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The Sky Is Yours

3.3  ·  Rating details ·  620 Ratings  ·  200 Reviews
A sprawling, genre-defying epic set in a dystopian metropolis plagued by dragons, this debut about what it’s like to be young in a very old world is pure storytelling pleasure

In the burned-out, futuristic city of Empire Island, three young people navigate a crumbling metropolis constantly under threat from a pair of dragons that circle the skies. When violence strikes, rea
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published January 23rd 2018 by Hogarth
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Popular Answered Questions
Ethan Short answer: Yes, but.
Long answer: Early on there's a love triangle around an arranged marriage and some (purposefully) weird sex stuff. Then, later…more
Short answer: Yes, but.
Long answer: Early on there's a love triangle around an arranged marriage and some (purposefully) weird sex stuff. Then, later in the book, there's a more traditional steamy dark romance (no spoilers). Just keep in mind it shares space with satire, thematic development, violence, drug use, and play with language and tone. (less)
Lesley It's not meant for High School students, even though the age of the main characters are in their late teens. I think it will really depend on the…moreIt's not meant for High School students, even though the age of the main characters are in their late teens. I think it will really depend on the maturity level of the teen. It's no worse than what you see in most main stream movies, but there is a lot of sex and drugs and swearing.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
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Stormi (Bewitched Reader)
Feb 26, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ya-fantasy
These reviews are my least favorite to write. And I've had two of them in one week. The Sky is Yours is a very creative and well written book. This is actually the entire reason I gave this book one star. I really tried to like this book, but I just couldn't. I didn't like any of the characters and I didn't really get the point of the story. I kept pushing through hoping that something would change and everything would click and I would end up changing my mind about this book, but that never hap ...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

It’s rare that I find myself at a loss for words about a book, and while I’m sure I can come up with any number of adjectives to describe Chandler Klang Smith’s The Sky Is Yours, I doubt even that would be sufficient to give the full picture of the novel. This is just one of those once-in-a-lifetime books with a story that is much bigger than the sum of its parts, and can’t be easily summarized or placed neatly into any
Jun 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Often laugh out loud funny novel with manic prose and devilish plotting - echoes of David Foster Wallace. Couldn't get into the characters at all, but I managed to get through most of it rather merrily before realizing I didn't care about anything that was happening.
May write a longer review, if I ever feel like it.
The Sky is Yours is an outrageously colourful fantasy that might take place in the far future, or it might be set on another planet or in an alternate universe. Empire Island has reality TV, video streaming (the 'Toob') and phone-like devices (the 'LookyGlass') alongside flying machines, a network of underground canals and a purpose-built prison district. For the upper classes, arranged marriages, designed to consolidate the fortunes of two prominent families, are typical. Thus Ripple – aka Dunc ...more
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
It is really hard to describe this book, and too much description would probably spoil it anyway. Just know that it is decidedly weird with extremely imaginative world building. I had a difficult time getting into the story due to strange speech patterns and invented words that initially put me off. I'm glad that I persisted however because I wound up liking the book, more for its world and the characters rather than for the plot, which wasn't all that compelling and petered out at the end.

In th
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it

"From below, the dragon does not resemble a living thing. It is an oppression, a ceiling on the world."

This book is really hard to describe but here goes: Jane Austen meets Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH in an early post apocalypse setting with dragons.

This was one of one.

Duncan Humphrey Ripple V, The Dunk Reality star of Late Capitalism’s Royalty is the scion, and embarrassment, of the last great family of Empire Island. He’s a douchy harmless pretty boy trying to figure things out.

Jan 29, 2018 rated it did not like it
It was really impressive how quickly I hated this book. Absolutely could not stand it.

This review is in exchange for a free copy received from
Eric Taxier
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Obviously I'm biased, but regardless: this book is an IQ test for your soul.
Jonathan Hawpe
Sep 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wow! This is a very bold, fresh, hilarious, sad and smart combination of literary satire and apocalyptic Scifi. It manages to combine elements of a futuristic Austenesque marriage plot with a Vonnegut/Saunders style blackly humorous take on virtual reality TV celebrity culture, and a strange decaying city a la Philip K. Dick novelizing Escape From New York. And Dragons! Should be great for fans of Jonathan Lethem's Chronic City, Kirsten Bakis' Lives of the Monster Dogs, Nick Harkaway's Gone-away ...more
Mar 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
A completely unreasonable fantasy novel ft. a cacophonous alt-Manhattan island and a pair of perplexing hyper-objects in the form of DRAGONS complete with oligarchical mansions the size of city blocks, a (quite literally) incendiary penal colony bent on lawlessness and potent hallucinogens, a hopelessly sheltered romantic and misinformed baroness with a credible intellect but an unpleasant mutation, a reality-TV-addled man-child heir with contempt for restraint and responsibility, and a feral-ch ...more
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: least-favorites
The Sky is Yours is a deeply, deeply flawed book. It has all this potential and a promising start but it falls flat. This was one of my most anticipated reads for 2018. I thought I was going to love it, and in the beginning I was loving it but then it just failed me so much. I wish I hadn't enjoyed it so much in the beginning so I could have stopped reading it. But by the time it got bad I'd invested so much time in it that I carried on to see if it would get better. It didn't.

