Rating: 3 stars
The winds of fate are shifting, and it finally seems like they’ve been twisted in our favour.
On the run and cast out from society, we’ve been forced to hide from the mad man who stole our throne. But as more secrets come to light and my sister and I work harder than ever before to reach our potential and claim our birth right, the end is finally drawing closer.
There is no turning from this path now. The curse chases on our heels as time rushes by and the blood drenched destiny of the man I love looms ever closer just like the monster who stole our throne.
We must prepare for the final battle, but three things are clear now. The cards have already been dealt. Blood will spill for a new future to rise. And the stars themselves can’t help us. The fight for the throne is upon us. All hail the heartless sky.
Out of the books in the Zodiac Academy series so far that I’ve read, Heartless Sky is my least favorite. There’s a lot within its pages that is lacking, though I did still enjoy reading it. But before I get into what makes this book in the series my least favorite so far, let me talk about what I did enjoy about this seventh book.
What this book in the series did well for me was showcase more of the relationships between all of the characters. The dynamic between all of the Heirs and the Vega twins couldn’t be any stronger, despite the big secret Darius is keeping from all of them. I especially enjoy seeing the relationships that play out with Darius and Tory and Orion and Darcy even with everything that’s going on in their lives. I also loved seeing Orion and Caleb finally getting along even if the reason for it is something that would be considered cause for concern. Seth and Darcy’s friendship continues to be one of my favorite dynamics in this series because you can tell they’ve gotten past their issues and are really getting along. And of course, seeing how much love the twins have for each other as sisters is something I continue to love to see in this series because they definitely don’t let anything stand in the way of being there for each other. I love seeing their sisterhood in these books and them always having each other’s backs despite the circumstances going on in their lives.
What I also enjoyed about Heartless Sky is continuing to see the magic everyone harnesses in this series. I especially enjoyed seeing the places they went to from the time Darcy and Orion go to the library to when everyone works together to close off the rifts Lavinia uses to gain her power. I especially loved seeing the twins and Heirs working together and seeing all the Heirs using the weapons that were crafted with Phoenix fire. I also enjoyed seeing Darcy and Tory undergoing training from one of their ancestors despite feeling like it didn’t really seem like it fit within the plot of the story. It was nice seeing them both learning about how to fully harness their Phoenix Orders and being able to see what they are really capable of.
Despite all of the character relationships and magic in the story I enjoyed, there is a lot this book in the series left to be desired for me. I did enjoy reading it, but I felt like there was a lot within the story itself that just wasn’t there to me. It felt like there were chapters in the plot itself that were missing because a lot of things were brought up in the story but then there wasn’t anything ever done about those things. There’s also just a lot of the plot that focuses on everyone being in the hideout pretty much up until about the last one hundred pages of the story. Then once we get to that part of the book, things finally start to take a turn and we see something happen with everyone. Basically, I felt like the plot in Heartless Sky moved at a slower pace in comparison to the rest of the books in this series.
And I don’t feel that way just about the plot either. While I enjoyed seeing most of the character relationships in this book, there were some that I didn’t mention because I felt like they either moved at a really slow pace or I didn’t feel like I got enough to see them develop how they did. The relationship that particularly puzzled me in this book the most was seeing the love that developed between Catalina and Hamish. I felt like they were the least likely of characters to end up together, yet they do, and I just feel like we as readers missed a lot of their relationship in order to understand how it came about. Not to say I didn’t like them as a couple, I just didn’t particularly see their relationship happening and feel like it moved way too quickly in Heartless Sky for my liking. There’s also the relationship between Caleb and Seth as well that bothered me. I think they would be a great couple, but my problem with this book with regards to their relationship is that its continuing to move at a really slow pace. I get they’ve had many years of friendship together and that neither one of them seems to want to do anything that could potentially ruin their friendship. But damn it, its pretty obvious how they both truly feel about each other and I’m just ready to see them actually be honest with each other about their feelings. Because they are a couple in this series I definitely didn’t see coming but I’m now rooting for quite a bit.
