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The Pearl Wars (Skyship Academy #1)

3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,550 Ratings  ·  208 Reviews
A devastated Earth's last hope is found in Pearls: small, mysterious orbs that fall from space and are capable of supplying enough energy to power entire cities. Battling to control the Pearls are the Skyship dwellers--political dissidents who live in massive ships in the Earth's stratosphere--and the corrupt Surface government.

Jesse Fisher, a Skyship slacker, and Cassius
Paperback, 376 pages
Published September 8th 2011 by Flux (first published September 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nick James
Aug 13, 2011 Nick James rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I would hope that I'd like it! :)
Sep 08, 2011 TheBookSmugglers rated it really liked it
Originally Reviewed on The Book Smugglers:


First Impressions:

Ana: I’ve been excited about reading Skyship Academy ever since I first heard about it in the build-up to BEA last May when Thea put it on my radar because it sounded soooo good. But Holy SciFi YA Batman! I was not prepared for how much fun I would have reading it or for how cool and well developed the SciFi elements would be. Add to that a couple of great protagonists, and a HOLY CRAP A WT
Tabitha (Pabkins)
Jul 06, 2013 Tabitha (Pabkins) rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Lovers of Sci Fi YA
The story takes place in post-apocalyptic America (and in the skies above it). The view points toggle back and forth between the two male teenagers Jesse and Cassius. Jesse is a Skyshipper who grew up in the skies and Cassius is a government goon who was raised in one of the “Chosen Cities” that are spread across what’s left of Northern America. Outside these Chosen Cities people still live and try to survive – though it is a blasted wasteland – these people are called Fringers.

One of the best o
2.5 stars. I have to admit that I didn't enjoy this much although I liked the setting and the idea. Partly to blame is my inability to like any member of the cast. The last third of the book was only a frantic rush from page to page in an effort to get it over. I felt like I was too far in to let it go and mark it as unfinished. But it was more like taking care of a chore than having a good time with a great story. Uhhg. I am so spent that even my review sounds like spontaneous combustion. Sorry ...more
Ravenous Biblioworm
Jan 23, 2014 Ravenous Biblioworm rated it really liked it
I obviously didn’t know what I was going into when I picked up this book. The plot was very interesting and fun. The pearls … were a pleasant surprise. Skyship is packed with science fiction and dystopia so for those of you who enjoy either genre or both, you should read this book. Skyship‘s world has gone arid and hot. Cities are kept alive under domes powered by pearls that fall from the sky from space. Two factions are almost point and center here, fighting over these pearls. Jesse is a throw ...more
3.5 stars.

This will be brief....

Characters weren't the best but I didn't want to kill them and these days, that's a feat in itself. I loved Cassius more than anyone else. He was my broken, kinda-on-the-wrong-side, bad ass boy.

I'm sorry you had to see that....But I need more of him and more backstory and more development and MOAR!!!!! The potential for this boy...

Jesse was okay, I guess. *shrug* The whole Jesse/Avery thing actually kinda made me edgy. I mean, he's 15 and she's 18? 3 years and gi
Anne Hamilton
Jun 01, 2015 Anne Hamilton rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, spec-fic
Some spoilers follow:

I almost certainly would have rated this higher had I not made the mistake of reading Skyship Academy: Crimson Rising first, not realising it was the second in a series. Thus, the twists and surprises that I would have encountered on a cold first-read just weren't there. I already knew so much of what was going to happen from the second book.

The year is 2095.

The world is a mess. Society is divided. The privileged live in the Chosen Cities where atmosphere, temperature and li
Mar 18, 2014 Veronica rated it really liked it
The Pearl Wars was an amazing book that was filled with action and some romance with a hint of comedy. There were some pieces of the book I felt were dull or slow but the book in a whole made up for it. Even though there were the dull parts, I still found the book entertaining and it kept me on the edge of my seat. I loved how there is a little bit of everything for everyone in the book. A little bit of romance, a lot of action, and a little bit of comedy. The crazy thing about the book is the ...more
Majd Abdulghani
May 02, 2012 Majd Abdulghani rated it it was ok
I think the mistake was reading this after two Michael Grant books. I was constantly comparing them. Very bad idea when you're actually trying to like a book.
Kat Heckenbach
Nov 17, 2015 Kat Heckenbach rated it really liked it
3.7 stars.

This book started off great for me. For quite a while I would have given it five stars. The voice is strong, the main character is likable and easy to relate to. Some of the secondary characters are interesting, although many of them weren't as fleshed-out as they could have been. I thought the concept was original and the story world well thought-out.

