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Toward a Secret Sky

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3.38  ·  Rating details ·  719 ratings  ·  284 reviews
Shortly after 17-year-old Maren Hamilton is orphaned and sent to live with grandparents she’s never met in Scotland, she receives an encrypted journal from her dead mother that makes her and everyone around her a target. It confirms that her parents were employed by a secret, international organization that’s now intent on recruiting her. As Maren works to unravel the clue ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published April 4th 2017 by Blink
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Heather Maclean Yes, there will be 2 sequels! The next one is called "In the Sea of Fear" (also from a Rumi quote), and follows Maren from Scotland to the Abbey at th…moreYes, there will be 2 sequels! The next one is called "In the Sea of Fear" (also from a Rumi quote), and follows Maren from Scotland to the Abbey at the real-life, gravity-defying medieval monastery of Mont Saint Michel, then on to Egypt, and believe it or not, Kazakhstan. The final book takes place in France, Russia, and back to Scotland.(less)
Heather Maclean Hi! I think upper middle schoolers, like 7th and 8th graders, would love it. It's very much written for the younger YA reader. Younger than that might…moreHi! I think upper middle schoolers, like 7th and 8th graders, would love it. It's very much written for the younger YA reader. Younger than that might not understand everything (the main character, who is 17, is at a party where her punch is drugged and gets a shot to reverse it), but there's nothing untoward. No sex, drugs, or cursing. A lot about the blush of first love, a lot of non-gory action, and a mystery with clues to solve around Britain, like a modern-day Percy Jackson. (less)

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Average rating 3.38  · 
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Alyssa
Jun 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-releases
3.5 stars.

***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Toward a Secret Sky by Heather Maclean
Publisher: Blink/HarperCollins
Publication Date: April 4, 2017
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

Shortly after 17-year-old Maren Hamilton is orphaned and sent to live with grandparents she’s never met in Scotland, she receives an encrypted journal from her dead mother that makes her and everyone around her a target. It confirms that her parents were employed by a se
...more
Erin
Apr 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley, kobo
Two the only thing I loved about this book was the stunning cover stars

I see the glorious 4 and 5 star ratings and I wish that I could jump on that train, but I 'm afraid I am at a different station. Teenage protagonist, Maren is sent to live with her paternal grandparents in the Scottish highlands after the death of her mother. It isn't too long after her arrival Maren notices strange happenings and learns of the war between demons and angels that is taking place on earth. A war that her par
...more
Aditi
“If I got rid of my demons, I’d lose my angels.”

----Tennessee Williams


Heather Maclean, the New York Times bestselling author, has penned a compelling YA fantasy book called, Toward a Secret Sky that centers around a teenage girl, who just lost her mother in an accident, turning her into an orphan girl, as a result she travels to the Scottish Highlands to her paternal grandparents' house, where she meets a strange yet very attractive young man, who unravels the mystery behind her deceased pare
...more
Nicki Chapelway
Jan 19, 2018 added it
Shelves: dnf
DNF about halfway through.

At first this book sounded awesome. Scottish setting? Yeah! Charming aristocrats? Check. Otherworldly mercenaries? Oh my goodness, sign me on!

It was only when I got this book that I realized that this book was about angels and demons. I'm not too keen on that kind of story but since the author was a Christian I decided to keep reading.

Huge mistake.

All right, I'm going to be brief so I don't have to relive all of the horrid details. But there are some things that I just
...more
Zyra
Apr 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
i really didn't expect to like this book so much. it was such pleasant surprise. it does reflect twilight, though the puzzles & world building was a different concept compared to it. yes the romance reminded me too much of twilight especially in the end. but this was such an engrossing read. it seems that this is suppose to be a series & i can't wait to find out what happens next! ...more
Jeena
Characters: Gaven the heroic angel and Maren the damsel (always) in distress.

Maren and Gavin meet:

Maren: He's die-hard beautiful (knees buckle under Gavin's load of beauty. Literally)
Gavin: I'm too important and busy. I don't have time to date you, love.
Maren: 💔
Gavin: (receices a call and gets a duty to protect Maren) Crap! Now I'm stuck with you as your Gaurdian.
Maren: (already in love with him)
Gavin: Come on, I'll show you a place I've never shown anyone before.
Maren: Take me anywhere, I'll
...more
Rebekah
Mar 11, 2017 rated it liked it
This took me WAAAAY long to finish this book than I anticipated. boo. There is a lot in this books favor such as the mystery, the setting, the idea of the plot, it was all there…the execution though… not what I was hoping for.

