length: 272 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
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The moon has been split, and the Visitors have Earth in their alien grip. But the captive planet? That's not her problem. Megan just wants to track down her missing dad...

The world stopped turning long before Megan was born. Ever since the Visitors split the moon and stilled the Earth, permanent sunset is all anyone has known. But now, riding her trusty steed Cisco, joined by her posse, Kelly and Luis, Megan is on the run from her Texas hometown, journeying across the vast, dystopic American West to hunt down her father. To find him, she must face the Zone, a notorious landscape where the laws of nature do not apply. The desert can play deadly tricks on the mind, and the quest will push Megan past her limits. But to solve the mystery of not just her missing father but of the paralyzed planet itself, she must survive it--and an alien showdown.

4.5 Stars

Strengths:

  • The world in Where the Rock Splits the Sky is just amazing and hooked me all the way through. I was constantly excited about the next place that Megan and company would come across during their travels and just couldn’t get enough of the descriptions of each place. The premise gives you a great idea of the eerie nature of the setting: the Earth has literally stopped spinning and the Moon has been destroyed. The land is caught in a forever sunset and things are even weirder in the Zone, where the laws of physics don’t always apply.
  • For some reason, the Wild West and sci-fi just seem to go together so well, don’t they?? Where the Rock Splits the Sky is a different take on that combination than Firefly, but I loved it just as much. Running from outlaws and catching a stagecoach has a whole new meaning when some of the outlaws are corpses animated by aliens ya know?
  • The writing and description in Where the Rock Splits the Sky is just beautiful. I keep wanting to try to tell you all the amazing settings, but I just can’t do justice to them the way that Webb does, so you need to just read Where the Rock Splits the Sky to find out ;-). The title is an excellent example of the eerie description that Webb is able to capture though :D.
  • Where the Rock Splits the Sky is short so the plot is fast and never has a chance to lag. Just as Megan has figured out the secrets of one place in the Zone, another mystery or goal presents itself and the discoveries begin anew.

Weaknesses:

  •  The characters in Where the Rock Splits the Sky aren’t really the main focus. Partially due to the short length of the book, I just didn’t get a solid feel for each of the three teens in our merry band and feel like they are more acquaintances than friends to me.
  • Despite my love of the descriptions, the dialogue in Where the Rock Splits the Sky feels a bit off at times. Megan speaks and thinks in slightly stilted sentences for some reason.
  • Luis is a native Spanish speaker and doesn’t have perfect English, so there is Spanish thrown in from time to time that isn’t always translated completely. This left me not 100% sure what Luis’ had been trying to express and I suspect some people will be itching for a translation.

Summary:

I very thoroughly enjoyed Where the Rock Splits the Sky, to the point where my boyfriend started poking fun at how often I tried to describe scenes to him because they were just so cool! I couldn’t do justice though of course, so that just made him laugh at me more ;-). If you are a fan of eerie landscapes and some completely original sci-fi places, you have got to read Where the Rock Splits the Sky. Gah, just go read it!

4.5 Stars
Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya

 

 Where the Rock Splits the Sky by Philip Webb

© 2014, Anya. All rights reserved.

Comments

  1. I’ve never ever heard of this one before but the minute I saw talk about splitting the moon in two, I was intrigued! Then you mentioned aliens, the apocalypse and westerns and I was hooked: I want to read this!! Sci-fi and westerns together are awesome: makes me thing of Cowboys & Aliens :D I love how addictive the whole thing sounds too…not to mention your praise on the writing style. Eeep! Awesome review Anya ^^ thanks for contributing yet again to my TBR shelf xx
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Review: The Assassin’s BladeMy Profile

    • Right?? And an eternal twilight for a nice spooky effect, mwahahaha. I think you’ll really enjoy this one Micheline, hope you get to read it soon :D

  2. This sounds like such a unique story, and the cover is killer! Wishlist add for sure. I find so many cool sci-fi/fantasy books from your reviews. Love it!
    Sarah recently posted…Review: Wind and ShadowMy Profile

  3. Added to the TBR! The Spanish thrown in actually sounds pretty interesting, as I can read some Spanish. :D I’ve had a similar problem with languages being thrown into other books before, like French, and I definitely understand the annoyance.

  4. Consider it added to the TBR list. It sounds awesome! Though I wish the cover grabbed me more; the top half isn’t really working for me.
    Kel recently posted…Discussion: Quickly Out of PrintMy Profile

  5. The last book which i read was Harry potter and after that didn’t got any chance to hold the books because of busy job schedule.. will try to read this one but have never heard about the writer before

  6. Wow, this sounds amazing and I haven’t heard a single thing about it! Thanks for the review, I’m definitely adding it to my TBR list.
    Danielle Stull recently posted…Review: Manor of Secrets by Katherine LongshoreMy Profile

  7. Never heard of that publisher at all, who the hell is chicken house?

    But I too like the western genre being mashed into speculative fic. But why, if Spanish is going to be included, can’t someone hire an editor to check on translations? I will still keep an eye out for this one, looks interesting. And short enough to take a flyer on.
    Nathan (@reviewbarn) recently posted…Fantasy Review: ‘The Goblin Emperor’ by Katherine AddisonMy Profile

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  1. […] Where the Rock Splits the Sky – I’m conflicted about the cover since it actually is a good representation of the book in some ways, but what you really need to know is that it is a sci-fi western in a crazy awesome rivers-of-sand version of the Wild West ;-). […]

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