Title: The Cerulean
Author: Amy Ewing
Series Status: 1st book in Untitled Duology
# of pages: 496
Release Date: January 29th, 2019
My rating: 2/5 stars
Sera has always felt as if she didn’t belong among her people, the Cerulean. She is curious about everything and can’t stop questioning her three mothers, her best friend, Leela, and even the High Priestess. Sera has longed for the day when the tether that connects her City Above the Sky to the earthly world below finally severs and sends the Cerulean to a new planet.
But when Sera is chosen as the sacrifice to break the tether, she doesn’t know what to feel. To save her City, Sera must throw herself from its edge and end her own life. But something goes wrong and she survives the fall, landing in a place called Kaolin. She has heard tales about the humans there, and soon learns that the dangers her mothers warned her of are real. If Sera has any hope to return to her City, she’ll have to find the magic within herself to survive.
* I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review *
My friend and I were lucky enough to both receive ARCs and decided to buddy read. Honestly, I’m glad we ended up having similar thoughts on this because otherwise that would have been awkward but if you want to check out her opinions on The Cerulean, check over on her blog (lady and star ) to see her thoughts.
I’ll start with my main problem with The Cerluean, which was the writing style. I realized later that I have read another Ewing book (The Jewel) and I think my opinions are pretty similar. There is just something about Ewing’s writing style that comes across as childish/childlike. In this particular story, all the characters are around the age of eighteen but their POVs give an insight into how they think and it felt so childish. I cannot really think of how to explain it other than that but all of her writing makes them feel much younger than eighteen.
Characters are another serious problem that I had with The Cerulean. There are four main characters, Sera, Leela, Agnes, and Leo, and they each are given their own POVs throughout the story. Honestly, there are way too many switches in POV since 90% of the book has three of the characters together. It also did not help that our “main character” Sera has little character development in her long sections. She and Leo were flat characters that did not really need to have their POVs. I believe that Sera was supposed to be our main character but it felt as though she was more of a plot device to connect the City Above to Kaolin and Pelago. Leo is also just there for convenience and I felt that his character really had no purpose.
Another thing that made absolutely no sense to me was the breaking up of this story. It is already an incredibly slow story due to the long sections from each character but the addition of Part/section breaks made it even worse. The story is broken up into parts in the same most stories are (usually Act breaks) but is instead broken up by location. This style of section break makes no sense to me since it constantly breaks up the story and causes backtracking that wasn’t necessary.
One thing I have to mention although it may be a spoiler to some is the sexuality of the main character. In the City Above, where Sera is from, everyone is a woman and they are all in polyamorous relationships. This was an interesting idea but then for some unknown reason, Ewing decided to make Sera straight. Ummm what? There is the fact that men do not exist in her world and it has already been stated that she is not from this planet and is essentially an alien so she’s a different species from the humans on the planet. I won’t even dive into how she “discovers she’s straight” because that was cringey in itself.
Overall this story was really not for me and the writing style and characters were most of the problem for me.
P.S. Spoiler Alert: This is just personal issue for me but I have to comment on the number of times that Sera shouted out “I’m a Cerluean and my blood is magic” for everything even when it had nothing to do with the story.