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Golden Skies

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  59 ratings  ·  27 reviews
A man-god and his army of religious zealots swarmed the South nine years ago. As a child, Malik watched severed heads falling, blood spurting onto concrete, and his dear grandfather run through by a black sword.

But there’s peace…somewhere. At least that’s what Malik tells himself as his body is ripped apart by whips at a religious conversion camp. That’s what his best frie
Paperback, 296 pages
Published June 2018 by Owl Hollow Press
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Average rating 4.44  · 
Rating details
 ·  59 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-reads, e-books
This book was among the first books that I have beta read ever. This however does not affect my review. All opinions are mine!

I may have learned the term "a fast paced book" after reading this novel, things were happening fast and there was no unnecessary dragging which I find in many of the new releases. In Under 300 pages, we have complete world building with maps, we have tons and tons of actions, we have romance and comedy. This has all the right elements :)

I just can't help myself comparing
***Actual rating: 5+++/5 Wings-of-Heaven Stars***

But what use were the heavens when you burned them down?

I used to believe that nothing will ever surpass the originality and level of brutality in young adult fiction like Throne of Glass, Half-Blood (The Covenant), or The Winner's Curse; however, after reading Golden Skies, I realized how wrong I was. Golden Skies pretty much combined all the most exciting and gut-wrenching elements in the above series while adding lots of irre
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
After a very long time, I found a book in which I could dive into, living in that world of Certamen, in Malik's world, a boy who has seen religious zealousy, oppression at the hand of his father Governor Majidin. Refusing to bow down to his father's rules, Malik is thrown into the world of torture, whipped to an inch of his life, till he is rescued and he learns to fight... And man, does he fight!!! With gadgets which have a force field and allows him to fly!! Sweet!!

Juan Zapata's debut novel, a
☆Dani☆ ☆Touch My Spine Book Reviews☆
WOW, what a fantastic novel! When Shalini first told me about this novel, I thought it sounded good. I had no idea that it would be so intriguing and have me turning pages throughout the night. The world building was phenomenal and this was a Class A Sci-Fi novel that I would definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys the genre. The plot and story was compelling and unique. This novel was also filled with loads of adventure and is sure to captivate many! Hands down, 4.5 out of 5 shining stars! 🌟🌟 ...more
Lili  Marcus
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller, sci-fi
I don't like surprises in life but when it comes to books, it's a different story. That's why I LOVE this book. And that's saying a lot because I dislike religion in my reads (I don't even read Dan Brown's books). And the blurb clearly shows that religion is a big part of the story so I almost refuse being a part of the tour but thankfully I didn't. Because this one isn't just a story about a religion that's obviously doing terrible practices.

This is a story of a young man, Malik, who is willing
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Although not a genre I usually pick up, I was pleased that Golden Skies has complex characters who you will care about and root for until the end. They contend with so many obstacles, from politics, to religion, to family dynamics, to mental illness, but strive to persevere in a world that has many fighting factions. I found myself thinking about the story even when I wasn't reading it. I'm excited that it is a trilogy! Zapata did a great job!
Erica Mae Campos
Aug 22, 2018 rated it liked it
TRIGGER WARNINGS: Violence, Strong Language, Women Abuse and Discrimination, Religious Beliefs

Review originally published at my blog for a tour: https://livingahundredlives.wordpress...

Golden Skies by Juan Zapata is a scifi and dystopian read that features the religious beliefs of the people in Atemhop. It actually reminded me of The Hunger Games Trilogy and my last read, The Gathering. Along with the two said books, this one tells the story of how Malik, the son of Mujadin, the conqueror of the
Megan Starkweather
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Adrenaline junkies beware, this book will get your pulse racing. The town of Atemhop relies on Malik Zzoha, a university dropout, the son of the governor, Mujadin, to save them from tyranny under Mujadin’s reign. First he must endure unimaginable, cringeworthy pain and suffering before being trained to be a fighter and leader. Banding together, Atemhop forms the Restoration to fight Mujadin and his troops under the influence of Safad al-Din. The heartbreak, torture, passion and action are surrea ...more
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I beta read the book..

It was amazing.

The story is fast-paced, but never skip over the important part.
With snarky dialogues to the motivated protagonist and the cold heart villain, the book has all the spices.

Try this, you will not regret it.
Darby Karchut
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a roller coaster of a story! While it was a bit gritty and dark for my taste, the world building and characters kept me reading, and the ending made up for every thing. Go pick up a copy!
Swati Hegde
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: beta-read-edit, arc
Note: I received an ARC from Owl Hollow Press in exchange for an honest review.

The thing about Golden Skies that appealed to me was its honest take on religion and tyranny. Not to mention the tongue-in-cheek humor, the solidarity between Malik and his friends, how the author stresses the importance of standing up for what is right, not what is easy... Okay, yeah, there's a lot I liked about Golden Skies.