I also wasn’t fond of how this series continuously tries to place importance with Diego’s character in the overall plot of the story despite his death several books ago. Yes, I understand the importance of him not truly being a Fae and something else entirely and how his character played a role in some of the events that took place in the earlier books in the series. But I feel like he keeps being brought up even though he’s no longer in the story and I find it annoying since his character didn’t do much of anything, even with all of the truths that end up coming to light. I understand he’s the twin’s friend and his death did impact them, but I feel like his character continuously being brought up when he’s no longer around a bit agitating at times. And I feel like there’s definitely a different way the authors could’ve handled the information he had regarding what his family was up to.
While with this series I usually like the fact that the story is told from multiple points of view, I felt like there were some chapters with characters that weren’t necessary. Usually I don’t mind Xavier, but in Heartless Sky, I found a lot of his chapters cringy. Don’t get me wrong, its interesting hearing him talk about his Order and how they operate, but there were some things with his Order in this book that I just quite frankly didn’t want to hear about. While I didn’t mind seeing how things shaped up with regards to his relationship with Sofia and Tyler, I’m still not sure how I feel about that dynamic being their overall relationship because it just feels like it came out of nowhere to me. From the moment Xavier first started talking to Sofia, I knew he was really into her. And I feel like the authors basically took that away and made their relationship something completely different than what I expected to happen. And I don’t feel like there was really anything in the previous books in the series that hinted to me how the dynamic in their herd would change, which is why I find it hard to believe.
Another criticism I have about Heartless Sky and is probably the biggest criticism I have of this book is the ending. Out of the endings of the books in the Zodiac Academy series I’ve read so far, its my least favorite. I feel like there’s just a lot that suddenly happens with it with no explanation when we could’ve gotten an explanation on some of the things earlier in the book. An example that comes to mind for me is the curse that Lavinia places on Darcy. We heard about it in Fated Throne, but then it occasionally gets brought up only whenever Darcy has issues with using her magic and her Phoenix Order. We as readers don’t get the full story of the actual curse that’s been placed upon her until the battle at the end of this book and that bothers me. I understand Darcy truly believed the curse Lavinia placed on her was gone since the mark no longer was showing on her skin. But I felt like she should’ve done more to find out if it was truly gone as I felt like even with the knowledge her and Orion gained at the library, she still didn’t do close to enough to figure out what the curse was. And by the time the book ends, the truth of the curse is finally unraveled but at the cost of so much for her and Orion.
I also didn’t like the ending because I felt like there was just so much bad in it for everyone. I get that this book isn’t the last book in the series and that the fight with Lionel is far from over, but I’m at the point where I’m ready for these characters to finally get a break. I’ve been rooting for everyone ever since I picked up the first book in this series, but I’m getting to the point where I’m starting to feel tired of seeing all of these characters experience heartache, pain, and trauma because of Lionel over and over again. Yes, I’m enjoying reading this series and getting to know all of the characters and seeing their relationships with each other along with seeing the magic and fantasy that’s in their world, but I’m ready for them to at least have things turn around in their favor and stay that way for awhile before things go bad again. I feel like all of these characters have gone through so much in this series that I’m just ready for them to experience happiness and for things to turn out well for them. I appreciate seeing the dark in this series because I know not everything ends in life happily, but I feel like these characters have gone through a lot already and am just at the point where I’m ready for them to take down Lionel and for their lives afterwards, whatever that will look like.
Overall, I enjoyed reading Heartless Sky just like I have enjoyed the rest of the books in this series, even if this one is my least favorite. There’s a lot about the characters and their development and magic that’ve made this book enjoyable for me. It just has a lot with the plot itself that was missing to me that has made this book not as enjoyable as the rest of the books in the series. The ending was also my least favorite because so many bad things happened a lot of which I felt like was missing an explanation and I just feel like the characters deserve a break and a chance to turn things around to defeat Lionel. Nonetheless, I’m looking forward to continue this series by reading the eighth book Sorrow and Starlight, which while it isn’t the last book in the series, it’s the last book of the series currently out as there’s going to be a ninth book that is yet released.