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Action-Packed Story | Book Review: Breaking Sky by Cori McCarthy

I read Breaking Sky in a flurry of turning pages!

Book Review: Breaking Sky by Cori McCarthy

Goodreads | Amazon | Cori McCarthy’s Website

breaking sky cori mccarthy 2015 young adult book

Title & Author: Breaking Sky by Cori McCarthy

Genre: Young Adult – Dystopia

Release Date: March 10, 2015

Series: Book 1

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

How I Got the Book: ARC via the publisher


“In this high-flying, adrenaline-fueled debut thriller, America’s best hope is the elite teen fighter pilots of the United Star Academy

Chase Harcourt, call sign “Nyx,” is one of only two pilots chosen to fly the experimental “Streaker” jets at the junior Air Force Academy in the year 2048. She’s tough and impulsive with lightning-fast reactions, but few know the pain and loneliness of her past or the dark secret about her father. All anyone cares about is that Chase aces the upcoming Streaker trials, proving the prototype jet can knock the enemy out of the sky.

But as the world tilts toward war, Chase cracks open a military secret. There’s a third Streaker jet, whose young hotshot pilot, Tristan, can match her on the ground and in the clouds. Chase doesn’t play well with others, but to save her country she may just have to put her life in the hands of the competition.”

Teenage Top Gun

If you’re an adrenaline junkie, then you will understand the raw appeal of Breaking Sky. It’s like a futuristic teen Top Gun.

Nyx is an ace pilot with little regard for the rules and a lot of guts. I liked her right off the bat because she is super determined, reckless and really confident (bordering on cocky at times).

As you might imagine with things like experimental jets and teen pilots, this is a fast-paced action adventure delight! There’s a good helping of suspense and top government secrets.

I really enjoyed the flying aspect of the story…but that’s where things got a bit dicey for me. The main focus of the book is the program that Nyx and her friends are part of. It enables them to you know, fly billion dollar jets around.

The problem with that is the details of the world that allows for this are fuzzy at best. There is a war referenced and current conflicts that are mentioned, but there’s no real backstory on how the U.S. got to be why it is the way it is, i.e. isolated and hostile.

If you can ignore these plot holes and just enjoy the moment-to-moment action, you’ll be fine. For those wanting a more developed world, you might be like me and feel a little disappointed.

Also, I think there were a few missing opportunities between some characters; a chance to go a bit deeper and develop some less surface level problems. Maybe more will be revealed in later books (I’m assuming there will be sequels).

The last thing I’ll mention is that the plot goes a predictable sort of way. I don’t demand breath-catching twists in every novel, but for a highly action-based story like Breaking Sky, it’s hard not to see some things coming a mile away.


If you’re looking for a fun, light, super fast read, then this is your book. The teen fighter pilots and their crazy antics are sure to hold your attention. But, if you’re hoping for a more developed world with more complex situations, then you might want to pass on Breaking Sky.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.