Toward A Secret Sky

Friday, November 4, 2016

“I knew that ‘crackin’ was a synonym for ‘super’, but all I could think of when I heard the word was  the girl from Culloden falling to her death. I didn’t know yet that there were worse things that cracking your head open. Much worse.”

Book: Toward A Secret Sky by Heather Maclean, Blink 2017
Genre: Speculative/Supernatural
Target Audience: Girls 16-18
Subjects: Angels, Demons, Romance, Loss, Love, Sacrifice
Summary: …And alone again. It seems Maren is destined to live a life of misery and loneliness. No father, no friends, now her mom dies and she is sent off to live with grandparents she has never met in an entirely different country. It seems she won’t have too much trouble making new acquaintances though. There’s her grandparents who seem thrilled to have her even though Maren’s understanding was that they didn’t want to know her or her mother. There’s Jo, the girl from school who takes Maren under her wing, teaching her Scottish slang and how to stand up to the school bully. There’s Hunter, the girl who also lost her parents – to the same organization Maren’s parents worked for. And then there’s Gavin – the super hot guy who just so happens to be not human. As Maren attempts to settle into her new life, she quickly learns nothing is as she once thought. Angels and demons are very real and in a constant intense battle over humans. Her parents worked for an agency fighting against the evil side. And angels can be the object of every girl’s dream… and demons can be the object of every girl’s worst nightmare.
Notes: Toward A Secret Sky is the first in the series. It releases April 2017. It is continuing the trend of assigning human characteristics to supernatural beings and giving them romances with humans. Falling in love with humans is forbidden, yet God created the angel in such a way so as to desire romance. The angel is not a being as described in the Bible, but an ordinary human with wings and some supernatural abilities. It certainly doesn’t follow any sort of theological soundness. One character describes him very well when she says “”Angels don’t hate anyone. You probably just have him so mixed up, he doesn’t know what to do with himself – because he’s definitely not supposed to love you, either. So he threw a big, bad tantrum and stormed off. He’ll show up again, especially if something happens in your town. Who knew angels were so much like kindergarten boys?” Maren has some very messed up theology as well – theology that is not corrected anywhere in the book. One example is that she implies salvation by keeping the ten commandments. She says “I knew lying was a sin, a commandment even. But it wasn’t going to hell after I died that worried me. It was going there beforehand.” Another example is a reference to purgatory – thinking she is there. She hints are reincarnation when she says “What had I done in a past life to deserve so much heartbreak in this one”.  
The book contains much violence – the dreams Maren has are very disturbing in particular. Some of it is pretty graphic. There is also a close call with rape.
The theme is sacrificial love. One character willingly gives up their life for another. The blurb on the back concludes with “Along the way she discovers the great truth of love: that laying down your life for another isn’t as hard as watching them sacrifice everything for you.”
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 1/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

1 John 3:16 – This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

John 15:13 – Greater love has no man than this: that he lay down his life for his friends.

Matthew 22:30 – At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.

Matthew 10:28 – Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

Blink is an imprint of Zondervan, a subdivision of HarperCollins – their mission statement can be found here: 

Thank you to the publishers for providing me with a free review copy of this book. My opinions are my own. 


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