cover image The Other Side of the Sky

The Other Side of the Sky

Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. HarperTeen, $19.99 (480p) ISBN 978-0-06-289333-8

Coauthors Kaufman and Spooner (the Unearthed duology) reunite for this propulsive, tender-hearted duology opener, which juxtaposes the fallibility of religion with the power of faith. Centuries ago, Prince North’s ancestors launched archipelago Alciel into the sky, where enigmatic engines keep it aloft. Alciel’s denizens assume the Below is now deserted, so North is shocked when Nimh rescues him after his glider crashes on the surface. Nimh’s people believe their gods retreated to the heavens last millennium, leaving behind a deity incarnate to protect them; when one living god dies, divinity settles on another. Shortly after Nimh—the current holy vessel—discovers a prophecy about a falling star–accompanied entity who can help remake her dying world, she witnesses North’s flaming descent. Nimh thinks North’s arrival is destiny, but North rejects the notion; he simply hopes that Nimh’s temple archives contain information that can help him return home. The teens’ wary alliance leads to romance, despite Nimh’s being forbidden from human contact. Turbid worldbuilding abounds, but evocative prose, escalating intrigue, and charismatic, predominantly olive- and brown-skinned characters with diverse sexual orientations and gender identities keep the pages turning. Ages 13–up. Agent: Josh Adams, Adams Literary. (Sept.)