The Pearl Wars (Skyship Academy #1) is a post apocalyptic, dystopian novel about a kid named Jesse who lives and trains at the Skyship Academy, which is really just a front for the Separatists who are trying to find and capture Pearls, the ultimate energy source. Pearls are necessary for energy, because a few decades (I think) ago, the Scarlet Bombings took place, and the face of the Earth changed forever — most of Earth is now hot, barren, and pretty desolate.
After the Scarlet Bombings, some people in America decided to bomb other parts of the world to stay the strongest country. After that, the people who supported that decision formed Chosen Cities, where there is a controlled atmosphere. The people who did not approve (Separatists, or just Seps) ended up living in the skies — at places like the Skyship Academy.
Along with Jesse, the novel also focuses on another young man named Cassius, who grew up on the Surface in a Chosen City. The narrative switches back and forth between the two regularly (every couple chapters or so). I liked the contrast of the two characters, as they both had completely different motives and personalities.
Including the two male main characters, Jesse has a squad of sorts with Skandar and Eva, fellow Skyship trainees. For added intrigue, Avery is an older girl (18 to Jesse’s 15) who plays his love interest. This was a nice relief from the science fiction plot.
This was a pretty typical post apocalyptic, sci-fi novel. Cities lain to waste, corrupt government, tough life… however, I think the Pearls as a power source are neat, and the ‘shocking secret’ you learn about them in the end of the book is a quite interesting and new idea. Overall, it was a very quick read and (mostly because of the secret of the Pearls) I will buy the second book whenever it is released, though I may wait until it’s out in paperback. There aren’t really that many new ideas expressed for people who have read a lot of science fiction, so don’t expect your world to be rocked. However, this is a very solid book with quick-paced writing that I recommend if you’ve got a whole day to read it — you’re going to want to read it in one sitting.