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Skyship Academy: The Pearl Wars

Skyship Academy: The Pearl Wars

4.9 18
by Nick James

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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


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 Stevenson, a young Surface operative, cross paths when they both venture into forbidden territory in pursuit of Pearls. Their chance encounter triggers an unexpected reaction, endowing each boy with remarkable—and dangerous—abilities that their respective governments would stop at nothing to possess. Enemies thrust together with a common goal, Jesse and Cassius make their way to the ruins of Seattle to uncover the truth about their new powers, the past they didn't know they shared, and a shocking secret about the Pearls.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Launching the Skyship Academy series, James's debut is a fast-paced adventure that makes use of some familiar science fiction elements. In James's dystopian future, 15-year-old Jesse is a Skyship Academy student, secretly trained to help residents of Skyship, a nation of vessels hovering over a ruined America, gather the Pearls (a coveted source of energy) that fall from the sky. While on a mission, he encounters Cassius, a surface dweller and Unified Party operative who is being groomed by the manipulative Madame to become a spy. When Madame assigns Cassius to infiltrate Skyship Academy and learn its secrets, the two boys meet again, learning more about their connection to each other and to the powerful Pearls. James handles the book's dual viewpoints well—Jesse's in a self-doubting first-person narrative, Cassius's in a comparatively assured third-person—and delivers solid action sequences throughout (even making what amounts to a future game of dodgeball exciting). The book's espionage elements and teenage angst are par for the course, but James's character development and world-building compensate. Ages 12–up. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
"[R]eluctant readers will find plenty of entertainment ... Readers who require more depth to their post-apocalyptic epics will be satisfied as well." —VOYA

"A definite must-read!" —James Dashner, New York Times best-selling author of The Maze Runner

VOYA - Sean Rapacki
An author has to tread a careful line in writing the inaugural book in a series. Too little character development and exposition, and readers will not care enough about the world that has been created to want to make a return visit—too much, and the plot and action get overwhelmed. James strikes an excellent balance in the kick-off to his new science fiction series. Not only do we get an in-depth look at the main characters, Jesse and Cassius, but we also get the backstory for some of the secondary characters, as well as a look at the forces on both sides of the Pearl Wars. The story takes place in the post-apocalyptic future of 2073, where the only thing that keeps the landbound, privileged cities and the less repressive Skyship cities running is the pearls in question, mysterious artifacts from space that are being used as a power source. Although the book explores many issues, including the nature of the pearls and the powers they have apparently gifted to foes Jesse and Cassius, the reader does not get shortchanged on action. The novel contains fight scenes, airborne chases, and even an exploding train, so even reluctant readers will find plenty of entertainment. Because the main characters are depicted with both self-doubt and philosophical crises, readers who require more depth to their post-apocalyptic epics will be satisfied as well. Reviewer: Sean Rapacki

Product Details

North Star Editions
Publication date:
Skyship Academy Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
7.96(w) x 5.26(h) x 0.83(d)
HL650L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Inspired by the big drama and snappy dialogue of comic books and graphic novels by Brian K. Vaughan and Brian Michael Bendis, Nick James began writing at a young age. His love of fast-paced storytelling led to his action-packed science fiction series for young adults, Skyship Academy. James grew up in the small island town of Anacortes, Washington. He graduated from Western Washington University in 2006 and currently works as a substitute teacher in Bellingham.

