Book Review: The Sky is Yours by Chandler Klang Smith

Feb 21, 2018

The Sky is Yours by Chandler Klang Smith

A sprawling, genre-defying epic set in a dystopian metropolis plagued by dragons, this debut about what it’s like to be young in a very old world is pure storytelling pleasure

In the burned-out, futuristic city of Empire Island, three young people navigate a crumbling metropolis constantly under threat from a pair of dragons that circle the skies. When violence strikes, reality star Duncan Humphrey Ripple V, the spoiled scion of the metropolis’ last dynasty; Baroness Swan Lenore Dahlberg, his tempestuous, death-obsessed betrothed; and Abby, a feral beauty he discovered tossed out with the trash; are forced to flee everything they’ve ever known. As they wander toward the scalded heart of the city, they face fire, conspiracy, mayhem, unholy drugs, dragon-worshippers, and the monsters lurking inside themselves. In this bombshell of a novel, Chandler Klang Smith has imagined an unimaginable world: scathingly clever and gorgeously strange, The Sky Is Yours is at once faraway and disturbingly familiar, its singular chaos grounded in the universal realities of love, family, and the deeply human desire to survive at all costs.

The Sky Is Yours is incredibly cinematic, bawdy, rollicking, hilarious, and utterly unforgettable, a debut that readers who loved Cloud Atlas, Super Sad True Love Story, and Blade Runner will adore.

Oh man, where do I start with this book? This book is genuinely weird and I’m still on the fence on whether or not this is a good thing.

The Setting

The world that The Sky is Yours set in is no doubt a dystopia. Dragons circle the city which is rife with drug dealers and mercenary gangs. Despite having affluent areas, I couldn’t help but imagine a city full of rubble. It’s not glamorous by any stretch of imagination but it is also lacks any charm whatsoever. One of the characters described the city as a lost cause and I would pretty much agree with him.

The Characters

Surprisingly, almost every single character is unlikable. There’s Ripple, the sheltered rich boy who treats women horrible and is incredibly entitled. Abby, his girl toy for the majority of the book, is even more sheltered and uncivilized and the literal definition of a dumb blonde. His fiancee Swanee is just as annoying and entitled as he is. His parents are even worse and I swear they are devoid of any feeling at all. His mom is like a spitting image of Abby in that she is pretty much just a tool or trophy to the ones they love.

The only character that I genuinely enjoyed was surprisingly the villain, Eisenhower Sharkey (I think that’s his name). He is a drug ring leader and killed the parents of Ripple and Swanee but Swanee falls for him and I really actually rooted for Sharkey. I mean, Sharkey fed Swanee’s drug addiction but Ripple is so useless that I can’t imagine why Swanee would ever go back to him.

The Plot

The plot is so… Out there. A million things is happening at the same time. Some of the sub-plots definitely over stayed their welcome and made me skip through it just to get to the juicier bits.

The ending made absolutely zero sense to me and felt a little bit too convenient but I accepted it just so I could finish the book. Spoiler alert: Everything turned out great and the city began to thrive again. Hmm. Okay. Alright. I was just glad it all ended.


So far, I’m being a little harsh here. I actually did enjoy this book once I got over the overall weirdness of everything in the book. Honestly, this book is not to be taken seriously. It reminds me of Libba Bray’s Beauty Queens which is equally outrageous and equally silly and probably intentionally so. The writing is also dreadfully ok. There are good nuggets here and there, especially when Smith goes into exposition.

Unfortunately, this gets a 25 for me. I would only recommend this to people who I’d know would like this. I can’t think of anyone at the moment but I know they exist.