Under The Empyrean Sky: Publishers Weekly Review!
“Adult author Wendig (The Blue Blazes) launches the dystopian Heartland trilogy featuring a group of teenage scavengers at odds with an oppressive government that dwells in luxury up in the sky. Cael McAvoy, leader of the Big Sky Scavengers, is dealt a severe setback when a rival crew led by the mayor’s son sabotages his land-boat, which he needs to safely navigate the hostile fields of genetically modified corn that hold the Heartland in a stranglehold. When he discovers a secret garden of illegal fruits and vegetables, he sees a chance to get ahead by harvesting and selling them. Instead, he and his friends are drawn into a bloody fight for survival, which turns into open rebellion. Wendig conjures up an atmospheric and brutal world full of pollen storms, aggressive plants, and terrifying tumors, and populates it with memorable characters, while withholding enough information about the Empyreans to maintain intrigue. This strong first installment rises above the usual dystopian fare thanks to Wendig’s knack for disturbing imagery and scorching prose. Ages 12–up. Agent: Stacia Decker, Donald Maass Literary Agency. (July)”
I’m told the book has been showing up as an advertisement on folks’ Kindles, too — as both a lock screen and a screensaver feature, so that’s pretty rad. The book is doing very well, as I understand it — it’s been bouncing around the Top 10 at Amazon for Science-Fiction Adventure and Dystopian (YA), putting the book in really wonderful company. So, thanks to everyone who has been supporting the book and picking it up and telling others about it.
Exciting times, giving me a nice boost when I’m about to go into editing the second book in the series, BLIGHTBORN. (That book is nearly twice as book and thrice as crazy as the first.)
Oh, and if you want to see my “big idea” behind the book — I’m over at Scalzi’s Whatever this week chatting about the book, its origins (as a joke!) and how food politics relates to teens.