After Maren’s mother dies she is sent to live with her only living relatives. Her deceased father’s parents, in Scotland. I LOOOVED how descriptive the author was about Scotland, it seems the author was well versed in the landscape and people there. The descriptions were we
...more
Carrie
May 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
After the death of her mother seventeen year old Maren Hamilton finds herself being sent to Scotland to live with grandparents that she has never met before. Maren's father had died on the day she was born and his parents didn't keep in touch with her mother over the years but now she finds herself stepping into their world with no one else for her to turn to.

Shortly after arriving in Scotland Maren receives some of her mother's things including a cryptic journal that has Maren questioning just
...more
Rebecca (whenallotherlightsgoout)
I received this book from Blink via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review

DNF 32%

I really liked the idea behind this story, but the book didn't live up to it. The mystery and the puzzles are intriguing, but take a backseat to the insta-love appearance-based romance. Even for an insta-love story, the relationship happened far too quickly and I felt that the dialogue between these two characters was forced and awkward. I really can't stand whole paragraphs dedicated to gawking over a guy's mus
...more
Christine Spoors
The author sent me a copy of this book, so I feel bad for disliking, but I just wish American authors would do more research and have a few Scots read their books before they are published.

Though I gave it two stars the book did have an interesting plot, although I wished it had focused more on one large story rather than jumping around. There were some lovely atmospheric moments throughout the book which I really enjoyed, and I did appreciate the Scottish setting. Perhaps someone from outside o
...more
Miranda
May 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Toward a Secret Sky was a book that sounded extremely promising to me. I was so excited to dive into a paranormal book with mystery, action, spies, and romance. Unfortunately, I felt like this book did not deliver on all those aspects.

My favorite thing about this book was the setting. I love Scotland, and I was so excited to read a book set in Scotland. The author did a fantastic job at describing Scotland. I felt like I was transported there! I really appreciated how much work the author put i
...more
Peri June
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-challenge
This book was so much fun!
I loved that it was set in Scotland, so mystical and fascinating, which fit the atmosphere of the story perfectly. I loved all the little puzzles that Maren had to solve throughout.
This had all the markers of a great paranormal romance: Freaky accidents, gnarly demons, and forbidden love.
Can't wait for the sequel.
...more
Sheila Goicea
Release date 04/04/2017.

I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

We are at war. Anyone who tells you differently is lying.

We follow the story of Maren, a seventeen-year-old girl, whom recently lost her mother to a mysterious death. Having no immediate family left, she moves to Scotland, and lives with her estranged grandparents. From the beginning, we know that something otherworldly is at work. Strange dreams of premonitions assault Maren, and
...more
Kate (beautifulbookland)
Apr 27, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: net-galley, 1-star
Ah, this book was painful. Painful, I tell you. I should have known when I couldn't pronounce the main character's name (Maren as is Karen? Maren as in Mare-an? Who knows, who knows) that my relationship with this book just wasn't meant to be.

My two main problems with this book was Maren (that girl did my fucking head in, I tell ya) and the serious case on insta-love. Insta-love as in, Maren's knees buckled because of Gavin's beauty. Yes, she actually FELL TO THE GROUND when she meets this rand
...more
Claire
Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, arc-s
A bit like the DaVinci Code meets some kind of teenage romance novel. I would definitely recommend to anyone who liked Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging, or even fans of the Princess Diaries. Having grown up in Scotland, I spent quite a bit of time in Aviemore, and so it was interesting to read another perspective about a part of my home that I love so much, but that's just a bit of a personal scruple when the book is fantastic overall, and I have absolutely no reason to be picky! Ignore m ...more
Ashley Gillan
Apr 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lots of comparisons have been made about this book - "Da Vinci Code," "Twilight," etc. But I don't think that's fair to "Toward A Secret Sky." Because this book is a charming, scary, romantic, tale all in one.

Readers looking for a nice YA beach/rainy day read with a bit of a twist, look no further.

Maren's mother has just died (her father long passed) and now she's been sent to Scotland to live with her grandparents. As she settles in to life in the Highlands, she discovers that her parents or an
...more
Lacey Miller
Oct 11, 2016 rated it liked it
~This book is set to release April 4th 2017~
I received this arc via netgalley and the publisher for an honest review


Lets get going!

Official rating is 3.5

Toward a Secret Sky is about Maren who is sent to live with her grandparents in Scotland after the death of her mother. She is given a journal that was her mother's full of words and drawings she doesn't understand, and it's her journey to deciphering it and this world she had no idea her parents were a part of.

This story is described as twiligh
...more
Michelle
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net**
Toward a Secret Sky is a young adult supernatural romance by Heather Maclean. It has been a long while since I have read fantasy in the supernatural genre. I tend to lean more towards the paranormal side of things and the magic fantasy side of things, but I really really enjoyed Toward a Secret Sky by Heather Maclean. It made me want to find some other supernatural romances to pick up, in fact.

