All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Shattered Sky – Helene Young

on April 1, 2012

Shattered Sky
Helene Young
Hachette AU
2011, 342p
Read from my local library

**Please note this review will contain ***SPOILERS*** of the previous novel, Wings of Fear***

Captain Lauren Bennett is on a routine surveillance flight when they pick up the garbled distress call of a yacht. Although they can do little to render assistance other than relay the call to a patrolling Navy boat nearby, they can help by flying low enough for the people on board the distressed yacht to sight them and know that help is on the way. Lauren also maintains radio contact and stays above the yacht as long as possible, delaying her return to base because she cannot bear to leave another person alone under treacherous conditions after the devastating experience that rocked her world nearly a year ago. She lost a crew member that day and more importantly, the beautiful blonde lost someone that she loved and was never able to tell him that.

Callum Granger is the man in charge aboard the Navy boat that goes to the yacht’s rescue. He knows Lauren through their fallen friend Gavin and not long after Gavin’s tragic death, he said something hurtful and careless to her that he shouldn’t have and that cut her to the bone. He’s been looking for a way to apologise ever since but Lauren isn’t taking his calls. When they run into each other in the hospital visiting the rescued yacht crew, he finally gets his chance to make amends.

At first the yacht looked like it’d caught the wrong end of a cyclone but the truth is quickly uncovered – they were boarded and sabotaged and then drifted into the path of the oncoming cyclone. Lauren slowly discovers that something sinister is going on up in the north – bikie gangs are smuggling in Asian women who believe they’re coming to Australia to work in factories but really they’re going to be trapped in the country as sex slaves, with no passports, no rights and kept in terrible conditions. Through a friend of hers who works with rescuing such women, Lauren learns a lot. Including the location the bikies are using to smuggle the women in and also to hold them before flying them out of the remote north down south to the capitals. And she just happens to be on holiday – camping up north suddenly looks good, because she needs some evidence before she can take it to the relevant authorities.

Callum knows Lauren is partially fleeing a misunderstanding, especially with a tragic anniversary looming. He pursues her, discovering she isn’t where she said she’d be. When he finds her, Lauren is in danger up to her eyeballs and she’s fighting for her life – and the lives of all the girls she’s trying so hard to save. It’s up to Lauren to get them out safely because she’s the only person who can. And now there’s also Callum…whom she has come to care for. She can’t lose another person that means so much to her.

Shattered Sky is loosely a sequel to Wings of Fear, focusing this time on Lauren, who was Morgan’s provocative first officer. Now promoted to Captain herself, she flies her own team, although she still links up with Morgan regularly and maintains their friendship. We see a different Lauren in this novel – gone are the bright red fingernails, the teetering high heels, the flirtatious innuendos. Instead Lauren is grieving and also stung deep by a comment from Callum. She knows that she acted out a little after Gavin’s death but to have to shoved in her face was callous and cruel and she’s been avoiding him ever since. When they’re thrown back into each other’s company, it sets off an instant attraction.

Callum is at a point in his life where he’s ready to settle down, make a go of things. Lauren is more unstable, still reeling from the loss of Gavin, still uncertain about what she wants and if she’s deserving of happiness after the actions surrounding his death. It still eats at her and it’s like she’s determined to make up for it by saving as many people as she can, such as the couple on the stricken yacht and then the girls being trafficked from the Asian islands, when she hears about them.

Shattered Sky is every bit a breathless, fun read as Wings of Fear, with characters that you can get invested in. I liked Lauren well enough in Wings of Fear but that was Morgan’s story and now it’s her turn to shine. Her character is full of depth and development and I enjoyed seeing her come almost full circle as she heals and deals and realises that she is worthy. Callum is just the man to show her that she is.

Normally I don’t really love protagonists that wander into dangerous situations that they have no business being in but Lauren’s intervention was necessary in this story and although the whole situation had me on the edge of my seat frantically flipping pages to ensure nothing would happen to people I cared about, it didn’t at all bother me like it so often would. Unfortunately Helene Young had me reaching for the tissues again with the fate of a character I had come to really enjoy and had prayed for a happy ending for, even though I suspected very early on it would not happen. I know now that I need to have tissues ready in advance!

Burning Lies is the third and final novel in this trilogy, spinning off again with a lesser character from this novel and expanding on their story to make them the main character. It’s due out around the middle of this year and I’m pretty thrilled to already have a copy although I’m going to (try and) wait until much closer to the release date. The temptation may be too much though!

Another enjoyable, fast paced read set in our beautiful north.

8/10

Book #53 of 2012

Shattered Sky is also a read for my Australian Women Writers Challenge of 2012! It’s the 14th novel completed for the challenge.


5 responses to “Shattered Sky – Helene Young

  1. VeganYANerds says:

    I’ve never heard of this series or author but I really like the cover and it sounds like you loved it too! I’m not a fan of characters walking into dangerous situations or doing stupid things but it sounds like that doesn’t matter with this book which is great. I’m going to see if my library has the first two books!

  2. Helene Young says:

    Thanks for the lovely review. I’m so glad you enjoyed reading Lauren’s story.

  3. shelleyrae @ Book'd Out says:

    I can’t wait to read Burning Lies 🙂

  4. […] Helene Young, Shattered Sky (Hachette Australia), Bookdout, 1girl2manybooks, […]

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