Tuesday, January 25, 2011

ARC Review: The Floating Islands by Rachel Neumeier

Title: The Floating Islands
Author: Rachel Neumeier
Available: 2/8/2011
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy

4 out of 5 Stars

Description from Goodreads:

When Trei loses his family in a tragic disaster, he must search out distant relatives in a new land. The Floating Islands are unlike anything Trei has ever seen: stunning, majestic, and graced with kajurai, men who soar the skies with wings.

Trei is instantly sky-mad, and desperate to be a kajurai himself.  The only one who fully understands his passion is Araene, his newfound cousin.  Prickly, sarcastic, and gifted, Araene has a secret of her own . . . a dream a girl cannot attain.

Trei and Araene quickly become conspirators as they pursue their individual paths.  But neither suspects that their lives will be deeply entwined, and that the fate of the Floating Islands will lie in their hands. . . .

My thoughts:

Trei travels to The Floating Islands to find his mother’s family after his parents and sister are killed. He is immediately captivated by the kajurai who soar in the skies above The Floating Islands. Trei vows to become one. Grief-stricken and submerged in a world so different from where he was raised, he finds an unlikely friend and supporter in his cousin Araene. Araene has her own set of secret aspirations, and seems to feel a sense of relief that her cousin can be trusted. When tragedy strikes, they will have to rely on each other to save the place they call home from disaster.

I was immediately taken with the cover of The Floating Islands and couldn’t wait to read it. The chapters alternate between the point of view of two cousins, Trei and Araene. Both characters are well developed and likable. I did enjoy Araene’s POV much more than Trei’s. She was a perfect combo of sweet and sassy, and I felt her dialogue flowed better. Trei is a good character though, and I commend him for being able to move on after his devastating loss. It initially seemed the two cousins wouldn’t get along, and I was thrilled when the plot revealed that wasn’t the case. 

The world building was also well done. I was thoroughly impressed with the author’s vivid writing style. Everything was described with so much detail. Magic, dragons, and islands that float all add up to one fascinating premise. With a strong female and male lead, this book has the ability to appeal to fantasy fans of both genders. 

The Floating Islands contains some violence, but for the most part is a very clean read. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to my tween. The ending seemed to almost scream sequel, and if that is truly the case I look forward to reading it.

Rachel Neumeier on the web:

Source: Star Book Tours


  1. Thank you for this review! I love the sound of this. I hope I could read this sometime this year.

  2. Ooh, was very curious about this! Thanks for the review. =)

  3. O I'm charmed already. Great review. And the cover is quite fetching :)

  4. Great review! I've had this one sitting on my shelf for a while, I'll have to give it a go!

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