Chandler Klang Smi
hannah ♡ peanutbutter&books (on hiatus)
"Beneath our city lies another city, carved into the earth, a city of hollowness, a city of emptiness, a city of negative space. Its skyline will never be revealed, not until that time in the future when our society's final resting place is excavated and disturbed by a more advanced species."

Truthfully? I avoid DNF-ing books with every fiber of being, but let me tell you, I was very, very, very tempted to DNF this. I feel cheated by that pretty cover.

(This is the part where I usually give a br
Karen Heuler
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
People move through Chandler Klang Smith’s new novel like they’re being swept down a river—rushing, bumping into things, being redirected constantly. The world they live in—Empire City—is not a pleasant world, and the people in it aren’t particularly pleasant either and in some cases remind me of Flannery O’Connor’s grotesques. But there are moments when I was moved by the perfect details of authentic emotion—when Abby talks to Hooligan, who leads her to the greenhouse with the dead bird, for in ...more
Delightfully weird and incredibly unique, The Sky is Yours tells the story of three teens, Swanny, Ripple, and Abby, who are navigating a twisted, broken, burning world. Empire City has been under siege from a pair of dragons that circle the sky and light fires on a whim, but that’s not the only threat. The city is also home to an underbelly of danger where kingpin Sharkey and his gangs bring violence, drugs, murder, and every kind of horror imaginable to Empire City. Sharkey and his crew are mo ...more
Samantha Colwell
Feb 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Review from Hello Yellow Room.

Feels like: if The Princess Bride were a reality television show starring the whole cast of Peaky Blinders and Jersey Shore.

Sounds like: “Hung Up On You” by Tate McRae Listen Here / 2018 HELLO YELLO REVIEWS Playlist

Why? Roving adventure tales set in dystopian futurescapes are usually wrought with this philosophical quandary. Usually the “why” is to tell an allegory of our present time, to encourage discussion about the tyranny of this-or-that, to question the bou
Jenny Robinson
Feb 27, 2018 rated it did not like it
This is a very difficult review to write. I REALLY wanted to love this book. The concept and world it works within is adventurous, mystical and exciting. Unfortunately even though it was an intriguing world, the characters could not hold my interest, or should I say I wanted the dragons to just burn them sooner than later. The 4 central characters had no redeemable qualities. The men were spoiled brats who abused the women (emotionally, mentally and physically) while the women took the abuse alm ...more
Aug 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-releases
I....still don't know what I read or whether I liked it. It didn't seem to have a point? I have to think on this one. I will say that the characterizations were interesting. Definitely fully fleshed out, but not all that easy to root for since they were kinda dickish, but I still enjoyed reading their stories. But the plot, of which there really wasn't much of one, just seemed to kind of meander without much of an end goal.

This book is being compared to Blade Runner, and as that is one of my fa
Feb 05, 2018 marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-copy
I give up. I was really intrigued by the synopsis and cover of this book but from almost the moment I began reading this book, I was at a loss. I don't think I have ever disliked a book so much so early on while reading. I hate the characters, the world doesn't make any sense nor anything in it. I set it to the side for a few days hoping to come back to it a few days later just in case but every time I thought about picking it up again, I felt nothing but dread. DNF for me on this one.
I received
Nicholas Kaufmann
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was thrilled to get a sneak peek at this novel thanks to an ARC from Penguin Random House! All the promise that Chandler Klang Smith showed in GOLDENLAND PAST DARK is both confirmed and built upon impressively in THE SKY IS YOURS, an epic adventure tale set in a richly imagined world that has gone on way past its expiration date. The alternate near-future of Empire Island comes to life in astonishing detail through Smith's colorful, expert prose, as well as through the eyes of the three main c ...more
Sarah Furger
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5 star is not enough. This book was an amazing ride. At the risk of sounding like Stefon from SNL, this book has everything: dragons; family secrets; genetically modified creatures; political intrigue; love triangles; meditations on climate change and how humans interact with their environment, especially the consequences of pollution; discussions on reproduction, freedom vs. security, and gender roles. And all of this is written in prose that sings. Please read this book.
Feb 18, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: own-it-read
This cover is fantastic...but that's really all I can find positive to say about it. This is a DNF, and to be honest, I didn't get far. I found Ripple completely appalling, and when he sexually assaults an intellectually disabled or mentally ill girl in the first 50 pages and doesn't understand that SHE doesn't understand what just happened--NOPE, bye.
Christina Sparks
Dec 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: absolutely-love
The Sky Is Yours is crazily creative and kept me intrigued from beginning to end.
I really just loved everything about it from the quirky and interesting characters to the authors wonderfully inventive story telling abilities. It's one of those books you get hooked on and are sad when it comes to an end.