It began to slip for me during the last 1/4 of the book. A little too much info-dumping at the end, with Madame explaining her plan and
Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books)
Sep 06, 2011 Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, sci-fi, arc, favorites
What do you get when you mix a little sci-fi with a smidge dystopian, and top it all off with some incredible world-building? You get Skyship Academy: The Pearl Wars, that’s what. And it is one phenomenally written and executed book, with plenty of action and a plot that only thickens.

Nick James has created this vast world that is still our Earth, but so different. The three different factions – Skyship, the Unified Party, and the Fringers – have these politics that govern them and it’s complica
First Look: I'm not sure what exactly drew me to this book. The goggles and the word "skyship" screamed steampunk, though this book isn't even steampunk.(Up close, the goggles look fakey anyway.) Still, I decided to give it a shot.

I don't understand whythe Unified Party and the Skyshippeople are at odds with each other. It seems that all dystopian novels have to have two battling factions. Pro tip: it is possible to write a dystopian novel without this aspect. Patrick Ness uses this won
Aug 17, 2011 Erica rated it it was amazing
I feel I should probably warn you in advance that this is a super long review with lots and lots of love!

Skyship Academy: The Pearl Wars was a book I had heard about briefly before BEA. I picked up a copy, thinking it looked pretty cool. Then I found out James Dashner had blurbed it, so that definitely put it on my radar. What I happened to find was one of those super rare gems of a book that are absolutely brilliant. Oh my golly, this book is absolutely, freaking fantabulous and I loved it so
Oct 25, 2011 Stephen rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
While Skyship Academy: The Pearl Wars doesn't always fire on all cylinders, "mass" kudos are due Nick James for delivering the goods in this exciting debut novel.

Skyship starts off strong and gives you good reason to keep reading. The story is interesting enough and I liked having the dual protagonists in Jesse and Cassius. Nick James fleshes them out pretty well — I made more of a connection with Jesse than I did Cassius — but I would have liked to learn more about both of them. The ancillary y
2.5 maybe.

Earth is mostly ruined; the few cities left standing on the surface and the skyships in the air depend on mysterious and powerful pearls that fall from the sky. Two boys, Jesse and Cassius, on opposing sides of the political divide, clash over the pearls and eventually find out more is going on than they realize... and that they have a special connection to the pearls.

While I liked the idea for this book, it didn't really work so well for me. The story is told in simple language and di
Jun 11, 2012 Jan rated it liked it
In the year 2095, the Earth is a parched, blazing hot planet. In order to survive, people are gathered in a few Chosen Cities, surrounded by Bio-Nets to protect and cool them. Power for the cities comes from Pearls -- warm globes of light that fall from space occasionally. Without them, the cities would die, so the search for Pearls is ongoing. Because the Surface Cities are so desperately crowded, political dissidents have established homes in the Skyships -- massive ships in the Earth's strato ...more
Anja Manning
Jul 31, 2012 Anja Manning rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-dystopias, 2012
DO NOT READ THE BACK OF THE BOOK before reading the book! IT IS ONE HUGE SPOILER. I just read it after finishing the book and am very glad I didn't, since it allowed the story to unfold naturally, without anything being given away. That being said, READ THE BOOK! IT'S AMAZING!

