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The Pearl Wars

(Skyship Academy #1)

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  1,753 ratings  ·  227 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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3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,753 ratings  ·  227 reviews

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Nick James
Feb 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I would hope that I'd like it! :)
Aug 31, 2011 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
Sep 07, 2011 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
Mar 02, 2012 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
Majd Abdulghani
Aug 27, 2011 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.
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 why the Unified Party and the Skyship people 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 u
Kathy Martin
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This story is a science fiction dystopia. It features a corrupt earth government, Skyships of rebels, and aliens. In this future when the United States has been devastated by something and retaliated by nuking any perceived enemies, surface dwellers are divided into fringers and the residents of some protected cities. These cities are powered by pearls that fall from the sky and have enough energy to keep the cities going.

The main characters are Jesse Fisher who has been raised on one of the sk
Anne Hamilton
Jun 01, 2015 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
Jess Crafts
Mar 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was such a fast paced and easy to read book. It gripped me from page one, the characters are awesome and have distinct voices and I just really enjoyed this whole book.
This book is on the cusp between an exciting MG adventure and a coming of age YA where the characters are struggling to understand which side of the flight they want to be on. I basically read the whole thing in one sitting because it was that engrossing. I'd recommend it for fans of The Mortal Engines series by Philip Reeves
Nov 20, 2010 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
Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books)
May 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, ya, favorites, arc
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
Kat Heckenbach
May 02, 2015 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
Jun 11, 2012 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
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
Anja Manning
Jul 31, 2012 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,
Mar 18, 2014 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
Jul 16, 2012 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
Dec 11, 2013 rated it liked it
I read this one for a 40p challenge I didn't think it would be that good, but it was all right.
Kelly Zsuzsa Németh
Sep 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book a mix of sci-fi and post-apocalyptic. I really like the whole ability thing, it was so fun.
I will definitely pick up the next book!
Adam Ceres
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I never thought that Cassius and Jesse were related because Cassius tried to kill Jesse. Both of them had to deal with leaders who lie to them. Their parents sent them to Earth to be protected as their planet was being destroyed. The pearls that get used for energy were humans which I thought was a big twist because using the energy killed the people.
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I just LOVED this book, the plot twist that was put into this story were just breath-stopping. Every time I read a new page I just wanted to read more and more to find out what is happening to Jesse and Cassius. When they revealed what is wrong with them my breath stopped and I just read till the end. Best.Book.EVER!
Feb 07, 2018 rated it liked it
I liked Jesse from the start and disliked Cassius. Cassius's character felt under developed. I like where the story went, though some parts felt quickly tied up. I would be interested to see where it goes in the next book.
Daisy Hu
Jun 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: 9-12 years olds
Pretty good book, boring in the beginning, so I started reading it and finished it like 1.5 months later.
Jul 18, 2017 rated it liked it
The only good part of this book was the ending
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is amazing! Definitely need to read!
John Clark
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
First rate story that straddles the line between dystopian and sci-fi. Edgy plot and two sequels. What more can one ask for?
The first book in the Skyship Academy series is full of breath-taking action, totally unexpected plot twists, intrigue and jaw-dropping surprises! The narrative is addictive and absolutely captivating. It took me merely 5 hours to read this book, and I am NOT a fast reader at all. Nick James' writing style is approachable and easy to digest. I was so absorbed in the story, so eager to find out what will happen next, I didn't even notice the pages turning. I didn't make a conscious effort to star ...more
Emily Ann
Oct 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People who don't care about if characters die or not
Recommended to Emily by: HPB
3.3/5.0 review to come :)
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Class of 2015: The Pearl Wars 3 12 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

Other books in the series

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