The story starts off strange and only gets stranger as you read on.
Duncan Ripple, a reality TV star, Baroness Swann Lenore Dahlberg- his betrothed and Abby, a strange feral girl who lives on an
Feb 24, 2018 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Nobody
Alright, I received an ARC through Goodreads.

Things I liked: the cover.

Yeah, that's about it. And I didn't even love the cover, I just kind of liked it.

If you like horrible characters that do crappy things, this is the book for you.
If you like worlds where women are only referred to as fems, damsels, wenches, or milfs, this is the book for you.
If you like women being treated as nothing more than living sex dolls, this is the book for you.
If you like people who sexually assault/rape people who do
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The nitty-gritty: A big, bold, and chaotic futuristic story where the absurd is commonplace, dragons patrol the skies, and everyone has a chance at redemption.

Grub and Morsel told me on another occasion that one day soon, Duluth will take them to touch a dragon--it seems this is a coming-of-age ritual in this savage locale. At a certain age, boys climb the water tank upon the roof of the Wedge, the tallest building in Torchtown, to skim their hand along the underside of a sky lizard when one pas
Birdie O
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm still kind of reeling from this book.  Chandler Klang Smith's The Sky Is Yours starts out like a commentary on the consumerism of society.  A society crashing and, quite literally, burning into oblivion.  However, it quickly becomes apparent that this isn't ALL that's going on.  Smith leads the reader through a rabbit warren of emotions with her characters.

At the beginning, nearly all characters are rather detestable.  When your choices are between a spoiled teenager and a criminal boss, it'
Dec 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really 4.5 - this book is one of those wildly inventive, delightfully overstuffed kind of novels, where you could reasonably have pulled three or four books out of its contents if you'd wanted to. But why? Why do that when the thing we got was so fun? This book is FUN, it is strange, it is a delight. Give over to it, allow yourself the weariness that sometimes come from its pacing/overfulness, and enjoy.
Roxy Bruss
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I had a blast reading the wild and whimisical sort-of sci-fi/dystopia/romance satire that is 'The Sky is Yours'. What a ride. 'The Sky is Yours' is set on the post-apocalyptic, metaphorical "Empire Island" resembling Manhattan, where spoiled reality TV star Duncan Ripple is getting ready to marry fellow wealthy person Baroness Swann Lenore Dahlberg. Also there's Abby, a feral girl from a dumpster island who can speak to animals and technology and other entities.

'The Sky is Yours' is a dizzying,
BAM The Bibliomaniac
Netgalley #60

Many thanks go to Klang Smith, Hogarth, and Netgalley for the free copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review.

So you know when one is a huge fan of fantasy novels and a new one is released with dragons in it so of course it has to be read? Not so much this one. It's rather bizarre.
Sky takes place somewhat in the future. Basically there is some genetic engineering and some drug dealing and some money spending but nothing is serious minded. The dragons just fly in a circul
S.E. Anderson
Apr 02, 2018 rated it liked it
This book was so dang weird. I think I liked it? How is it so hard to figure out how I feel about this novel?

it's a coming of age story in a world so advanced but burned out as well. A place where dragons are constantly fighting overhead, killing those below in their wake. A world where the rich can fly around the skies and the poorest of the poor were born and raised in a prison.

And the thing is, all the characters are really unlikeable, in their own way. You can't relate to them, only to what
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The WD's Book Club: Chandler Klang Smith's The Sky Is Yours 1 7 May 01, 2018 07:43PM  
Chandler Klang Smith is a graduate of Bennington College and the MFA Creative Writing Program at Columbia University. Her new novel THE SKY IS YOURS is now available from Hogarth/Crown. She lives in New York City.
More about Chandler Klang Smith

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“Humans make a city, but a city makes humans tolerate the intolerable.” 2 likes
“Time gives good advice.” 1 likes
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