Skyward Inn: Review

This book is the lovechild of The Ocean at the End of the Lane and The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet. It head-fucked me.

To tell you about the book, Skyward Inn is a standalone novel written by Arthur C Clarke nominated author, Aliyah Whiteley.

  • Release date: March 18 (UK) and March 16 (US)
  • Published by: Solaris
  • Pages: 336
  • Genre: Sci-Fi/Speculative Fiction


Skyward Inn, within the high walls of the Western Protectorate, is a place of safety, where people come together to tell stories of the time before the war with Qita. But safety from what?

Qita surrendered without complaint when Earth invaded; Innkeepers Jem and Isley, veterans from either side, have regrets but few scars. Their peace is disturbed when a visitor known to Isley comes to the Inn asking for help, bringing reminders of an unnerving past and triggering an uncertain future.

Did humanity really win the war?

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Skyward Inn, published by Solaris

So this book.. This is the kind of book that I wouldn’t personally pick up but it does not mean it is not a good book. I really didn’t know what to expect from this when I received this from Hanna at Rebellion as an ARC. I think maybe a science fiction action novella type deal maybe? I don’t know.

“I give if you take. I am yours and you are mine.”

The book starts with your two main characters, Isley and Jem. They manage the Skyward Inn which essentially is a pub in Devon, UK. Things have changed over the years and there was a war between humans and the Qitans. Everything seems to be going well until a visitor from another planet arrives and thus begins the trouble.

I want to first say that Aliya has a very unique way of writing and it should come as no surprise that she has published poetry when you read her fictional stories. Aliya uses words as a way of carrying you along her path smoothly rather than providing steps to follow the story. You find yourself carried away with the song that plays off the pages and into your mind with her descriptions and quick snaps of situation change.

This is a place we can be alone, together.

It can be a lot to get your head around if you don’t normally read poetry and/or sci-fi books that aren’t as direct as something like Stormblood for example. I am glad I did finish the book however as the story told is a scary one that isn’t a horror story but more like… The Day After Tomorrow movie. It’s scary to think about what happens in this story coming true but it doesn’t carry any horror vibes.

There are some character arcs but instead of completing, they end up exploding into an euphoric firework that glides off the pages like a silent rocket into your mind, which one you’ve read this book will see how apt it is that they don’t complete their arcs.

“Drink down the brew and dream of a better Earth”

If you like The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, you will love this book. If you also like Space Opera then you will most likely enjoy this book. I don’t expect everyone will gel with this immediately however I am personally glad I read this because it is a piece of art and as Jerzy Kosinski once said: “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”

This book does just that.

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