I got this book from the library because I won its sequel in the First Reads Giveaway, and have made the experience that it's usually a good idea to read number 1 first.
This book is amazing. The plot is very well developed,
Jul 16, 2012 Tam rated it liked it
Shelves: evan
I tried to read this on Evan's urging, but couldn't stand the goofy, high-bravado, flat, hipster dialog. Barf. (Later, I was scolded by a knowledgable and trustworthy YA bookseller, who explained that it was *supposed* to be campy -- duh, mom!) Anyway, Evan *loved loved loved* this book. Chewed it right up. Get the impression that it is action-packed, creative, and highly entertaining. He eagerly awaits the sequel, coming out in September. He would give it five stars, I'd give it two. I'm compro ...more
May 16, 2016 Angel rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: 11-13 year olds
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 16, 2016 Jake rated it it was amazing
This book was absolutely fantastic as a sigh-fi novel. Before, I was reading another series called "the gate keepers" which I highly recommend if you are into the futuristic, magic kind of reading. Both books were similar in many ways except this book was a crazy future instead of dark magic and modern times. I am currently on the second book of this series and am loving it so far and can not wait to see what will happen next. The book starts of with our main character, Jesse Fisher being called ...more
Maya Dartu
Sep 28, 2015 Maya Dartu rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 18, 2014 Panda rated it liked it
It's Skyship vs The Unified Party, two powerful governments fighting for the control over an essential part of life. Pearls, glowing orbs of light and power. Pearls control the new world. We follow a young teenage protagonist named Jesse, a 'Shipper, sometimes switching to Cassius; part of the Unified Party, narrative. The transitions are handled well between the two and bring two separate paths to a similar resting place. Jesse has always been an orphan, having recollections sometimes of times ...more
Cristian Macapagal
Oct 31, 2014 Cristian Macapagal rated it it was amazing
The Pearl Wars( Sky Ship Academy) by Nick James takes place in 2095 where the cities are relying on "Pearls" that powers the cities. These pearls falls from the skies occasionally. Without them the cities would die so the search for Pearls is on.
The story switches from the two protagonist, Cassius and Jesse. When they first encounter eachother, something trigger from them and they started getting unusual abilities. Also they started getting side effects. For example Cassius started getting head
Mar 13, 2016 Natalie rated it liked it
Shelves: teen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 23, 2015 Jessie rated it liked it
Fun YA book, it is the first of a series. I liked it enough that I will probably read more of the series. It is clean and full of action and young readers will like it. It's not 'great' literature, but it's got a good main character and a pretty good villain. There are lots of subplots and twists. I was pleasantly surprised. A fun read. **stop here for spoilers*** Jesse has powers and no one knows where he got them. He didn't know-- He was found as an orphan in the middle of a city that was tota ...more
Jan 30, 2015 Ladiibbug rated it liked it
#1 Skyship Academy - YA Sci Fi

3.5 stars

Nick James' world ROCKS. He grabbed my attention from the first page. Very impressive for a first novel - a unique and thoroughly engrossing world, the conflict between the Surface, Skyship and Fringer dwellers was intriguing. The events that led to the Earth being basically uninhabitable without the Bio-Net was well described - he convinced me right away.

Again, very impressive debut novel. Nick James appears to have a bright future as an author.

The charact
Julian Jun
Nov 20, 2014 Julian Jun rated it it was ok
This story is mainly about two separate political entities. One of them is called The Skyshippers and the other one is called the United Party. The Skyshippers are people who live in a ship that travels in air acting like a carrier ship. The United Party are just normal human beings that lives on the earth’s surface that are controlled by the US government. Both of them fights for the most important and at the same time, a very rare resource, the pearl. The pearl in the story provides electrici ...more
Nadine Brandes
Jan 23, 2014 Nadine Brandes rated it really liked it
Guilty confession: I totally bought it for the cover.

That being said, I loved it. I love discovering new worlds and the idea of gigantic gorgeous energy-pulsing marbles falling from the sky. This book had me from the start -- the first line actually made it onto my "favorite first lines list" (yes, I'm a bit nerdy and actually have one of these.)

Characters: Both main characters -- Jesse and Cassius -- provided unique perspectives on the same war. Jesse's point-of-view (POV) was told in first pe
Aug 15, 2014 Hollowspine rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya
The twists in this teen sci-fi/dystopian thriller, were a little expected and not hardly thrilling. The world building didn't make sense and the plot had much in common with a strainer.

The book is written between two characters, Jesse Fisher and Cassius Stevenson. Jesse lives aboard Skyship Academy, a school for turning children into soldiers. Cassius lives at the Lodge...another school for turning children into soldiers, eviler...? Both of them are orphans, but where Jesse is a compl
Dec 25, 2015 Ashley added it
It's a must read for those who are looking for something unlike anything else out there. A unique take on science fiction. Dystopian type themed. Looking for something to lose their mind and world in. Transport them to another place! With lots of twists and unforseen turns! No predictability to where this book is headed which makes it so worth it!

I found this book to have a very unique take on science fiction. It's unlike anything I have read. I like the fact it takes place in a futuristic dysto
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Class of 2015: The Pearl Wars 3 9 Oct 17, 2014 07:09AM  
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I grew up in the small island town of Anacortes, Washington, where an active imagination was often a prerequisite for a good time. No shopping malls, no movie theater, etc, etc. My first brush with publishing was in third grade, where we were encouraged to not only write stories, but to publish, bind and present them. I think the teacher got more than she bargained for because I was soon amassing ...more
More about Nick James...

Other Books in the Series

Skyship Academy (3 books)
  • Crimson Rising (Skyship Academy #2)
  • Strikeforce (Skyship Academy, #3)

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