Young Adult Book Review: Breaking Sky by Cori McCarthy

Title: Breaking Sky
Author: Cori McCarth
Genre Type: Dystopian, Action & Adventure
Publication Date: March 10th 2015
Source: Publisher
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
SUMMARY: from Goodreads

In this high-flying, adrenaline-fueled debut thriller, America's best hope is the elite teen fighter pilots of the United Star Academy

Chase Harcourt, call sign "Nyx," is one of only two pilots chosen to fly the experimental "Streaker" jets at the junior Air Force Academy in the year 2048. She's tough and impulsive with lightning-fast reactions, but few know the pain and loneliness of her past or the dark secret about her father. All anyone cares about is that Chase aces the upcoming Streaker trials, proving the prototype jet can knock the enemy out of the sky.

But as the world tilts toward war, Chase cracks open a military secret. There's a third Streaker jet, whose young hotshot pilot, Tristan, can match her on the ground and in the clouds. Chase doesn't play well with others, but to save her country she may just have to put her life in the hands of the competition. 

When I first read the premise for Breaking Sky, I was immediately intrigued by the fact that Chase is not only a jet flyer, but a teen female pilot chosen to fly an experimental new jet known as the "Streaker." I'm all for "girl-power" so I had to see for myself what this new heroine was all about.

Breaking Sky revolves around an elite group of teens training to fly experimental jets as the threat of a new cold war escalates. Chase Harcourt, aka "Nyx," is one of the two pilots chosen to secretly train flying these new prototype jets. But, she's not alone. There's a third Streaker jet whose pilot can match Chase. A pilot that threatens to topple her from the competition she's fought so hard to win.

The story has the same feel and vibe to it as the movie Top Gun, but with teens and a futuristic / dystopian setting of an isolated America that is no longer a super-power. Most of the action takes place in the sky. The writing delivers some great adrenaline pop as daredevil flying, dangerous-heart stopping maneuvers, and thrilling fighter sequences are in no shortage. These aerodynamics were pretty amazing to read and the author made me feel like I was in the cockpit with the Streakers!

Chase is a hot-shot flyer. Impulsive, a risk-taker and an adrenaline junkie for breaking Mach speed. Her lightning reflexes and unpredictability are just what is needed to fly a Streaker, making her a favorite pilot. I loved her fierce attitude when it came to flying, but I had a harder time accepting her uses of boys as an unemotional outlet. Thankfully, a turnaround in her attitude occurred. A positive lesson learned that gave me an heroine I could be okay with. By the end of the story, I couldn't help but root for her.

Secondary characters are really well done. Her RIO (co-pilot) "Pippin" is adorable and boyish, in a "brainygonecuteway." I enjoyed his character nearly as much as Chase's. The other Streaker team members added to the story too. Sylph is the second Streaker pilot, and she's equally badass in the sky. She gets Chase and their frenemy relationship added some much-needed humor. 

The romance is what made me see a new, softer and emotional side of Chase that was not there before. Tristan brings out all the warm and cozy feels, and Chase ends up opening up to him emotionally which as so sweet. The connection they have together gave me some sweet swoons.

My one disappointment was the overall sense of not really feeling the danger or threat that the enemy Ri Xiong Di presented. A brief background was given as to why a new cold war was possible and how America ended up being a isolated and nearly powerless, but I just didn't feel that aspect. Although, the imminent threat of the Chinese Red Drone felt very real!

The high point for Breaking Sky for me ended up being the superb descriptions of jet flying and the pure adrenaline-like rush it elicited, making it a fun and adventurous read to escape to.

My RATING: 3.5 Stars. I like it!

PLEASE NOTE: A courtesy review copy of this book was provided by Sourcebooks Fire in exchange for my fair review. Thank you, Sourcebooks Fire  for the review opportunity!