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Skyship Academy 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would recomend this book for many people. It is one of the best books i have ever read.
Nikkayme More than 1 year ago
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 complicated, but James explains it in ways that make it interesting and easy to get. His descriptions of air ships, the broiling Surface, and the Chosen Cities are vivid. The reader will be right there, alongside Jesse or Cassius. That brings me to the main character: Jesse Fisher. How can the reader not love Jesse? He's this uncoordinated, scrawny kid with a lot to live up to. Without any family, he always feels alone. He knows he's not going to be the best Pearl agent - or even a decent one at that - but he strives to do well, despite it all. Cassius, like Jesse, is alone; but unlike Jesse, Cassius succeeds in everything he does. The two boys are on opposite sides of an imposing war, fighting to find the Pearls that power most of their planet. Their struggle to discover who they are, in the wake of bristling new powers, drives the story. Secondary characters like Avery, Alkine, Madame, and Jesse's teammates Eva and Skandar all add some extra depth to the story. The Pearl Wars is a rare gem of a book that will keep readers on the edge of their seat and blow their minds with the startling conclusion. There was very little that I saw coming in this book and the one thing I did see coming, was miniscule in comparison to the bigger picture. I'm insisting that you read this one yourself. The world-building is astonishingly well-thought out, the characters are fully developed, and everything about the Pearls left me in shock. Nick James is an author to watch and now that I've started this series, I know I'll be unable to ever put it down. I need the next one now!
LuckieZombie More than 1 year ago
Skyship Academy drew me in and kept me hooked through the whole read. Nick James created an amazing world in this novel and set the stage for an action packed series. I'm definitely looking forward to the sequel.
Readinista More than 1 year ago
This book is mass* unpredictable. I absolutely love it when a book surprises me. With many young adult books, I can usually figure out what¿s going to happen when I¿m just a few chapters in. However, that was far from the case with The Pearl Wars. Every page I turned, something completely unexpected happened and throughout the entire book, I was repeatedly blown away by it¿s originality. The Pearl Wars is set in the future, towards the end of the 21st century. The world has been devastated by chemical warfare and increased global temperatures. People now either live in cities protected by a temperature controlled net, outside the cities suffering in the extreme heat, or in the sky on large air ships. However, these places do not live in harmony each other. In this grim environment, the only thing offering relief are the green orbs that fall from space, also known as pearls. The people of earth use the energy locked inside the pearls to power their world. Stuck in this demanding world are two teenage boys, Jesse and Cassius. Jesse, Skyship screw up and pearl hunter in training, keeps the story light with his repeat offenses of always doing the wrong thing and his teenage boy perspective on life. Cassius is a surface kid working as agent for the surface government. He is skilled, successful, and the complete opposite of Jesse. When the two meet, something strange happens. The two walk away with powerful abilities and a million questions. Nick James built a futuristic world that will easily please the SciFi fans while at the same time is believable and fun for the average reader. I know the SciFi nerd in me thinks it would be pretty cool to live on a Skyship. In addition to the solid world building, James delivers well developed and realistic charastics, a well written story, and unexpected twists and turns. The Pearl Wars is worthy of a lot of attention and could easily rival some of the best selling young adult dystopian novels on the market today. Boys, girls, even adults will enjoy this refreshingly different, fun, and fast paced read. I¿m really looking forward to the next book in the Skyship Academy series. I have no idea at all what¿s going to happen but I know I can¿t wait to be completely surprised all over again. * Read the book to find out what this means.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The writing had me hooked from the first page . I just flew threw the book & the entricate plot intrigued me to no end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BEST BOOK I HAVE EVER READ IN MY LIFE! I know when many people finish a book, they jump around and say, "wow, this is my favorite book of all time!" And then the next book they read is suddenly the best, and so on. For Shyskip Academy, this book has been my all-time favorite for five years. There is pure action, breath-taking adventure, laugh-your-ass-off comedy (from Skander and Jesse) and suspense that will have you pulling your hair out! I fell in love with this book from the author, Nick James, who is one of my favorite authors, from the action and adventure, from all the characters, from all the plot-twists, and most of all, Jesse Fisher. Please, read this book. You truly won't regret it. (ps: the third book is the best in this whole series) (pps: it's called 'Strikeforce')
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thats awesome!! What was he like?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nivk James subbed as a teacher in my math class... badazz right?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An enjoyable read from beginning to end. I saw this book at a schoolastic book fair and was recomended by a friend who said it was hard to follow but in reality it is a simple book to follow. I can tell there will be a second book just as action packed if not more than this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
jwitt33 More than 1 year ago
Book 2 was as good as Book 1 IMO!! My Opinion: My opinion is very simple: I loved it!! What an awesome installment in what is becoming one of my favorite series! This book blends action, suspense, and science fiction perfectly! In the Pearl Wars, we're introduced to a post-apocalyptic/dystopian society where sources of energy, or Pearls, are desperately needed, so when one comes down from space, the race is on to see who will find it first. Enter Jesse and Cassius, one working for the Skyship Academy and the other working for the Unified Party, who find out that they are brothers. We also find out that they are aliens, which really intrigued me. Now they are both trying to learn how to use their powers (Cassius burns from the inside and has a bad habit of catching rooms on fire without meaning to, and Jesse can open Pearls, which comes in handy in this destitute world where they are in such demand). They are both also on the run and separated from each other, so they each have their own exciting adventures in the book before they come together for what turns out to be a big showdown.  I often find that sequels to books that I absolutely fall in love with aren't as good as the first, but that's not the case here. The writing was just as exciting, and the twists and turns that the story takes kept me on the edge of my seat! The characters, good and bad, are all well written, and the pacing is perfect. I honestly can't say who I like better, Jesse or Cassius, since I go back and forth all through the book, but I think that makes it all the more exciting!  In summary, I absolutely loved this installment in the Skyship Academy series and recommend it to fans of action packed YA sci-fi stories. I'm giving it a very enthusiastic 5 stars :D I received a copy of this book free of charge from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I saw it on the shelf at the library, and now I'm glad I did. I didn't lose interest as the plot moved from on twist to the next. I need to look up when the next is coming out (or if it already did) and get it! One warning: it does stop at a bit of a cliffhanger ;)
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Art Class