Jan 16, 2019

ARC Review--Imprison the Sky by A.C. Gaughen

Stolen from her family as a child, Aspasia has clawed her way up the ranks of Cyrus's black market empire to captain her own trading vessel--and she risks it all every time she uses her powerful magic to free as many women, children, and Elementae from slavery as she can.

But Cyrus is close to uncovering her secrets--not only that Aspasia is an air Elementa with the ability to sail her ship through the sky, but that she is also searching for her lost family. And if Aspasia can’t find her younger siblings before Cyrus does, she will never be able to break free.

Armed with her loyal crew full of Elementae and a new recruit who controls an intriguing power, Aspasia finds herself in the center of a brewing war that spans every inch of the ocean, and her power alone may not be enough to save her friends, family, and freedom.

I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.


It feels like ages since I read the first The Elementae book by A.C. Gaughen, Reign the Earth and diving into the second installment, Imprison the Sky, was a little more difficult than I thought it would be. Mostly because we center around new characters, although, Aspasia did make an appearance in the first book, I just don’t remember it all that well, so to me it felt like dealing with a new character outside Shalia’s circle. While I do enjoy having new characters tell their story to some extent, I just felt a little lost with this one. Probably because I didn’t realize that this series would likely move in other directions with other characters and I was just focused on our main one.

Aspasia’s story was an interesting one to say the least. She’s basically a pirate and part slave as she’s forced by her owner to go around the seas and countries and acquire more slaves for her to sell. Though Asp has her own set of rules when it comes to all that, she’ll free everyone but only turn in the men and let the women and children free. All the while, she secretly looks for her younger brother and sister who were lost to her when they were children. They were all sold separately that fateful day and she’s never seen them since, but keeps a look out for them. She’s also a wind Elementae which helps with the sailing around the ocean if she can control the breeze.

When she acquires a new batch of slaves that she intended to free, one happens to be Kairos, who is Shalia’s brother. Though I can’t recall if he was in the first book, memory problems I tell you, kill! But anyway she’s a pest she can’t seem to get rid of. He’s not accustomed to her way of pirate life and doesn’t really approve of some of her methods, yet he stays. Naturally, a love connection starts to grow between these two. It was slow building, but the attraction was always there.

Asp is given one final mission and if she completes it correctly and successfully, she will have earned her freedom. She has to bring in one large batch of slaves to her owner, including women and children this time, but Asp isn’t sure she can do that. Risks will be taken. Deals will be made. There will be betrayals, heartbreak, and deception. There’s a lot that’s about to happen to Asp and her crew.

Once again I found myself caught reading a book that I found was a bit slower paced than I would have liked. The story was still engaging for the most part, yet I felt like things dragged a bit. I kept waiting for the high point of action to come and it would, eventually. I’m just starting to wonder if this series is cut out for me. I enjoyed Shalia’s story in the beginning, though I recall that too being a tad on the slow side.

Pacing is kind of a big thing for me, though I will admit I’ve read slower paced books that have kept me engaged with the world-building and characters. And while I do like this world and the characters aren’t bad either, I just don’t feel that spark or connection with this series like I had hoped. It’s not a bad read, not at all. I just don’t think this series is cutting out to be one for me, sad as it may be.

If you’re looking for a series that’s rich with culture and mythology and heavy dose of magic, this one might just be for you. Two books so far have had a slower pacing to them. Things are happening, they’re just happening at slower rate with a lot of buildup to the highlights. The characters are still deep and engaging and likeable, but sadly I’m not feeling it like I had wanted to. Still a series to check out if you feel so inclined. I would recommend starting at the beginning despite this looking like it might be a series with a new cast of characters each time, they are all connected and details will carry over, which means spoilers will carry over too.

Overall Rating 3/5 stars

Imprison the Sky releases January 22, 2019


  1. It seems like you had mixed feelings on this one, but it was still really great reading your review. Looking forward to reading this sequel :)
    Megan S.

  2. I enjoyed reading your review on a series I haven't read yet. I'm finding I need things happening in my books to really enjoy them, otherwise I find myself distracted while reading. So maybe this isn't one for me right now, but it still sounds well done.


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