Zapata is a skilled storyteller, and I know the next two books in the series are going to be
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Book Blurb: As a boy, Malik watched an army of religious zealots swarm his home town, slaughtering his people and running his beloved grandfather through with a black sword. Nine years later, Malik still believes there's peace...somewhere. At least that's what he tells himself as his body is ripped apart by whips at a conversion camp. That's what his best friend whispers as he frantically creates new force technology and jetpacks to rescue Malik. Yet when war bursts t
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I like science fiction books, even though I have found myself burnt out on reading them. I noticed that most science fiction books follow a set plotline. I was growing bored with reading those types of books. So when my friend and fellow blogger, Shalini, referred me to Golden Skies, I almost didn’t accept. I didn’t like the blurb and didn’t think that I would like the story. Well, I was proven wrong. Golden Skies is one of the best science fiction books that I have read this year.

Golden Skies i
Aug 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Golden Skies is a thrilling and gripping debut novel by Juan Zapata. The story is about the fight for justice, the fight for freedom, and the fight for rights.

The story starts on a gore and violent note - the merciless whipping and torturing was heart-wrenching! No matter how bad the torture and the pain was, Malik was resilient. And that is what made him fight for justice.

I loved the blend of technology, religion, friendship, and politics. Wings of Heaven (jetpacks), swords, force fields, evil-
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Set in a fantasy world, Golden Skies tackles a lot of real world problems including but not limited to religious zealousy, male chauvinism, and tyranny.
Malik is an young adult who is tired of his father's oppressive behavior and obsession with a man God that rules over them. He decides to stand up to the cruelty committed in the name of said man God, only to be sent into a conversion camp. The story then unfolds and introduces new characters from across other parts of Certamen, along with their
Ashlie Gerber
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Juan Zapata effortlessly weaves together a novel of action, suspense, and the pursuit of freedom. You are thrust into a world of tyrannical oppression at the hands of someone close to Malik. The stakes are high and the tensions higher. I loved the story from beginning to end and I'm sure you will too. Golden Skies is an excellent book for any age or gender. The action is realistic and the characters each have their own distinct voice.

Malik was by far my favorite character, although Kafed almost
Maya Bhat (Bookshot)
Well narrated piece of work by a young writer. When you read this book, the scenes will pop up infront of your eyes. Juan’s narrative is very strong and impressive. Me as an avid reader always love to read such books.

Characters are developed in such a way that the reader will literally start to hate villains and love the good hearted ones. Every character is important in this novel. They have their own roles to play. The hero is not shown as a supernatural being. The author has chosen a very pra
Plum Report (Kimberly)
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-reviewed
Note: I received an ARC from Owl Hollow Press in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Owl Hollow Press💜

This book is a must read if you like military and science fiction. A domino effect of events that takes place on another world and delivers a clear and powerful message about the freedom of choice. With this being Juan Zapata's debut novel, he delivers an entertaining story packed with persecution, adventure, new alliances, and retribution.

I enjoyed the story and the message of the book. Th
James Kim
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What does Juan Zapata, S.E Hinton, and Mary Shelley have in common?
They all wrote superb novels while balancing college life.

Juan Zapata, a new author of Golden Skies, book one of The New Order trilogy, writes an enticing, action-packed fiction that is impossible to put down. Juan crafts a compelling story of Malik, who struggles through life hurdles of tyranny and oppression, friendship and family, and perseverance and tenacity. The book immerses the reader and forces them to understand Malik
Jessica Belmont
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I can think of a few words to describe Golden Skies; refreshing, original, action-packed, and enjoyable.

First of all, I’m overly impressed with the idea that this is Juan Zapata’s debut novel. This sci-fi thriller is everything I’m hoping for one I pick up this genre.

The plot was fast paced and in your face, bold. Malik is surviving things we could not even imagine. Opression and torture. But, once he learns to fight, his fate changes. I love that about his character, and another testament to Za
Nicky Skene
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A story of camaraderie, a son - Malik - stands up to his father a tyrannical ruler and religious zealot. Malik withstands torture and attempted brain washing, escapes with the help of his sister and best friend and vowed to end his fathers rule, bring peace and religious freedom back to his city.
A fast moving story with well written and relatable characters, action throughout - what more could you ask for! An excellent first part to a trilogy - I look forward to the second instalment.
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Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book! Please make more!
Jan 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Not my favorite scifi but the author has talent and should continue to explore this work.
Delicia Garcia
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent story! Dark and gritty!
Serena Thompson
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Golden Skies was a truly fascinating book that is hard to put down, weaving many different themes into a wonderful story. I can't wait for the next installment in the trilogy! ...more
Aug 22, 2018 rated it liked it
When I first heard about Golden Skies, I was interested in the premise as it was definitely unlike any sci-fi book that I had read before and this was something that translated on the page. Golden Skies is a unique and deeply fascinating sci-fi story that is worth the read.

Although there were many positives about the book there were also things that I didn't love. From the get-go, I felt kind of uncomfortable with the links with Islamic extremism that I saw in the book. Maybe this was not the po
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Contracted author with Owl Hollow Press and an alumnus of Alabama A&M University. My debut novel, Golden Skies, is out!

I have several nonfiction pieces published in various magazines:

Letter from an Omniscient Racist

International Half-breed

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