Toward a Secret Sky is
...more
Emily Sarah
Oct 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received a free ARC copy from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book. Though there were things I loved and things I didn't like, this is probably one of my favorite reads of 2016.

Maren Hamilton's father died the day she was born. Roughly 17 years later, her mother died in an accident and Maren has just moved to the middle-of-nowhere, Scotland to live with her father's parents- grandparents she's never met. Insert a quirky new nest friend, a ridiculously hot,
...more
Shaila
Oct 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Toward a Secret Sky was an exciting cross between DaVinci Code and Twilight...religious symbolism and secret codes with forbidden love between a human and an immortal. This was the type of thrilling story I always dreamed of reading when I was younger (way before paranormal romance became popular!). Poor Maren has some tough problems and losses thrown her way, and you can't help but feel sympathetic to her plight. Gavin, her flirtatious and gorgeous Guardian Angel, is torn between love and duty, ...more
Susan
Oct 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
I didn't want to like this book but I did. I felt like I wanted more character development; did I really care about Maren's mother, Jo, her grandparents...I don't know. But I could not stop reading until the end. I believe that it said this book would appeal to Dan Brown fans and Twilight fans. I have read both. I do not see the Dan Brown connection - there was not enough depth there. But it (for me) definitely had the feel of Twilight. And I could not stop reading till I there were no more word ...more
Emily
Seventeen-year-old Maren Hamilton's world comes crashing down when her mother tragically dies. She is sent to Scotland to live with her deceased father's parents, who she never met. A mysterious box from her mother contains clues about the secret society she worked for, and their mysteries might prove deadly. With the help of a mysterious, handsome warrior and some awesome new friends, Maren must uncover the clues before the worst happens and another person dies.

This book was all over the place!
...more
Shelley
2.75 Stars

OK so this is nothing like what I excepted and the book description doesn't even come close to summarizing it accurately.
Pros- The plot was interesting. Maren's parent died while working for a secret agency called the Abbey. Maren found her mom's journal and tries to unlock some of mysteries within. She has to decide if becoming an agent for the Abbey is for her.
Cons- If the author had written this as a fantasy/mystery, then it was ultimately a fail. This is a romance. A very pathetic
...more
Lisa Mandina
Apr 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5? Full review to come on Lisa Loves Literature soon.
Krysta Bunch
Sep 06, 2019 rated it liked it
The general story line was interesting, but the main problem I have with it is I can't read one page without this chick gushing about how gorgeous Gavin is. She claims that she isn't one of those shallow girls who only thinks about guys, but she is the EPITOME of the shallow girl. There was so many interesting things going on, her parents were murdered superspies for Pete's sake, and all she can think about is this dude. Let me say that I am Maren's age, and I do not think that way. Another prob ...more
Hetal
4.5 stars
ARC in exchange for an honest review

3/23/17: Marren has had it rough. Her father died before she was born and her mother just died from a "freak" accident. Shipped off to Scotland to live with her father's parents, she's ripped away from everything she's known and found familiar. She's pretty upset about it until she runs into a gorgeous stranger in the woods by the name of Gavin. Things only get better when she makes an upbeat loyal friend who helps her navigate the perils of high scho
...more
MsArdychan
Jun 17, 2017 rated it did not like it
Please Note: I received an advance reader's copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence the opinions of my review in any way.

I am always thrilled to receive advanced readers copies of books, hoping I get to be one of the lucky few who steer others towards their next great read. Unfortunately, once in a while, I have the unlucky task of writing a poor review. I know how hard the author must have worked to get a book published, so this is not something
...more
Minx
Toward a Secret Sky was a like-dislike book for me. What originally excited me about this book was that the main character, Maren Hamilton, was ignorant to the fact that her parents were spies until she was sent her mother’s encrypted journal. Then throw in labyrinths, booby-trapped crypts and romance and I was desperately looking forward to this book! It just did not pan out the way I wanted it to.

Let’s start with the “like” part of this book. I liked the story being set in Scotland and I enjoy
...more
Renee Adams
I got this from NetGalley and I think, unlike many of the other reviewers, I was in the target audience. I don't understand why people who the book is obviously not written for leave it a 1-star review. I don't like adult crime books and I would never go leave a 1-star review for one based on me not liking the genre.That puts off people who might read it that are crime lovers for no reason. Poor form, if you ask me.

I LOVED this book and I'll tell you why. It was fast-paced, well-written, excitin
...more
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Heather Maclean is a Princeton graduate and The New York Times bestselling author and editor of 15 books.

Named one of the '16 Best Entrepreneurs in America' by Sir Richard Branson, she accompanied the adventurous business legend on a 50,000-mile trip around the world, alternately helping improve the lives of others (designing sustainable development initiatives in South Africa) and fearing for he
...more

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